Major League Soccer

Who has qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs? Nashville SC clinch their spot

Chris Smith
Nashville SC have enjoyed another strong season.
Nashville SC have enjoyed another strong season. / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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Nashville SC became the latest team to clinch their spots in the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs on Saturday.

Although they lost 2-1 at home to the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, results elsewhere had already gone Nashville's way, meaning they'll compete in the post-season for the third year in a row and for the first time in the Western Conference.

With one week to go, Gary Smith's side will be fully focused on trying to climb into the home Playoffs spots when they face newly-crowned Supporters' Shield winners LAFC.

Despite heading into Decision Day, Nashville only take the number of qualified teams to nine. So, who have they joined?


Who has qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs?

1. LAFC

It's been over a month since LAFC became the first team to clinch their Playoffs spot, thanks to the Colorado Rapids and Houston Dynamo drawing 1-1 after the Black and Gold had lost 2-1 to California rivals San Jose Earthquakes.

This marks a return to the post-season for LAFC after missing out in 2021. The Black and Gold are armed with arguably the most talented roster in MLS and will look to translate their form into a knockout scenario.

2. Philadelphia Union

The Philadephia Union became the second team to make the Playoffs right at the end of August, joining LAFC and becoming the first team in the East to clinch their spot.

A 4-1 home win over Atlanta United did the trick for Jim Curtin's men, who have now made the Playoffs in five successive years.

The Union are battling hard against LAFC for the Supporters' Shield, with the 2019 and 2020 winners now level on 64 points.

Philly will be a force to be reckoned with in the Playoffs.

3. CF Montreal

CF Montreal were the third team to make the MLS Cup Playoffs, doing so for just the second time in six seasons - a testament to the job being done by Wilfried Nancy.

Montreal's late comeback to draw 2-2 at home to the Columbus Crew was the deciding result. The Canadian side still maintain faint Supporters' Shield hopes.

4. New York Red Bulls

The New York Red Bulls were the third team in the Eastern Conference to book their place and they didn't even have to play in midweek to make it happen.

Incredibly, this is RBNY's 13th consecutive year in the Playoffs, though they've never won MLS Cup and have exited in the first round for three straight seasons.

5. Austin FC

Despite finishing near the foot of the Western Conference, Austin FC showed plenty of promise during their expansion year.

They've cashed in on that promise in 2022 with a 3-0 win against RSL securing their Playoffs status and all but confirming them as the second seed in the West.

6. FC Dallas

FC Dallas are back in the Playoffs after a one-year absence, vindicating a winter of spending ahead of the 2022 campaign.

The likes of Jesus Ferreira, Alan Velasco, and Paul Arriola are hitting form at just the right time, so nobody will want to face them in a knockout scenario.

7. NYCFC

It's rare you see a team defend MLS Cup but at least NYCFC will have the chance with their Playoffs spot confirmed.

That said, the Cityzens head into the post-season on terrible form and could come unstuck, despite a wealth of individual talent.

8. LA Galaxy

The LA Galaxy have finally returned to the Playoffs for the first time since Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on the books.

Incidentally, this will also be Chicharito's first post-season campaign with the club, who enter the post-season on a much-improved run of form.

They're by no means favorites, but don't rule them out.

9. Nashville SC

Despite joining in the shadow of Inter Miami, Nashville have quickly become one of the strongest outfits in Major League Soccer and are yet to miss out on the Playoffs.

This will be the first time they've battled through the Western Conference after making the Eastern Conference semi-finals last year.

With MVP frontrunner Hany Mukhtar in red-hot form, nobody will want to face Nashville.


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