The 2010 MLS Playoff Field is set

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After 30 weeks of action, the MLS Playoff Field is now set as eight teams vie to lift the 2010 MLS Cup title next month in Toronto.

The Western Conference has dominated league play all season and will send six teams to the playoffs, with the Los Angeles Galaxy holding the distinction as top seed in the West. The New York Red Bulls have made the transformation from cellar dweller to conference champion and will be the top seed in the East.

Here are the first-round MLS Playoff match-ups:


1. New York Red Bulls vs. 4. San Jose Earthquakes

2. Columbus Crew vs. 3. Colorado Rapids


1. Los Angeles Galaxy vs. 4. Seattle Sounders

2. Real Salt Lake vs. 3. FC Dallas


Here is a rundown of the full first-round playoff schedule and TV listings:

2010 MLS Playoff First Round Schedule


9pm- ESPN2- Columbus Crew at Colorado Rapids


5pm or 5:30pm- Fox Soccer Channel- Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas

10pm- Telefutura- New York Red Bulls at San Jose Earthquakes


8pm- ESPN2- Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders


8pm- ESPN2- San Jose Earthquakes at New York Red Bulls


4pm- Telefutura- Colorado Rapids at Columbus Crew

10pm- Fox Soccer Channel- FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake


9pm- ESPN2- Seattle Sounders at Los Angeles Galaxy


What do you think of the match-ups? Which series are you most interested in watching? Which series not involving your favorite team will you be looking forward to the most?

Share your thoughts below.

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52 Responses to The 2010 MLS Playoff Field is set

  1. Alex G says:

    Get some sleep Ives, lol, too damn late.

    (SBI-It’s actually morning in Paris, where I am, so I’m wide awake.)

  2. three11stu says:

    The RSL Dallas series will be interesting. RSL has not won in Dallas ever, and Dallas has not beaten RSL at Rio Tinto. Important to get a result early on.
    I will be following the LA Sounders match up. Hoping for the Sounders to win, so that the Final will be at Rio Tinto this year.

    Looking forward to an RSL vs. NY final. Last year, we took out the LA Stars. We will do the same to the New York DP’s this year.

  3. Neruda says:

    Only two eastern teams. Sad but expect Phili to be strong next year and Columbus to decline.

  4. usa soccerboy says:

    Obviously the matchups are not fair. NY and RSL have the two best records but have more difficult opponents than NY and CC.

    I expect the higher seed to win in each matchup. LA probably has the hardest task.

  5. acj says:

    Just bought tickets and booked my airfare down to LA. The Seattle front office must be salivating over that match. I hope we sell out Qwest.

    From a tactical perspective I think we match up a little better against LA than RSL, but it’s a pick your poison sort of situation. It’ll be intersting to see how Beckham handles defending against the sounders speed on the outside.

  6. patrick says:

    why even call them conference playoffs when there are 6 western teams and 2 eastern teams? I think the best 8 teams should get in, but calling them eastern and western is just a joke. Take a page from hockey and call them the Hunt and Anschultz playoff divisions or something

  7. Scott A says:

    Absolutely agree that the current set-up is wacky, but one mitigating factor is that the teams on the weaker side of the bracket have to do East-West travel unlike the other side.

  8. Jtd says:

    Great idea! +1

  9. Joe in Indianapolis says:

    I’m really starting to like MLS, but I wish I didn’t hate the playoff format so much. When will the league get this right? Probably never.

  10. Bobby says:

    New York’s matchup is definitely easier. Colorado is better than San Jose. And playing at Buck Shaw is easier than playing in Denver.

  11. Peter says:

    Sounders beat LA, RSL beats Dallas.
    NY beats SJ, Crew beat Colorado.

    RSL beats Sounders.
    NY beats Colorado.

    NY beats RSL on penalty kicks.

  12. Peter says:

    Sorry, *Colorado beat Crew, not Crew beat Colorado.

  13. socmin says:

    I absolutely love the playoff system and the conferences. I will be following each matchup, as I don’t see an uninteresting game. This looks to be the best playoff tournament I’ve ever seen. These eight teams are, ar and away, the most deserving out of another great MLS season.

  14. Mike says:

    Regardless of the match ups, it seems like RBNY is being penalized for being the top team in the east and having to travel cross country. Add my name to the list of people who’d like to see the playoff/division/whatever you want to call it format changed to the top 8.

  15. lassidawg says:

    I will be suprised if it is a sell out (Seattle/LA), just because of the time.

    If it was any other day or time they would be able to get 40K in there, asuming they would have opened more seats.

    Should be a great couple of games, too bad those of us with kids won’t be there. I love soccer, but my 6 year old comes first.

  16. Steve says:

    What’s wrong with the time? It’s a Sunday game at 6pm.

  17. agnigrin says:

    Ives, Can you get around with all the transpo strikes and stuff in Paris?

  18. Dominick says:

    I hope FC Dallas and Colorado (the sick men of MLS attendances) can come through on some decent crowds–hope their respective front offices do some good PR. Not a sarcastic comment, just a hope for the overall health of the league.

  19. Dougs says:

    Ha-llo-ween. Kids will be trick or treating and a significant part of settles fan base are parents with young kids.

  20. agnigrin says:

    Yeah…go Trick or Treating with junior at 4PM and then go to the game in costume like everybody else…

  21. joel says:

    doesnt make sense

  22. dan says:

    love the playoffs, but don’t like how they seed teams…. how about conference winners are 1 & 2 seed, then best records 3-8. Games are 1v8, 2v7, etc. Call them anything else but conference tournaments!

