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2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs: The full line-up

FC Cincinnati, Orlando City, Minnesota United and Real Salt Lake clinched the final four 2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoff spots on Decision Day

Roddy Cons
FC Cincinnati, Orlando City, Minnesota United and Real Salt Lake clinched the final four 2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoff spots on Decision Day
Ira L. Black - CorbisGetty

There was some late drama on MLS Decision Day, with a VAR call ultimately deciding one of the MLS Cup Playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

With two Playoff places still up for grabs heading into the final day of the regular season, here’s how things went down.

Orlando City qualify for 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs thanks to VAR

Eastern Conference

Philadelphia Union (Conference winners), CF Montreal, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls and Inter Miami had already qualified for the Playoffs and were joined by FC Cincinnati and Orlando City.

The Orange and Blue’s place in the top seven was in little doubt from early on, as two goals in the first 10 minutes saw them romp to a 5-2 victory at DC United, which enabled them to leapfrog Inter Miami into fifth spot. Phil Neville’s team were defeated by Montreal and dropped down to sixth.

But the real drama came at the Exploria Stadium in the straight shoot-out for the final Playoff spot between Orlando City and Colombus Crew. VAR awarded the hosts an 84th-minute penalty for a handball inside the area and Facundo Torres converted to allow the Lions to sneak into the top seven at the Crew’s expense.

Real Salt Lake and Minnesota United overtake Portland Timbers to quality for 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs

Western Conference

Los Angeles FC (Conference winners), Austin FC, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy and Nashville were already assured of Playoff participation. The final two spots were decided in two head-to-head battles between the other four contenders.

Minnesota United started the day outside of the top seven but ended up sixth thanks to a 2-0 home victory over Vancouver Whitecaps, who would have qualified had they won the game.

Portland Timbers were the big losers, with the 3-1 defeat suffered at Real Salt Lake seeing them drop out of the reckoning at RSL’s expense. The Timbers were in possession of a Playoff berth before the match but were soundly beaten in Utah, the solitary goal scored by Dairon Asprilla no more than a late consolation after they had fallen 3-0 behind.

2022 Audi MLS Cup first round schedule

The 2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs first round matchups are as follows:

Eastern Conference

New York Red Bulls vs FC Cincinnati

New York City FC vs Inter Miami

Montreal vs Orlando City

Philadelphia Union, as winners of the Eastern Conference, will face the victors of the New York Red Bulls vs FC Cincinnati tie in the semi-finals.

Western Conference

LA Galaxy vs Nashville

FC Dallas vs Minnesota United

Austin FC vs Real Salt Lake

The winners of the LA Galaxy vs Nashville clash will take on Western Conference table-toppers Los Angeles FC in the semi-finals.

The 2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs first round will take place between 15 and 17 October. The semi-finals follow on October 20 and 23, with the Conference finals scheduled for October 30.

The winners of the two Conference finals will then meet on 5 November to decide the MLS Cup champions for 2022.