(August 8, 2007) – Major League Soccer teams have entered the home stretch of the season and are fighting for a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs. The race is on as nine of the League’s 13 teams have 12 games or less to improve their place in the standings. The Kansas City Wizards are currently positioned in second place in the highly competitive Eastern Conference behind the New England Revolution, who the Wizards face in their next home match Sunday, August 19 at 7 p.m. CT at Arrowhead Stadium.
The qualification and seeding are as follow:

  • Eight teams qualify for the 2007 MLS Cup Playoffs
  • Playoff berths will be determined by points in the standings upon the completion of the regular season on Oct. 21; all 13 teams will have played 30 games.
    • If two teams are tied on points, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head results, the second tiebreaker is goal differential, and the third is goals scored for the season. (Subsequent tiebreakers are available in the Fact and Record Book).
  • The top two teams in each conference qualify and are seeded 1 & 2 in their respective four-team playoff conference brackets.
  • The four MLS teams with the next most points, regardless of conference, receive “wildcard” berths.
    • The four wildcard teams will be seeded according to conference first.
    • If more than four teams qualify from one conference, those finishing lower than fourth in their conference will shift over to the other conference bracket.
    • A team switching conference brackets will be seeded below all other teams in its new conference playoff bracket.

NOTE: The seeding is incorrectly described in the 2007 Fact and Record Book. The seeding procedure in this release is correct and supersedes any other published versions.

The MLS regular season ends on Oct. 21, but if it were to end today this is what the playoff picture would look like:

Automatic berths:
1 New England Revolution 33 points
2 Kansas City Wizards 29

1 Houston Dynamo 34
2 FC Dallas 33

Wildcard berths:
D.C. United 27 (finishes above NY due to goal differential)
Chivas USA 27
New York Red Bulls 27
Columbus 26

The pairings for the two-leg Conference Semifinal series would be:

1 New England Revolution vs. 4 New York Red Bulls
2 Kansas City Wizards vs. 3 D.C. United

1 Houston Dynamo vs. 4 Columbus Crew
2 FC Dallas vs. 3 Chivas USA

These matchups are entirely hypothetical, especially since not all teams have played an equal number of games. Teams currently on the outside looking in (with the minimum number of points they need to make up) are: Chicago Fire (6), Toronto FC (6), Colorado Rapids (8), Los Angeles Galaxy (12), and Real Salt Lake (14).
The hunt for playoff spots continues with five games this week (all times Eastern):

Thursday, Aug. 9:
Los Angeles Galaxy at D.C. United, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Saturday, Aug 11:
Columbus Crew at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports en Español)
Houston Dynamo at Colorado Rapids, 9 p.m. (HDNet)

Sunday, Aug. 12:                                
Toronto FC at New York Red Bulls, 5 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
Los Angeles Galaxy at New England Revolution, 7 p.m. (Galavision)