It is missing around ten games to the regular season-ending for most of the teams from the MLS, and right now, we can already see the objective for most of them.
While some franchises are getting close to the playoffs or the conference first place, others see by far the seventh and last place to go to the MLS playoffs.
Since 2015, when Major League Soccer started to have 34 matches at least with 10 teams in each conference, we can draw an average with how many points a team needs to have its spot at the playoffs.
From the Eastern Conference, a franchise with 46 points has never stayed away from the playoffs with 46 points. It happened in 2018 when Montréal had this number and got seventh place. The lowest score was from Portland Timbers, in 2016, with 44.
This year, New England already has 55 points in 25 games and has 14 points ahead of Nashville, with 41 in 25 matches. While the Revolution has enough punctuation for the playoffs and is very close to the conference first place, Nashville will probably get the home field advantage in the first playoffs game since they have nine points more than the fifth-placed Philadelphia Union, with 32.
Orlando City is also closed from the MLS playoffs, with 38 points, while Atlanta United, at the eighth place, has 30 in the same 23 games. The other laces are still open.
On the other way, the number of points increases just a little bit. In 2018 and 19, two teams needed 48 to be clinched for the playoffs. Los Angeles Galaxy and Dallas, respectively, made 48 points and played the playoffs after it. New England Revolution made the lowest score, with 42 points in 2016.
At this season, the Western Conference is even tightest. Only three points separate the first places: Seattle Sounders, with 45, Sporting Kansas City, with 43, and Colorado Rapids, with 42. The difference can reduce even more since Rapids has one game less than the first place and two games from the second.
If we consider the magic number of 48, the teams are around two, or maybe one wins from the playoffs spot. But they will probably run for first place until the end of the regular season. It looks like that the LA Galaxy, with 37 points, will get fourth place and the home field advantage.
Take a look below at the points from the seventh-placed from their conferences in the last five seasons. The year 2020 doesn’t appear in the list because it had since 18 to 23 games.
- 2019: 7º New England – 45 points
- 2018: 7º Montréal – 46 points
- 2017: 7º New England – 45 points
- 2016: 7º New England – 42 points
- 2015: 7º Orlando – 44 points
- 2019: 7º Dallas – 48 points
- 2018: 7º LA Galaxy – 48 points
- 2017: 7º Dallas – 46 points
- 2016: 7º Portland – 44 points
- 2015: 7º San Jose – 47 points