New York City FC’s 3-1 loss to D.C. United on the road Sunday proved costly to the team’s playoff seeding.
The defeat, coupled with the New York Red Bulls’ 3-2 victory Sunday over the Columbus Crew, all but ensures the Red Bulls will hold the top seed in the MLS Cup Playoffs, which begin Oct. 26.
NYCFC is no lock to earn a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed, either. Toronto FC, which entered the weekend two points behind the New York teams in the standings, settled for a 2-2 draw against the Montreal Impact on Sunday. NYCFC and Toronto now are separated by just one point entering the final week of the regular season.
Fortunately for City, they control their destiny. A win at Yankee Stadium next Sunday against Columbus secures a first-round bye. If NYCFC falls or draws with the Crew, Toronto still has to win its finale against the Chicago Fire to leapfrog City. Columbus and Chicago are the ninth and 10th in the Eastern Conference, respectively.
NYCFC would win a tiebreaker with Toronto because it will finish the season with more victories.