MLS Decision Day: Scores, playoff schedule and more as Vela sets scoring record and Tim Howard plays final game
The 2019 MLS playoff field is set
MLS Decision Day came and went with a crazy amount of goals and some record-shattering play. The Portland Timbers and FC Dallas earned the last two playoff spots in the Western Conference to complete the field of 14 teams, while Josef Martinez's single-season goal-scoring record was destroyed by one of the league's biggest stars.
Here's everything to know:
Atlanta United 3, New England Revolution 1
FC Dallas 6, Sporting KC 0
DC United 0, FC Cincinnati 0
Houston Dynamo 4, LA Galaxy 2
Montreal Impact 3, New York Red Bulls 0
Chicago Fire 5, Orlando City 2
NYCFC 2, Philadelphia Union 1
Portland Timbers 3, San Jose Earthquakes 1
Seattle Sounders 1, Minnesota United 0
Toronto FC 1, Columbus Crew 0
Real Salt Lake 1, Vancouver Whitecaps 0
Playoff teams, seeds
- 1. NYFC
- 2. Atlanta United
- 3. Philadelphia Union
- 4. Toronto FC
- 5. D.C. United
- 6. New York Red Bulls
- 7. New England Revolution
- 1. LAFC
- 2. Seattle Sounders
- 3. Real Salt Lake
- 4. Minnesota United
- 5. LA Galaxy
- 6. Portland Timbers
- 7. FC Dallas
Times and dates to be determined, but the opening round games will be played on either Oct. 19 or Oct. 20
Atlanta vs. New England
Philadelphia vs. New York RB
Toronto vs. D.C. United
Seattle vs. FC Dallas
Real Salt Lake vs. Portland
LA Galaxy vs. Minnesota
Carlos Vela sets MLS goal-scoring record
LAFC star Carlos Vela broke the scoring record and grabbed a hat trick in his regular season finale. He entered the day tied with Josef Martinez's record of 31 goals and ended up building his total to 34. The goal to pass the Venezuelan was a golazo from outside of the box with a ton of pace and accuracy. Take a look:
Portland gets into playoffs with clutch victory
The main game of the day was Portland-San Jose, with the winner locking up a spot in the playoffs. But it was all Portland, which put it away in the second half with a Sebastian Blanco free kick to finish as the No. 6 seed. The result gets the team back into the postseason after making it all the way to MLS Cup last year.
Here's the goal that all but booked their ticket to the postseason:
LA Galaxy backing into playoffs
The Galaxy are in absolute shambles defensively. They've conceded in 10 consecutive games, they've conceded four goals in back-to-back games and are allowing 2.5 goals per game over their last 10. They have Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristian Pavon, but their plan can't be to simply win shootouts to get to the final. It's gut-check time, and it may be time to change formations to be more defensive.
The Galaxy have allowed 10 more goals this season than any other team from the Western Conference that's in the playoffs.
Swan song for Tim Howard
U.S. Soccer legend Tim Howard played the final game of his professional career Sunday, losing 3-1 to LAFC. But it's not about the result though. Howard, who announced his plans to retire earlier this year, has been a legendary American goalkeeper. He started his career in MLS, played well in Europe and then finished out the final years of his career stateside.
Howard is a three-time MLS All-Star and considered one of the best goalkeepers to ever play in MLS.
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