Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Football Americana: Playoffs update

The Major League Soccer playoffs are set, and are already upon us. With apologies, I'll just give you a quick update on where things stand because, unfortunately, the real world has taken over my life over the past seven days and I've got other things I've had to deal with. So no highlights this week, but suffice to say that DC United sh*t the bed and the results of the final week of the regular season came together to send New York Red Bulls into the playoffs.

This season the playoffs are structured differently to accommodate ten teams and ensure better representation of the Eastern Conference in the latter stages.

The bracket begins, therefore, with two wild card games between the four teams that had the highest points totals and didn't finish in the top three of their respective conferences. On Wednesday, FC Dallas play New York Red Bulls and on Thursday it's Colorado Rapids versus Columbus Crew.

From there on in, it gets a little complicated.

In the Eastern Conference semi-finals:

FC Dallas will play Sporting Kansas City over two legs if they defeat New York. If they lose to New York, Sporting will instead play either Colorado Rapids or Columbus Crew.

Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union will meet in the other semi-final.

In the Western Conference semi-finals:

Real Salt Lake will play Seattle Sounders over two legs.

If New York beat Dallas, they will play LA Galaxy in the other semi-final. If Dallas win their play-in game and therefore face Kansas City, LA will play the winner of the Colorado v Columbus match.

The Conference finals will be hosted by the highest seed in each case, and will take place as standalone matches.

Still with me? All will be clearer next week, and I'll have a proper update for then.

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