Playoff Watch 9.29

FC Cincinnati earned a point against Seattle Sounders FC last night in a midweek match rescheduled from earlier in the season. It was an important point for the Orange and Blue who look to make the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history.

This weekend is chock-full of important matches that will further shape the playoff picture as FC Cincinnati look to book their ticket to the postseason.

Here is how things stand in the Eastern Conference.

CLINCHING SCENARIOS THIS WEEKEND:

FC Cincinnati clinches a berth in the 2022 playoffs if any of the following scenarios occur:

FC Cincinnati WIN on Saturday AND Inter Miami CF loss or draw at Toronto FC on Friday

OR

FC Cincinnati WIN on Saturday AND Columbus Crew loss or draw vs New York Red Bulls on Saturday

OR

FC Cincinnati WIN on Saturday AND Orlando City SC loss or draw at New York City FC on Sunday

OR

FC Cincinnati DRAW on Saturday AND:

  • Inter Miami CF loss at Toronto FC on Friday AND Charlotte FC loss or draw vs Philadelphia Union on Saturday AND Columbus Crew loss or draw vs New York Red Bulls on Saturday AND Orlando City SC loss or draw at New York City FC on Sunday

OR

FC Cincinnati DRAW on Saturday AND:

  • Inter Miami CF loss or draw at Toronto FC on Friday AND Charlotte FC loss or draw vs Philadelphia Union on Saturday AND Columbus Crew loss or draw vs New York Red Bulls on Saturday AND Orlando City SC loss at New York City FC on Sunday
Teams in the hunt (standings as of Sept. 28)
Teams in the hunt (standings as of Sept. 28)
Position
Team
Points
Games Played
Record (W-L-D)
Remaining Games
Max. points possible
3rd
x - New York Red Bulls
50
32
14-10-8
at CLB, vs CLT
56
4th
New York City FC
49
32
14-11-7
vs ORL, at ATL
55
5th
FC Cincinnati
46
32
11-8-13
vs CHI, at DC
52
6th
Orlando City SC
45
31
13-12-6
at NYCFC, at MIA, vs CLB
54
7th
Inter Miami CF
42
31
12-13-6
at TOR, vs ORL, vs MTL
51
8th
Columbus Crew
42
31
9-7-15
vs NYRB, at CLT, at ORL
51
9th
Atlanta United
40
32
10-12-10
at NE, vs NYCFC
46
10th
Charlotte FC
38
31
12-17-2
vs PHI, vs CLB, at NYRB
47
11th
New England Revolution
38
32
9-12-11
vs ATL, at CHI
44

Top seven teams in standings qualify for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs (Top four teams host a Round One game)

FC Cincinnati now sit fifth in the table on 46 points with two matches to play. The Orange and Blue can earn a maximum of 52 points with wins over Chicago, this weekend in the home finale on Oct. 1, and at DC United, on Decision Day, Oct. 9.

FC Cincinnati are still in the running for a top-four finish but would need New York City FC or New York Red Bulls to stumble in their final two games. Three points for the Pigeons in one of their two remaining games and two points from Red Bulls would eliminate the Orange and Blue from top-four contention.

BIG GAMES THIS WEEKEND

While the biggest game of the weekend is undoubtedly at TQL Stadium on Saturday, anyone who is table-watching will want to pay close attention to a few key matchups.

FC Cincinnati vs Chicago Fire FC – Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET
FC Cincinnati will play its final regular season match at TQL Stadium on Saturday night against Chicago Fire FC. Not only is it fan appreciation night, with tons of great activities for fans to close out the home season, it's a critical match for FC Cincy. Two games remain, and both are against Eastern Conference teams who are eliminated from postseason contention. FCC beat Chicago at Soldier Field back in May, a 2-1 win capped off by a Luciano Acosta solo goal in the 85' to win.

It's a huge match at TQL Stadium, and you won't want to miss it.

Toronto FC vs Inter Miami CF – Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Inter Miami, currently occupying the final MLS Cup Playoffs position, travels north of the border to take on Toronto FC, who were eliminated from playoff contention after a loss in Orlando on Sept. 17.

Dropped points for Miami in this one would be massive for the Orange and Blue as FC Cincinnati continues to fight for breathing room above the playoff line. Miami are currently four points behind FC Cincinnati, and a win would take them level with Orlando City on 45 points, just one behind Cincy. Miami defeated Toronto 2-1 in South Florida back in August.

Columbus Crew vs New York Red Bulls – Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Tied with Miami on points, Columbus welcomes third-place New York to Lower.com field on Saturday night. Red Bulls clinched their spot in the postseason in mid-September, but still need points to secure a home playoff game.

Columbus sits outside the playoff spots at the moment, but only on tiebreakers. A loss or draw for the Crew would be another big result for FC Cincinnati fans, who will be tuned into the action just down I-71 at the same time.