<
>

MLS: 3 more teams clinch playoff berths

10/15/2011

Major League Soccer's first two results Saturday afternoon produced three playoff qualifiers.

Sporting Kansas City, Philadelphia and Colorado clinched postseason berths, leaving six teams battling for three slots -- and two of those slots could be taken by the end of the day.

Columbus (12-12-8) will join the party with a victory at New England, and Houston (11-9-13) would come along if Chicago beats or ties D.C. United, too.

The regular season ends next weekend. The top three teams in each division are seeded into the eight-team bracket, with the next four teams, regardless of conference, advancing to a one-game wild card. The wild-card winners meet the conference champions.

K.C. (12-9-12), returning to the playoffs after a two-year absence, grabbed the Eastern Conference lead with a 2-0 romp over New York aided by a ridiculous red card to Thierry Henry. The Red Bulls (9-8-16) are 10th in the overall standings, three points ahead of Portland in the fight for the final berth.

Second-year club Philadelphia (11-7-15) clinched with a 1-1 draw against Toronto FC. Defending MLS Cup champion Colorado (11-9-13) got in with Sporting's victory.

Seattle (16-7-9) clinched the No. 2 slot in the Western Conference with the Colorado-Real Salt Lake draw Friday.

Chicago (7-9-16) will be eliminated with a loss or tie Saturday at D.C. United (9-11-11), which also is in the race.

Here's what the postseason race looks like:

In the playoffs:

1. *W1-Galaxy 64 points (ceiling 70)

2. *W2-Seattle 57 (63)

3. W3-Real Salt Lake 52 (55)

4. WC1-FC Dallas 49 (55)

5. E1-Sporting Kansas City 48 (51)

6. E2-Philadelphia 48 (51)

7. WC2-Colorado 46 (49)

In the top 10:

8. E3-Houston 46 (49)

9. WC3-Columbus 44 (50)

10. WC4-New York 43 (46)

In the mix:

11. Portland 40 (46)

12. D.C. United 38 (47)

13. Chicago 37 (43)

Eliminated:

14. Chivas USA 36 (42)

15. San Jose 35 (41)

16. Toronto FC 32 (35)

17. Vancouver 28 (34)

18. New England 27 (33)

W -- Western Conference; E -- Eastern Conference; WC -- Wild card; * -- clinched position