The MLS Eastern Conference playoff field is set …


The expected happened down in Houston.

The semi-expected happened in Washington, D.C., and in New York.

And the unexpected shook things up a little in New England.

It all served to settle the fight for five playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, although the order is far from arranged.

The Houston Dynamo and D.C. United got the wins they needed to secure playoff spots in the East. Chicago had a chance to apply some pressure on first-place Sporting Kansas City. But New England’s win over Chicago made things a little harder on the Fire.

Meanwhile, United is now well positioned to avoid the 4th-vs.-5th knockout match. Houston and New York are currently in that one, and they both play on the road in Round 34 (although both against teams out of the playoff hunt by weeks). The Dynamo travel to play Colorado while New York travels just down the coast to meet Philadelphia at PPL Park.

Interesting that Chicago finishes against D.C. United in a match that between teams that currently would meet in the first round – er, the “old” first round, I suppose, which is now the “second-round,” depending on what we are calling that new, one-off between the fourth- and fifth-place finisher. Anyway …

Here are the standings after a night of flux in the East.

By the way, at one point in the “live” standings, D.C. United was in fourth, the Columbus Crew was “in” and Houston was “out.”

So, yes, a night of flux, as you can see …: