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Around the League: Decision Day and Knockout Round Preview

While you might have too busy wiping away tears with an orange scarf after the Dynamo’s lackluster loss to Vancouver to care, Sunday’s results were of great importance in determining the final playoff field and seeding around Major League Soccer. Here were the results that impacted the playoffs the most on Decision Day:

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

While you might have too busy wiping away tears with an orange scarf after the Dynamo’s lackluster loss to Vancouver to care, Sunday’s results were of great importance in determining the final playoff field and seeding around Major League Soccer. Here were the results that impacted the playoffs the most on Decision Day:

Portland Timbers score all over the Rapids to wrap up 3rd place

Portland thrashed the Rapids 4-1 in their last game of the season, a game that secured their postseason spot for sure, even though the odds were very long that they would get knocked out. The bottom of the Western Conference is so crowded that this win vaults them all the way up to the No. 3 seed, but a loss would have put them down at No. 6.

Seattle Sounders lock up 4th place in the West

Sounders superstar Clint Dempsey came up huge Sunday with a brace and another tally from Marco Pappa which sent Real Salt Lake home with a 3-1 loss. The three points from this win actually put them in a tie at the bottom of the playoff table, but put them in 4th place due to their number of wins.

Sporting Kansas City sneaks in

If Dynamo fans were watching the live standings updates on Sunday, they were undoubtedly excited to see their old nemesis fall below the red line after Robbie Keane netted an equalizer just before halftime. Unfortunately, the Galaxy were unable to contain SKC’s Benny Feilhaber, who secured three points in the 65th minute and punched Kansas City’s ticket to the knockout round.

Orlando City SC can’t pull off a miracle

The Lions had a tiny chance to slip in Sunday if they could throttle the Union and if NYCFC did the same to the Revolution. Unfortunately, neither happened, and Orlando didn’t even score in a match that Sebastien Le Toux won with a penalty kick just before halftime.

Revolution prevent the unthinkable

The New England Revolution were on the opposite side of Orlando’s miracle situation; a crazy swing in goal differential could have knocked them out, but Lee Nguyen wasn’t about to let that happen. He, Charlie Davis, and Kelyn Rowe led the Revs to an easy 3-1 victory over NYCFC at Yankee Stadium.

Toronto FC settles for just barely

Sebastien Giovinco solidified his Golden Boot campaign early with an assist to Jozy Altidore, but it wasn’t enough to contain Didier Drogba. Drogba and the Impact cruised to a 2-1 victory that etched them into 3rd place in the East, and left Toronto down at 6th.

No Kei, No Problem

With a playoff ticket already punched, the Columbus Crew were just playing for position Sunday, and play they did. Even without their goal-scoring phenom Kei Kamara, the Crew absolutely annihilated DC United 5-0 to move up to 2nd place in the East and earned a first round bye. No reason to cry for DC fans though as they’ll still face New England in the knockout round.

FC Frisco sends San Jose home

The Quakes still had a tiny chance of postseason glory depending on how things swung in the West, but that chance was predicated on a win versus FC Dallas. The Quakes looked like they might have a chance early, but Mauro Diaz and Co. put that dream to bed and eliminated them from the playoffs, in Dom Kinnear’s first year as manager.

New York Red Bulls win the Shield

A 2-1 defeat of the Chicago Fire clinched the Supporter’s Shield for New York on Sunday, their second Shield in the past 3 years, earning them a first round bye. As Dynamo fans are well aware all this means for the Red Bulls is that they will have a little more time to wait before being immediately knocked out of the playoffs at home.

Knockout Round Preview

DC United vs. New England Revolution

Wednesday, 10-27 6:00 CT

DC United didn’t exactly look like world beaters on Sunday. They were dismantled by the Columbus Crew 5-0, and that was without the Crew’s top goal scorer Kei Kamara. Now they have to take on Lee Nguyen and the New England Revolution, last year’s MLS Cup runner’s up. Anything can happen in the playoffs, but it doesn’t look like the Revs’ season is coming to an end in the knockout round. My pick: New England Revolution.

DC United info

Regular Season Record: 15-13-6

Best Player: Chris Rolfe (10 goals, 4 assists)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2014

Best Result: MLS Cup Champions (1996, 1997, 1999, 2004)

New England Revolution info

Regular Season Record: 14-12-8

Best Player: Lee Nguyen (7 goals, 10 assists)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2014

Best Result: MLS Cup Runners-Up (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014)

Seattle Sounders vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

Wednesday, 10-27 9:00 CT

Los Angeles is a team that has won championships many times. Seattle is not, and they’re hoping that this will be year they finally end that championship drought. LA isn’t the same team that they were in the past, even with the additions of Giovani dos Santos and Steven Gerrard, making his MLS playoff debut. The chemistry of Seattle superstars Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins should be enough to carry them past the Galaxy. My pick: Seattle Sounders.

Seattle Sounders info

Regular Season Record: 15-13-6

Best Player: Obafemi Martins (15 goals, 6 assists)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2014

Best Result: Conference Finals (2012, 2014)

LA Galaxy info

Regular Season Record: 14-11-9

Best Player: Robbie Keane (20 goals, 8 assists)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2014

Best Result: MLS Cup Champions (2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014)

Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC.

Every team in Canada made it to the postseason, some for the first time in a while. For Montreal, making it to the postseason was nothing short of amazing. They were the worst team in the league last year, and up through May, still had a 26-game road losing streak going. One thing that definitely helped was the arrival of EPL legend Didier Drogba, who would surely lead the league in scoring had he played a full season; Drogba tallied 11 scores in 11 matches. They’ll be going up against a tough group of talent led by Golden Boot winner and probable MVP Sebastian Giovinco and USMNT stars Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore in what will be a very interesting matchup. My pick: Toronto FC.

Montreal Impact info

Regular Season Record: 15-13-6

Best Player: Didier Drogba (11 goals, 1 assist)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2013

Best Result: Knockout Round

Toronto FC

Regular Season Record: 15-15-4

Best Player: Sebastian Giovinco (22 goals, 16 assists)

Last Playoff Appearance: none

Best Result: first playoff appearance

Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City

Portland is just happy to be here after struggling early and almost missing the playoffs. They have one of the hottest players in the league right now, Darlington Nagbe, but the firepower of Kansas City provided by Dom Dwyer and Benny Feilhaber will most likely prove too much for Portland. Sorry, Timber Joey. My pick: Sporting Kansas City.

Portland Timbers

Regular Season Record: 15-11-8

Best Player: Fanendo Adi (16 goals, 3 assists)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2013

Best Result: Conference Finals (2013)

Sporting Kansas City

Regular Season Record: 14-11-9

Best Player: Don Dwyer (12 goals, 2 assists)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2014

Best Result: MLS Cup Champions (2000, 2013)