There's been some questions today from even some of KC's biggest fans about what is going on with KC's playoff seeding. KC's playoff spot isn't in question, the team clinched with their win on Saturday over New York, but KC could finish anywhere from 1st in the East to the 3rd wild card team depending on theirs and other results. Not even just winning is going to be enough to guarantee KC a specific seed. Even MLS' playoff scenarios can't seem to get the break down right.
The good news for KC is that they will know just what they'll have to do clinch the top spot in the East before they take the field against DC. The reason for that is because Philadelphia plays New York on Thursday night. To finish ahead of Philadelphia, KC has to equal or better the Union's result. To decide who is currently in first palce the two teams had to go to the third tie breaker, as KC and Philly split the season series 0-0-2, and both have a +9 goal difference. The third tie breaker is goals scored, which KC leads 49 to 44. So KC needs to equal Philadelphia's result, if the Union win 1-0, KC needs to win by 1 or more to finish ahead of Philadelphia. That would at least guarantee KC finishing ahead of the Union. If they don't equal Philadelphia's result, but still win, then KC will finish second behind the Union.
Should KC lose or draw with DC, then things begin to get complicated. The Columbus Crew is currently 1 point behind KC, so if KC loses and Columbus ties Chicago, then KC and Columbus would finish level on points. The two teams split their season series 1-1, which means they'd go to the second tie breaker, goal difference. KC is at +9 to Columbus' even, so DC would have to beat KC by 9 while Columbus draws for the Crew to top KC. A draw or loss by KC and a win by the Crew though put Columbus ahead of KC.
Finally, if KC draws with DC and Houston defeats LA on Sunday, KC and Houston would be level on points. The good news for KC fans is that KC wins the head to head tie breaker with the Dynamo to finish ahead of them. But again things can go really wrong for KC if they lose to DC.
That's the big thing, a loss to DC really puts a big spin on things. For simplicity sake, here is a break down of how each result for KC this weekend could put them in a seed.
Sporting KC win
- finish first if they equal or better Philadelphia's result (example Philly wins 1-0, KC wins 1-0, 2-1, 2-0)
- finish second if they do not equal Philadelphia's result (example Philly wins 2-0, KC wins 1-0)
Sporting KC draw
- finish first if Philly loses or draws (as long as it's not a draw by more than 5 clear goals than KC's, ex Philly 5-5, KC 0-0), and Columbus loses, the Houston result won't matter as a 3 way tie between KC, Philly, and Houston, Houston loses the head-to-head tie breaker against those two.
- finish second if Philly wins (or draws by 5 clear goals over KC's draw), and Columbus loses. OR if Philly loses or draws and Columbus wins.
- finish third if Philly wins (or draws by 5 clear goals over KC's draw) AND Columbus wins. Once again Houston's result won't matter as KC wins head-to-head with the Dynamo.
Sporting KC lose
- finish first if Philly loses by more than KC does, Columbus loses, and Houston does not win.
- finish second if Philly wins or draws, or loses by less than KC does and Columbus loses or draws (as long as KC's loss isn't by 9), and Houston does not win. OR if Philly loses by more than KC, Columbus draws (Columbus takes first), and Houston does not win.
- finish third if Philly wins or draws, Columbus wins, and Houston does not win. OR if Philly loses by less than KC, Columbus draws, and Houston does not win.
- finish in second wild card spot if Philly wins or draws, Columbus wins, Houston wins, and Colorado does not win
- finish in third wild card spot if Philly wins or draws, and Columbus, Houston, and Colorado win.
I think I got all the potential implications, make it as clear as mud?