  23. GSScasual says:


  24. lassidawg says:

    Game starts at 5, 6 might have even been doable. I don’t know too many that start before 5pm, and there are other activities we do with our kids. I think the Sounders played at least 2 Sunday games that started at 7 or 8, would have been nice if the start time could have been later.

    It isn’t that big of a deal me and the 4 guys I go with will be back next year, it really sucks to have to miss a game. I get that Seattle looks the best for TV and will still have the largest crown for the playoffs, but there will be empty seats. Too many fans with kids that won’t be able to go.

  25. Lorenzo says:

    Teams always bounce back.
    Crew, Galaxy, RSL, NJRB, FCDallas are all teams that went from zero to hero in recent time.

    Recent playoff teams like
    Chivas, Chicago, DCU, NE, Houston, and KC missed the playoffs but with all the mechanisms MLS has to help struggling teams (and punish better teams) they can look forward to next year.

  26. cc says:

    Of all the cities I’ve lived in, Seattle seems to really get into Halloween… But maybe it’s just because I spent my 20s there…

  27. giaco says:

    I find this to be logical, and your conclusion reasonable. The only suspect call, to me, is the LA/SEA game. That one really is a coin-flip–but ultimately I agree with your call as SEA has just been flat out playing better ball.

    I would also rather see the trophy in the middle of the desert (Sandy) than in New Jersey’s hands though.

  28. Bryan says:

    Don’t expect anyone to be at the game in Dallas. The Rangers are playing their first home World Series game that day.

  29. Alexandria says:

    Omg you guys complain so much, change the name, its the same thing, 1v7, 2v8, doesn’t matter you still have to come to play. Would Seattle rather play LA now in a two game series or a one off at HDC? Its win or go home love the playoffs, lets go.

  30. Second City says:

    I guess there’s no point in watching the playoffs now since it’s been decided.

  31. Rory says:

    Beckham will be playing “heads up” defense.

    That’s where he’ll be shouting “heads up!” to his defense every time the Sounders wingers blow past him!

    But seriously, go Rapids!

  32. Vince Clortho says:

    I think that MLS will get the seeding down in the future. I’m glad that the pairings were only decided on the last week, love the playoff intensity (even though 1st legs can be tentative affairs). My first round preds:

    SEA over LA
    RSL over DAL
    NY over SJ
    COL over CLB

  33. Rory says:

    There’s no perfect solution. The old system (modeled after every other US league) would have left Colorado and San Jose out of the playoffs in favor of Kansas City and Chicago. Chicago won 9, lost 12, and tied 9 for goodnessakes! (whereas Colorado won 12, lost 8 and tied 10).

    This is a step in the right direction. I think the addition of more and more expansion teams have really helped this league. We’re now at 8 of 16 teams making the playoffs. It used to be 8 of 12 teams and that was a joke.

  34. Rory says:

    Damn straight!

  35. Rory says:

    Really? Most cities have declared that trick-or-treating will be done on Sat night, not Sunday night. Or is that just a bible belt thing?

  36. Rory says:

    Excuse me? Have you checked San Jose’s attendance lately?

  37. Marco says:

    Could anyone tell the difference?

  38. JJ says:

    I’m glad I don’t live in a city where baseball trumps soccer.

    BEAT LA!!!!!!

  39. sciroccer says:

    three11stu- I agree 100%.I think Dallas is the only threat to RSL. A NYDP/RSL Final would be the best.–here’s my predictions-

    RSL over Dallas- Seattle over LA- Crapids over Crew, NY over Quakes.

    Then RSL over Seattle- and NY over Crapids.

    Final- RSL over NYDP’s.

  40. sciroccer says:


  41. sciroccer says:

    Perfect names for playoff conferences. Come on MLS your only hurting your own crediblity. Single table, top eight in.

  42. DCLee says:

    8 of 10 teams for the 1st 2 years of the league. It was like season #2 minus 2 teams but now it is really getting fun and next year less than 50% will make it which is really cool.

  43. Fred Garvin says:


  44. swift says:

    I agree with the eight teams. What I don’t agree with is SJ and NY playing 4 days after the first match and across the country. Yet LA and SEA have a full week off between games and there flight is 3 hours. WHo made this schedlue?

  45. wally says:

    Ives – Tracking down CD9 in France??

  46. Alex G says:

    Sometimes I forget that you are a very well traveled man.


  47. C2 says:

    looks like a DP will finally hold up the trophy, barring any complete deboccles. this is what the league wants, right?

  48. Dominick says:

    @ Rory: San Jose averaged 9,659…in a stadium that holds 10,300. Or 94% capacity. I’m not worried about them drawing when they move to a new stadium–or KC. Apologies, I’m having trouble with typepad–in responding.

  49. The Dude says:

    I think Henry does an impression of Frampton Comes Alive in the playoffs. NYRBs cruise to the title.

  50. TBE says:

    It’s OK. You’re allowed to miss matches and have a life outside of soccer. Even as a “supporter.”

    Why are Seattle fans so preoccupied with attendance figures?

  51. TBE says:

    I think the East will surprise (sort of) with BRNY and Columbus both winning their series. LA over Seattle, and Salt Lake beating Dallas.

    @Dude, I think we will see a more involved and effective Henry … at least I hope so.

  52. Mark says:

    NY beating RSL would be more plausible if it involved MLS ref missing Henry’s handball assist :)