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Clearing up the Playoff Picture

Playoff Pic

Decision Day is upon us once again! With the Loons sitting in seventh place right now, there is everything to play for on the final day of the season. Portland, Minnesota, Real Salt Lake, and Vancouver will all be fighting for the final two playoff spots. Conveniently, all four teams will be playing against one another, with RSL taking on the Timbers and the Whitecaps coming to the Twin Cities. If everything falls their way, the Loons could finish as high as fourth. Likewise, they could see themselves fall as low as ninth. Before the madness unfolds, let’s make sure that everyone understands the implications of whatever results may unfold on this all-important matchday. 

Results needed to host a playoff game:

  • Win against Vancouver
  • AND LA Galaxy loss/draw against Houston
  • AND Nashville loss/draw against LAFC
  • AND Portland loss/draw against RSL

To secure fourth place in the conference, MNUFC needs a win this weekend. If they secure that win, they will end the season with 48 points. In isolation, this lifts them above the Galaxy, Nashville, and Portland, putting them in fourth position and enabling Minnesota United to host a playoff game. However, both Nashville and LA are on 47 points after 33 games, meaning that with draws they would equal MNUFC’s point total. The Loons would win the tiebreaker with both, as they would have 14 wins on the season, more than Nashville (12) and LA (13). Finally, to secure fourth position, MNUFC will need Portland to lose or draw with RSL. 

Results needed just to get in:

  • WIN/DRAW and we’re in

Places five through seven all make the playoffs, but will play on the road. The Loons can secure one of these spots with a win or draw against Vancouver, regardless of the results elsewhere. As already mentioned, a win would put the squad at 48 points, more than enough to clinch a playoff spot. A draw would put MNUFC on 46 points, leaving the RSL and Portland game as the only other unknown factor. Regardless of their result, the Loons are guaranteed to finish ahead of one of those squads, either on points or via the tiebreaker of total wins. 

If the Loons lose on Sunday, they will be eliminated from the postseason altogether. Vancouver would move to 46 points, putting them one point ahead of Minnesota United and pushing the Loons into at least eighth place in the Western Conference. 

MNUFC’s fate is in their hands — if they earn a result, it will push them into the playoffs. This is the culmination of an entire season of hard work, highs and lows, and fantastic support from the Loons faithful. The Black and Blue will need everyone behind them to keep their season alive on Sunday, so be sure to show up and wear black for the stadium-wide blackout. Come on you Loons!

Match Info

Minnesota United FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Allianz Field | St. Paul, Minnesota

10.09.2022 | MLS Game No. 34

4:00 p.m. CT (MLS LIVE on ESPN+, Bally Sports North, The CW - Twin Cities, 1500 ESPN)