playoff permutations

MLS Playoffs: NYCFC Permutations

There are 5 ways that NYCFC can lock up a first-round playoff bye and a second place finish in the Eastern Conference this weekend. Let's unpack them all, shall we?

NYCFC Finish Second with a win

Ok, let's make it crystal clear: With a win against Columbus at Citi Field on Decision Day, NYCFC have earned themselves that playoff bye. 

This is, obviously, the easiest way that NYCFC can lock up that coveted second-placed finish, now that a runaway Toronto FC have long since clinched the Supporters' Shield.

NYCFC still control their own destiny thanks to the work they've put into picking up tough points and battling through injuries, international absences, and a competitive Eastern Conference schedule. 

However, if City only manage a point this weekend, they can still get by with a little help from their friends...

NYCFC can DRAW and finish second if...

...Atlanta loses to Toronto FC and Chicago draws against Houston

OR

...Atlanta draws against Toronto FC and Chicago loses to Houston

OR

...Atlanta and Chicago both draw.

OR

...Atlanta and Chicago both lose.

NYCFC can finish third if...

...they draw against Columbus, Atlanta loses to Toronto FC, and Chicago beats Houston. 

OR

...they draw against Columbus, Atlanta draws against Toronto FC, and Chicago beats Houston.

OR

...they draw against Columbus, Atlanta beats Toronto FC, and Chicago draws against Houston.

OR

...they draw against Columbus, Atlanta beats Toronto FC, and Chicago loses to Houston

OR

...they lose to Columbus, Atlanta loses to Toronto FC, and Chicago loses to Houston

OR

...they lose to Columbus, Atlanta draws against Toronto FC, and Chicago loses to Houston.

NYCFC can finish fourth if...

...they draw against Columbus, Atlanta beats Toronto FC, and Chicago beats Houston

OR

...they lose to Columbus, Atlanta loses to Toronto FC, and Chicago beats Houston

OR

...they lose to Columbus, Atlanta draws against Toronto FC, and Chicago draws against Houston

OR

...they lose to Columbus, Atlanta loses to Toronto FC, and Chicago draws Houston

OR

...they lose to Columbus, Atlanta draws against Toronto FC, and Chicago beats Houston

OR

...they lose to Columbus, Atlanta beats Toronto FC, and Chicago loses to Houston.

NYCFC can finish fifth if...

...they lose to Columbus, Atlanta beats Toronto FC, and Chicago beats Houston

OR

they lose to Columbus, Atlanta beats Toronto FC, and Chicago draws against Houston.

It would be an understatement to say that there are a lot of ways this season can end on Decision Day, but NYCFC has plenty of options if they want to finish second and grab hold of that bye week. 

If things don't work out that way and NYCFC finish in third place, we're in for the first-every playoff edition of the Hudson River Derby. 

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