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The Major League Soccer regular season is nearing its conclusion, which means clubs have their sights firmly set on qualifying for the MLS Cup playoffs, which begin on Oct. 19.

Three teams have clinched a postseason berth, and two more have already been eliminated, including expansion side FC Cincinnati. In between those poles, things are wide open, especially in the Western Conference, where four points separate second through eighth. As the league expands the postseason field to 14 teams, competition for those places is as tight as ever.

So, who’s in? Who’s out? Who has it all to play for?

Clinched playoff places (seven per conference)

Eastern Conference: New York City FC, Philadelphia Union

Western Conference: LAFC

Eliminated from postseason contention

Eastern Conference: FC Cincinnati

Western Conference: Vancouver Whitecaps FC

  • Atlanta United FC (48 points, 28 games played)
  • Toronto FC (42 points, 30 games played)
  • D.C. United (42 points, 30 games played)
  • New York Red Bulls (41 points, 29 games played)
  • New England Revolution (39 points, 29 games played)
  • Montreal Impact (37 points, 30 games played)
  • Orlando City SC (35 points, 30 games played)
  • Chicago Fire (34 points, 30 games played)
  • Columbus Crew SC (31 points, 30 games played)
  • Real Salt Lake (46 points, 29 games played)
  • Seattle Sounders FC (46 points, 29 games played)
  • Minnesota United FC (45 points, 29 games played)
  • San Jose Earthquakes (44 points, 29 games played)
  • Portland Timbers (43 points, 28 games played)
  • FC Dallas (43 points, 29 games played)
  • LA Galaxy (42 points, 29 games played)
  • Sporting Kansas City (37 points, 29 games played)
  • Colorado Rapids (36 points, 30 games played)
  • Houston Dynamo (34 points, 29 games played)

Who can clinch this weekend?

Atlanta United will secure a postseason place with a win vs. the Columbus Crew or a Montreal Impact loss against FC Cincinnati.

When do the MLS Cup playoffs begin?

The 2019 season marks a change in MLS’ postseason formula. In addition to the field expanding to 14 teams, the calendar has also shifted ahead by two weeks, beginning on Oct. 19, and been compressed by the elimination of two-legged ties and the return to a single-elimination knockout formula. Below you’ll find the MLS Cup playoff schedule, leading up to the MLS Cup final at 3 p.m. ET on Nov. 10 (ABC), when the league will crown a new champion.

Round 1

  • Saturday, Oct. 19 (time TBD)
  • Saturday, Oct. 19 (time TBD)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20 (time TBD)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20 (time TBD)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20 (time TBD)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20 (time TBD)

Conference semifinals

  • Wednesday, Oct. 23 (time TBD)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 23 (time TBD)
  • Thursday, Oct. 24 (time TBD)
  • Thursday, Oct. 24 (time TBD)

Conference finals

  • Tuesday, Oct. 29 (time TBD)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 30 (time TBD)


  • Sunday, Nov. 10 (3 p.m. ET, ABC)

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