Decision Day! That, anyway, is how Major League Soccer chose to brand their final day of the season. In a move reminiscent of the Premier League, every match on Sunday kicked off simultaneously within each conference. And indeed there was still much to be decided heading into the final regular season matches including the Supporters Shield, four playoff spots, and the league’s Golden Boot. As always, we’re here to get you caught up on everything you need to know. Here are the five most interesting things to happen in MLS this week:
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The New York Red Bulls are your 2015 MLS Supporters Shield winners as the club eked out a narrow 2-1 win on the last day over the Chicago Fire to win the trophy for the second time in three years. It was quite an amazing feat considering the crazy offseason the club endured, firing their coach, losing two club legends, and having their supporters up-in-arms over it all. Somehow Jesse Marsch pulled the team together and turned them into the best club in the league this season. Now, the real challenge begins as the Red Bulls faithful won't be content until they win their first ever MLS Cup.
With their 3-1 win on the final day of the season against NYCFC, the New England Revolution became the last team in the East to wrap up a playoff spot. They eliminated expansion side Orlando City SC, who made a valiant run at the postseason in their first season in the league. Even though New England were the last team to clinch a spot, they were able to leapfrog over Toronto FC in the final standings to finish fifth in the East.
Sebastian Giovinco's sensational MLS season culminated on Sunday with the “Atomic Ant” winning the league's Golden Boot award for the most goals this year. The Italian international actually finished level on goals with Columbus' Kei Kamara, but Giovinco's assist tally put him ahead in the tiebreaker—the league MVP favorite had a league-leading 15 helpers, while Kamara had eight.
Entering the final day in the Western Conference, four teams were still competing with each other to clinch three playoff spots. The San Jose Earthquakes however were the unlucky club that will miss out on the postseason this year as they fell to FC Dallas. That ensured that the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, and Sporting Kansas City will be playoff bound.
After a wild Decision Day, we’re in store for some mouthwatering matchups in the play-in round of the MLS Playoffs. The LA Galaxy lost yet again to slip to the fifth seed in the East. They will be forced to travel to Seattle for a one-game playoff with their rival the Sounders in what will surely be the main attraction of the round.
The other matchup out west will see the resurgent Portland Timbers host Sporting Kansas City who were lucky to make the playoff with their deteriorating form. Darlington Nagbe and Fanendo Adi are heating up at just the right time for Portland so it could be a tough task for Peter Vermes’ squad.
Dallas and Vancouver both clinched first round byes.
In the East things weren’t so dramatic, but we still ended up with two interesting matchups. Didier Drogba scored twice to beat Toronto FC and to give Montreal home field advantage when the two teams will play again in the first round of the playoffs.
D.C. United will host the Revolution in other first round tie, in what promises to be a high scoring match with two teams who have trouble defending.
The Red Bulls and the Columbus Crew got the byes in the East.
Wednesday, October 28th
D.C. United vs. New England Revolution
Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy
Thursday, October 29th
Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC
Portland Timbers vs. Sporting KC