MLS Decision Day: Final standings, playoff picture with Zlatan and Galaxy out

The 2018 MLS regular season is over after Decision Day on Sunday saw the final 10 games of the season played. There were two playoff spots on the line, which went to Real Salt Lake out west and to the Columbus Crew in the east in a day that was full of surprises. Here’s the rundown of what took place. 

Decision Day scores

Sporting KC 2, LAFC 1
Toronto FC 4, Atlanta 1
New England 1, Montreal 0
Chicago 0, D.C. United 0
Colorado 2, FC Dallas 1
Houston 3, LA Galaxy 2
New York Red Bulls 1, Orlando City 0
Seattle 2, San Jose 1
Vancouver 2, Portland 1
NYCFC 3, Philadelphia 1

What to know

No Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the MLS Playoffs, Real Salt Lake in

All the Los Angeles Galaxy had to do was draw to get in. That would have been enough to beat out Real Salt Lake on goal differential. Just a tie. 

The Galaxy led 1-0.

The Galaxy led 2-0.

The Galaxy lost. 

The club blew a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 in a crazy game that showed their defensive issues haven’t gone away. Now, the fact that this team was even in playoff contention boils down to the addition of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had a fantastic half-season for the club. But it was Ola Kamara that scored both goals before the Dynamo got three in 23 second-half minutes. No Zlatan in the playoffs? Sigh.

Columbus Crew clinch thanks to Zardes

Gyasi Zardes has revived his career in Columbus under the favorite to be the next United States men’s national team coach — Gregg Berhalter. And those performances may see him earn an important role in the national team in the coming months.

Zardes got his first hat trick on Sunday, and it was enough to beat Minnesota 3-2 and clinch a spot in the playoffs. Here’s him completing the feat:

New York Red Bulls win Supporters’ Shield

The Red Bulls finished with the league’s best record and the Supporters’ Shield, leaping over Atlanta United on the final day. A goal from Derrick Etienne was enough for the Red Bulls to beat Orlando, and it was the perfect result when combined with Atlanta’s surprising 4-1 loss to Toronto.

Playoff picture, schedule

Knockout Round
Oct. 31 or Nov. 1  

No. 3 New York City FC vs. No. 6 Philadelphia
No. 3 Los Angeles FC vs. No. 6 Real Salt Lake
No. 4 FC Dallas vs. No. 5 Portland Timbers
No. 4 D.C. United vs. No. 5 Columbus Crew

Conference Semifinals
Nov. 4 and Nov. 11

The semifinals will see the teams that have received byes begin playing. In the east, New York Red Bulls are the No. 1 seed, while Atlanta United is No. 2. In the west, Sporting KC is the No. 1 seed and the Seattle Sounders are No. 2. We’ll know who they play after the knockout round is finished, as it will all depend on seeding. New York Red Bulls and Sporting KC will face the lowest remaining seed available. 

TBD vs. TBD 
TBD vs. TBD    

Conference Finals
Nov. 25 and Nov. 29

TBD vs. TBD 

December 8


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