Playoff Update: Week 32
It's all set
So here we are at last. It’s win or go home. The playoff field had remained fairly unsettled until the final week of the season, but got a lot clearer after results Wednesday evening, but there was still plenty to play for come Saturday.
Louisville City: 72 points.
Lou City didn’t have much to worry about in the final week, but ended up winning 2-1 over Hartford.
Memphis 901: 68 points.
They needed to win to guarantee 2nd place and did so comfortably, 3-0 in Tulsa.
Tampa Bay Rowdies: 67 points.
The Rowdies did all they could, winning 3-1 over El Paso and 1-0 over New York Red Bulls II, but the Memphis win meant they couldn’t improve their seeding.
Birmingham Legion: 58 points.
Rounding out a perfect week for the top 4 in the East, the comprehensive 3-1 win over Indy Wednesday evening meant the Legion did not have to sweat it out over the weekend to see if they would hold on to 4th place and a home playoff spot.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 57 points.
After Miami beat Detroit earlier in the day Saturday, Pitt only needed a draw against Oakland to stay in 5th place but got a 3-1 win anyway. For the 3rd time in 4 seasons they match up against Birmingham.
The Miami FC: 55 points.
Miami spoiled Detroit’s final home game of the season with the 1-0 win, leapfrogging them into 6th place.
Detroit City: 54 points.
At least 1 team in the East’s top 7 was guaranteed not to get full points this weekend, and it fell to Detroit to luck out. As a result of the loss to Miami, they get a trip to Memphis.
San Antonio 77 points.
A surprise 2-2 draw with Orange County means that San Antonio do not get a new season points record (which remains at 78 – not 77 as we incorrectly reported previously – by Phoenix Rising in 2019).
San Diego Loyal: 60 points.
The Loyal did rest a few players with nothing on the line, and so lost 0-4 in the trip to Sacramento, who did have something to lose.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks: 55 points.
The Switchbacks also had nothing to win or gain, and were visiting a highly motivated New Mexico team, who beat them 2-0.
Sacramento Republic: 53 points.
Needing just a point against San Diego to hold on to 4th place, they got that and more in the 4-0 win.
New Mexico United: 51 points.
The best week of any playoff team was clearly New Mexico’s, who broke their long winless streak with wins over LA Galaxy II (3-2) and Colorado Springs (2-0). They jumped from 8th all the way up to 5th on the back of those 6 points.
Rio Grande Valley Toros: 49 points. Max. points available: 49. Remaining game: Monterey Bay.
The 4-1 draw win over Monterey Bay meant the Toros secured a playoff spot, but they dropped to 6th after New Mexico’s strong week.
Oakland Roots: 46 points.
The luckiest team of the week were the Roots, who lost 1-3 in Pittsburgh but held on to a playoff spot anyway thanks to results elsewhere. They now join Louisville and Birmingham as the only 3 teams to make the playoffs every season of their existence (which is admittedly only 2 years in their case).
El Paso Locomotive: 46 points.
El Paso were the first team in the league to finish the regular season with the 1-3 loss in Tampa. Indy Eleven were the first team to be done for the year about a half hour later, and then El Paso joined them later in the evening as New Mexico’s win over LA pushed them out of 7th place and into the offseason.
Las Vegas Lights: 45 points. Max. points available: 47. Remaining game: @ LA Galaxy II.
A win in LA would have seen the Lights secure 7th place, but they couldn’t get it done, drawing 1-1. They stayed put in 9th place.
Monterey Bay Union: 40 points. Max. points available: 46. Remaining games: @ Tulsa, @ Rio Grande Valley.
The Union crashed out of playoff contention spectacularly, with only 2 points from their last 6 games. This week their dim playoff hopes were dashed with the 0-2 loss in Tulsa, and then they ended the season in Rio Grande with another loss, this time 1-4.
538’s USL page isn’t finished; it still has playoff predictions for every team still in it.