MLS: Add Crew, Dynamo to playoff list
October, 16, 2011
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Andres Mendoza scored twice from Emilio Renteria feeds, and the Columbus Crew snared a postseason berth Saturday night with a 3-0 romp at New England.
The Houston Dynamo also qualified for Major League Soccer's playoffs, claiming their spot when Chicago rallied for a 2-1 victory at D.C. United.
The Crew (13-12-8) and Dynamo (11-9-13) were the fourth and fifth Major League Soccer clubs to clinch Saturday, following Sporting Kansas City (12-9-12), Philadelphia (11-7-15) and Colorado (11-9-13).
That means nine of the 10 slots are taken, with four teams fighting for the final berth. New York would take it with a victory Thursday over Philadelphia, but Chicago, D.C. and Portland remain in the hunt.
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.
The Galaxy, which plays Sunday against Chivas USA at Home Depot Center, has clinched the Western Conference title and the Supporters' Shield and will play the lower-seeded wild-card survivor in their home-and-home playoff opener. Seattle will be the No. 2 seed in the West; all other positions in the bracket are open.
FC Dallas clinched a top-four finish with a 2-0 win Saturday night over Vancouver. Either the Hoops or Real Salt Lake will be the No. 3 team in the West, and the other will be the top-seeded wild-card team. The Galaxy's first-round playoff opponent will be the Nos. 2, 3 or 4 wild-card team.
Wild-card games are Oct. 26 and 27, and first-round series begin Oct. 29 and 30.
Here's what the postseason race looks like after all of Saturday's results:
In the playoffs:
1. *W1-Galaxy 64 points (ceiling 70)
2. *W2-Seattle 60 (63)
3. W3-Real Salt Lake 52 (55)
4. WC1-FC Dallas 52 (55)
5. E1-Sporting Kansas City 48 (51)
6. E2-Philadelphia 48 (51)
7. E3-Columbus 47 (50)
8. WC2-Colorado 46 (49)
9. WC3-Houston 46 (49)
In the top 10:
10. WC4-New York 43 (46)
In the mix:
11. Portland 40 (46)
12. Chicago 40 (43)
13. D.C. United 38 (44)
14. Chivas USA 36 (42)
15. San Jose 35 (38)
16. Toronto FC 32 (35)
17. Vancouver 28 (31)
18. New England 27 (30)
W -- Western Conference; E -- Eastern Conference; WC -- Wild card; * -- clinched position