Playoff Picture | City in the Mix
It's that time of year, the time where your eyes can't help but turn to the scoreboard every weekend. As Orlando City head into the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, we'll keep you posted on how the fight for the postseason is shaping up and which games to watch every week.
Anything can happen in Major League Soccer, but right now, five of the seven spots in the East seem likely to belong to the Philadelphia Union, Atlanta United, DC United, New York City FC, and the New York Red Bulls, all of whom are at least four points above the red line. DC and RBNY are the closest to falling into the chasing pack- more on the Red Bulls in a minute, but DC are in Vancouver tonight, and a loss there would start to make things a bit more interesting for the Black & Red.
There appear to be five teams in play for the final two spots: New England, Montreal, Orlando, Toronto, and Chicago.
New England Revolution (9-9-7, 34 pts in 25 games)
at New York Red Bulls - Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ - Saturday, 7:30p
New England have surged back into the playoff picture under Bruce Arena, going 7-1-5 in the league since firing Brad Friedel in early May. The Revs took their first loss with Arena two weeks ago against LAFC before coming back to grab a point in Seattle last weekend. The Red Bulls have been slightly more vulnerable at home than usual with an 8-4-1 mark on the year, but historically Red Bull Arena is the most difficult place to play in MLS, and any result here would be impressive for New England.
Red Bulls, meanwhile, are at 37 points through 25 games. A loss here would expose them to the chasing teams below them.
Montreal Impact (10-13-3, 33 pts in 26 games)
vs. FC Dallas - Stade Saputo, Montreal, Quebec, Can. - Saturday, 7:30p
It's been rough sledding for the Impact over the last few months, as they've slipped from what seemed like a surefire playoff spot into a precarious three-way tie for seventh. The Impact have lost six of their last seven games in the league and still have the Canadian Championship final to deal with. The good news for Montreal? Six of their final eight games are at home, starting with this weekend's tilt against a Dallas side that will be equally desperate for points coming off a loss to the LA Galaxy on Wednesday.
Orlando City (9-11-6, 33 pts in 26 games)
at Minnesota United - Allianz Field, St. Paul, MN - Saturday, 8p (My65 & YouTubeTV)
Orlando have surged from the brink to take seven points in their last three MLS games, putting them right in the mix for the final two Eastern Conference playoff spots. James O'Connor's side should be brimming with confidence heading into a tough away match against a similarly in-form Minnesota United on Saturday night. The Lions have four difficult games coming up, but all they need to do is stay afloat going into a crucial game against New England at Exploria Stadium on September 14.
Toronto FC (9-10-6, 33 pts in 25 games)
at Columbus Crew - MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, OH - Saturday, 7:30p
The Reds have the advantage of a game in hand, but all the talent on their roster has yet to lead to a return to the greatness they achieved in 2017. Toronto also have the Canadian Championship final against Montreal clogging their upcoming schedule, along with six of their final nine away from home. They face something of a trap game this weekend as well. Columbus have had a very difficult season, but their form has ticked up significantly after a 1-0 loss in Orlando on July 13- they are 2-0-3 since that game, with wins over Montreal and the Red Bulls.
Chicago Fire (7-11-9, 30 pts in 27 games)
vs. Philadelphia Union - Seatgeek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL - Saturday, 8p
After a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Portland on Wednesday, the Fire have almost no margin for error. They still have games against New England, Toronto, and Orlando on their schedule, so they're in the race, but they need to take advantage of every opportunity for points. Even at home, that'll be a difficult task against Philadelphia, who remain top of the East in a historic year for Jim Curtin's side.
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Major League Soccer Stories from August 16, 2019
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- Playoff Picture | City in the Mix - Orlando City SC
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