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Ticket punch: FC Dallas earns playoff spot

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Even with a draw in NYC, the playoff spot has been clinched.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup Final-New England Revolution vs FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

For two weeks, FC Dallas has been on the brink of booking a playoff spot but results against Colorado and New York City FC meant they were left having to wait for other teams results to help them out. Thanks to Sporting KC’s draw against LA yesterday afternoon (and some help from the schedule), the playoff ticket has been punched.

Toronto FC also got a playoff berth clinched this weekend with their 3-3 draw at home against New York.

The how

We all thought we would have to wait another week for FC Dallas to find themselves officially in the playoffs but the schedule works out to help FCD in this situation.

The math is a little tricky on this one as FC Dallas currently sits atop the table with 52 points. FCD could be caught by seventh place Seattle Sounders FC who can earn a maximum 53 points and sixth place Sporting KC with a maximum of 52 points, but with Real Salt Lake playing both SKC and Seattle in their last four matches, all three clubs could not mathematically catch FC Dallas.

Getting a top four spot

From here, FC Dallas is now looking to at least lock up a top four spot. Which means they’ll be guaranteed to host at least one playoff game. This one can be achieved with the following this weekend:

  • Win vs RSL or
  • Portland & SKC don't win their matches

Getting a top two spot

Skipping the knockout round should be doable too for FC Dallas. Basically it could come down to winning those two remaining home games. FC Dallas cannot clinch a top two seed this weekend, but would clinch a top two seed if they beat Los Angeles next Saturday, October 1st and win one more game this season.

Securing the number one spot

This one is going to require some help. FC Dallas can is currently able to max out on points at 64. The Colorado Rapids have games-in-hand at the moment on FCD and can max out at 65. Thankfully three of the six remaining games for Colorado are on the road where they have only picked up three wins all year. So it is doable should FCD take care of business at home and find a way to get a couple more draws on the road.

About those Champions League spots

FC Dallas has already locked up their spot in the next edition of the CONCACAF Champions League but the other clubs joining them and Toronto FC (they won this year’s Canadian Championship) from MLS could be a fun mess to figure out. The Supporters' Shield winner and best-placed team in the opposite conference with both clinch berths, but should FCD and TFC end up number one in their respective conferences it will go to both second place teams.

The tricky part could end up being if both FCD and TFC win their conferences and then meet at MLS Cup in December. US Soccer and MLS will have to get real creative on who gets a remaining spot.