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Four MLS teams vie for final playoff spot

Updated: October 19, 2011, 12:47 PM ET
By Jeff Carlisle | ESPN.com

The MLS Cup playoffs won't officially begin until Oct. 26, but with four teams vying for the 10th and final playoff spot heading into the final week of the regular season, for all practical purposes the postseason will start a week early.

The madness is set to begin Wednesday when the Portland Timbers visit D.C. United in what amounts to an elimination game. The next night, the New York Red Bulls -- a team that controls its own destiny provided you ignore its near-terminal case of ...

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