Peterson Joseph - Sporting KC v Philadelphia Union - Oct 24, 2012
Gary Rohman

Playoff Scenarios: Who Sporting KC could play in Conference Semifinals

Sporting Kansas City are the top seed in the Eastern Conference but their opponents in the Conference Semifinal round has yet to be decided.

KC could play any of the other four teams who have qualified for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. They will face play the winner of the knockout round, a match between the fourth and fifth place teams. The Conference Semifinals will be two matches with the first leg would on the road (November 3 or 4) and the second leg would at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park (November 7). The four possible opponents are D.C. United, Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls, and Houston Dynamo.

The standings are below along with goals for and goal difference, which are the first two tiebreakers if teams are tied on points.

Team Points Goals For Goal Difference
D.C. United 57 52 10
Chicago Fire 56 45 5
New York Red bulls 54 54 8
Houston Dynamo 53 48 9

Below are all the possible scenarios for who Sporting could face in the Conference Semifinals.

Results Fourth & Fifth place teams
HOU loss/draw, NY loss/draw HOU & NY
HOU win, NY win (and has tiebreakers over D.C.), CHI win, D.C. loss HOU & DC
NY win (and has tiebreakers over CHI if they draw), CHI loss/draw, D.C. win/draw HOU & CHI
HOU win (and has tiebreakers over CHI), NY draw/lose, CHI loss, D.C. win CHI & NY

The most likely team to be in the knockout round is Houston who will need to win and get some help to finish third. On the other end, D.C. United are most likely to avoid the knockout match and could finish as high as second or drop down to fourth place if results go against them. Chicago will host D.C. United on Saturday which means the winner of that match would clinch second place in the East. It's very possible that there will be teams finishing with an equal amount of points and tiebreakers will be needed. The full list of tiebreakers is below.

  1. Goals For
  2. Goal Differential
  3. Fewest Disciplinary Points
  4. Road Goals
  5. Road Goal Differential
  6. Home Goals
  7. Home Goal Differential
  8. Coin Toss (2 teams) or Drawing of Lots (3 or more)