The Major League Soccer playoffs are here! Sort of. Wednesday and Thursday have been reserved for the Knockout Round—the battle between teams that were good enough to be in the top 60% of the league, but not quite good enough to finish in the top two of their conference. Here’s a convenient map in case none of this makes any sense to you.
This showdown of underachievers does offer some very entertaining match-ups, as old school Eastern Conference foes (don’t say “rivals”; Reddit will be pissed) D.C. United and New England meet in the postseason, and runaway MVP Sebastian Giovinco leads Toronto FC to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history to face Didier Drogba’s 11-goals-in-11-games hot streak, also known as the Montreal Impact.
Out on the left side of the country, somehow neither the LA Galaxy nor the Seattle Sounders managed to finish atop the Western Conference, so they will meet at CenturyLink Field in Seattle for a what would be a literal death match, if fans had their way. The conference’s other game matches the Portland Timbers with Sporting Kansas City, which will have a special appearance by you scrolling through your DVR to see what other options you may have.
No mater how things shake out midweek, some big names will be sent home early before this weekend’s Conference Semifinals. The MLS Playoffs are an absolutely ridiculous way to decide who has been the best team in the league since March, but what it lacks in common sense, it more than makes up for in drama, and that’s why we’re all here anyway. Enjoy!