MLS Decision Day: What’s on the line for season’s final day?

MLS Decision Day
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Major League Soccer finishes its regular season Sunday, eight months and 10 days since it started up only to be interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Eighteen of 20 playoffs places are settled, but the Supporters’ Shield, Golden Boot, and each conference’s No. 1 seed are not.

What’s settled

All eight playoff places have been clinched in the West while 8-of-10 playoff spots have been clinched in the East.

East: Philadelphia, Toronto, Orlando City, Columbus, NYCFC, New England, New York Red Bulls, Nashville SC

West: Sporting KC, Portland, Seattle, Dallas, Minnesota, LAFC, Colorado, San Jose

Battle for two remaining Eastern Conference playoff spots

Five teams are alive for the ninth and 10th places in the East, with Montreal and Chicago controlling their fates with 23 points each. Atlanta United has 22, while Inter Miami and DC United have 21 a piece. DC hosts Montreal in the only match involving two teams from the race.

Top of the conferences, league up for grabs

Supporters’ Shield and Eastern No. 1 seed: Philadelphia and Toronto enter Sunday as the only clubs capable of winning the Supporters’ Shield. Philly holds the tiebreaker heading into its home match versus New England, while Toronto is in New Jersey to meet the Red Bulls.

Western No. 1 seed: The West is being decided on points-per-game thanks to Colorado’s many COVID-related cancelations. Sporting KC controls its own destiny with 1.8 points-per-game, while Cascadian rivals Portland (1.73) and Seattle (1.71) are in the mix.

MLS Decision Day
Lalas Abubakar #6 of Colorado Rapids (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Golden Boot

There could’ve been more drama here had Robert Beric’s late midweek winner held up but right now the Chicago Fire man is joined in second place on the goal list by Seattle’s Raul Ruidiaz and Columbus’ Gyasi Zardes. LAFC’s Diego Rossi leads the way with 14 goals.

MLS Decision Day schedule

3:30 pm ET Sunday

Orlando City v Nashville SC
Chicago Fire v NYCFC
New York Red Bulls v Toronto FC
Inter Miami v FC Cincinnati
DC United v Montreal Impact
Columbus Crew v Atlanta United
Philadelphia Union v New England Revolution

6:30 pm ET Sunday

Houston Dynamo v Colorado Rapids
Seattle Sounders v San Jose Earthquakes
Real Salt Lake v Sporting KC
Vancouver Whitecaps v LA Galaxy
LAFC v Portland Timbers
Minnesota United v FC Dallas