With KC having clinched the top spot in the East, they now get to play the waiting game to see who they play. This weekend the rest of the East playoff seedings will be decided. The 4th and 5th place teams will face off on the 31st at the 4 seed in a one game playoff with the winner hosting the first leg against KC on the weekend. While all 5 playoff spots have been decided, the 4 other teams from the East, Chicago, DC, Houston, and New York could all finish almost anywhere 2nd through 5th.
So how does KC match up with the teams? This year KC went 1-2 against the Chicago Fire, scoring 3 and conceding 3 in their 3 matches, each team got 1 shutout against their opponent. Against DC United this year, KC is undefeated, going 2-0, scoring 3 goals while conceding 1. Against New York, KC is 1-0-2, drawing at home 1-1 while winning 2-0 and drawing 0-0 at Red Bull Arena. Against Houston, KC was 0-1-2 this year, losing in Houston 2-1 while drawing both games in KC 0-0 and 1-1.
So let's take a look at what it takes for each team to finish in the play-in game, setting up a potential match up with KC. I'm going to avoid the crazy scenarios, like Chicago losing 6-5 to still finish ahead of the Dynamo on goals scored even if the Dynamo win 1-0.
Currently DC is in second place on 57 points, having scored 52 goals and a goal difference of +10. Chicago is third on 56 points with 45 goals and a +5 goal difference. New York is fourth on 54 points with 54 goals scored and a +8 goal difference. Houston is fifth with 53 points, 48 goals and a +9 goal difference. The tie breakers that I found could come into play without crazy scenarios are points, goals for, goal difference, fewest disciplinary points.
Here's the matches this weekend that will effect the seeding.
New York at Philadelphia
DC at Chicago
Houston at Colorado
Here's how each team could finish.
To finish second - Win against DC.
To finish third - Draw with DC and New York does not beat Philadelphia OR lose to DC, New York does not beat Philadelphia and Houston does not beat Colorado.
To finish fourth - Draw or lose to DC, New York beats Philadelphia OR lose to DC, New York fails to beat Philadelphia, and Houston beats Colorado.
To finish fifth - Lose to DC, New York beats Philadelphia and Houston beats Colorado
To finish second - Win or draw against Chicago
To finish third - Lose to Chicago and New York does not beat Philadelphia OR lose to Chicago by 1 goal but scoring 2 PLUS however many New York score in a win 1 goal win against Philadelphia (for example, lose 4-3 (boardline crazy scoreline yes) while New York wins 1-0) in this tie breaker, DC and NY would be tied on points (57), goals scored (55) and goal difference (+9) it would then go to disciplinary points where DC has 509 to New York's 540.
To finish fourth - lose to Chicago and New York defeats Philadelphia and the above scenario doesn't play out.
To finish second - Cannot
To finish third - Beat Philadelphia and there's a winner in the Chicago vs DC game.
To finish fourth - Draw or lose to Philadelphia and Houston do not beat Colorado.
To finish fifth - Draw or lose to Philadelphia and Houston beat Colorado.
To finish second - Cannot
To finish third - Beat Colorado and Chicago lose AND New York don't win.
To finish fourth - Beat Colorado and Chicgo lose OR New York don't win.
To finish fifth - Beat Colorado, New York win, Chicago win OR if Houston fails to beat Colorado.
So that's how each of the Eastern Conference teams can finish now in the playoff race. As for my prediction, I think it'll be Houston and New York. I think Chicago takes care of business at home, gets the two seed, giving DC the three seed. I don't think New York will get 3 points in Philadelphia. I'm not sure what'll happen in the Houston/Colorado game but I think KC will be playing the winner of the Red Bulls and Dynamo.
Of the four teams who would you rather see?