The 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs are fast approaching. There are just five weeks until the postseason action begins so teams around the league are starting to sweat over where they will finish the regular season.
Supporters’ Shield leaders FC Dallas became the first MLS side to secure a playoff berth this weekend. Their 2-2 draw at New York City wasn’t enough to guarantee it, but Sunday’s 2-2 draw between Sporting KC and LA Galaxy meant that Dallas can no longer finish outside of the top six.
The aim for Oscar Pareja’s side now is to secure a first MLS Supporters’ Shield win. They sit top of the standings with four to play, but have LA Galaxy, Colorado Rapids and Toronto FC chasing in behind.
FC Dallas finished top of the Western Conference last season but finished behind the Red Bulls in the shield standings. They ended a 19-year trophy drought with this month’s US Open Cup win and look to be heading for a first-ever Supporters’ Shield off the back of a fine season.
Their biggest threat at this stage appears to be Colorado, who sit five points behind Dallas but have two games in hand over the league leaders.
Over in the East, Toronto FC’s 3-3 draw with the New York Red Bulls meant that both sides will have to wait another week to seal a playoff berth.
Toronto only need a point to guarantee a top six finish, while the Red Bulls and New York City FC need three more.
The top six in each conference will qualify for the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs, with the top two in the East and West earning a bye through the Knockout Round.
The playoffs begin on October 26 with the Knockout Round matches taking place before the Conference Semifinals begin.