A new wrinkle in the MLS playoff’s newest wrinkle

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What does Sandy have against the new playoff format, anyway?

The hurricane that now threatens the East coast could impact next week’s Eastern Conference playoff opener, as No. 4 meets No. 5 in a one-game elimination.

It’s early, of course, and there are lots of moving parts. It could be that next week’s playoff opener lands in Houston or Chicago. Or, Sandy could blow through the East Coast by Tuesday, leaving things a tad soggy but otherwise unbent.

Or …

The rain that accompanies this big system could still be falling on New York or Washington, D.C., about the time the Eastern Conference’s first playoff contest is kicking off Wednesday. And that would be unfortunate, obviously.

Matches in three different cities this weekend will help untangle the Eastern playoff order, which remains in big flux. The big match is in Chicago, where D.C. United and Chicago will both be desperate for the points that will solidify their post-season positioning.

Saturday’s schedule, including all three matches that affect the East positioning:

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