New England Revolution at head of field

The Big league Soccer playoffs begin with 2 video games Saturday. The preliminary resumes with 2 video games Sunday and 2 more on Tuesday.

Here is how the 14 groups that got approved for the playoffs accumulate going into the mission to reach MLS Cup:

1. New England Transformation: Congrats, Transformation, you have actually won the very first prize in group history, making the Fans’ Guard for having the league’s finest record. Now, can you conquer history? In the last 20 seasons, just 4 Fans’ Guard winners went on to win MLS Cup (Toronto FC in 2017, LA Galaxy in 2002 and 2011, and Columbus Team in 2008). Excellent news? Revs coach Bruce Arena was at the helm of that 2011 Galaxy group. (Playoffs Round 1: Bye to conference semifinals)

New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil holds up the 2021 Supporters' Shield, which the team won by having the best regular-season record.

New England Transformation midfielder Carles Gil holds up the 2021 Fans’ Guard, which the group won by having the very best regular-season record.

MLS CUP PLAYOFFS 2021: Total schedule with television and streaming details

2. Seattle Sounders: Regardless of a less-than-impressive surface to the routine season, the Sounders are the most playoff-tested group in the league. Having actually reached 4 of the last 5 MLS Cups – winning 2 – the Sounders will be a preferred to make another perform at a champion. (Playoffs Round 1: vs. Genuine Salt Lake, Tuesday)

3. Colorado Rapids: The unexpected Rapids handled to win the Western Conference regardless of having the league’s most affordable payroll (in reality, the four-lowest payroll groups made the playoffs, a group that likewise consists of the Vancouver Whitecaps, Philadelphia Union and New York City Red Bulls). Regardless of owning the conference’s No. 1 seed, anticipate the Rapids to accept an underdog function for the playoffs. (Playoffs Round 1: Bye to conference semifinals)

4. Nashville SC: Nashville is simply the 4th growth group considering that 2010 to reach the playoffs in its very first 2 seasons, an achievement likewise accomplished by the Seattle Sounders, Atlanta United and LAFC. Now, Nashville will aim to sign up with Atlanta as groups to win MLS Cup in their 2nd season. Including a stout defense led by USMNT gamer Walker Zimmerman, and an “M-L-S” assaulting trio including MVP prospect Hany Mukhtar, Randall Leal and CJ Sapong, this group appears like a strong prospect to make a deep playoff run. (Playoffs Round 1: vs. Orlando City SC, Tuesday)

Nashville SC's Hany Mukhtar finished the season with 16 goals and 12 assists, ranking among the league leaders in both categories.

Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar completed the season with 16 objectives and 12 helps, ranking amongst the league leaders in both classifications.

5. Portland Timbers: Portland goes into the playoffs having actually won 3 straight video games and protecting a sought after house championship game. Can Diego Valeri, a club legend and among the league’s greatest-ever gamers, assistance trigger another perform at MLS Cup magnificence? (Playoffs Round 1: vs. Minnesota United, Sunday)

6. Sporting Kansas City: In the race for the Western Conference title all season long, SKC stumbled at the surface – losing its last 3 video games – and mishandled a chance to declare a leading playoff seed. The worldwide break ought to serve this group well to forget the regular-season surface and recalibrate for the postseason. (Playoffs Round 1: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, Saturday)

7. Philadelphia Union: In 2015’s Fans’ Guard winners handled to complete 2nd in the Eastern Conference regardless of the offseason losses of Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie. Coach Jim Curtin and sporting director Ernst Tanner have actually developed a constant winner in Philly behind clever costs and among the league’s premier youth academies. What this group requires now is a deep playoff run. (Playoffs Round 1: vs. New york city Red Bulls, Saturday)

8. Atlanta United: Including Josef Martinez – among the league’s most respected goal-scorers considering that he got in the league in 2017 – and newbie Luiz Araújo – who entered his own late in the routine season – Atlanta will be a difficult draw for any prospective Eastern Conference playoff challenger. (Playoffs Round 1: at New York City City FC, Sunday)

Atlanta United's Josef Martinez has scored five goals in nine career MLS playoff games.

Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez has actually scored 5 objectives in 9 profession MLS championship game.

9. New York City City FC: NYCFC remains in the playoffs for a 6th successive season. Nevertheless, that on-field success has actually not equated to the playoffs, having never ever reached the conference last. (Playoffs Round 1: vs. Atlanta United, Sunday)

10. Minnesota United: A Western Conference finalist last season, the Loons needed some late Decision Day shenanigans to even make the playoffs. Now, they get a brutal opening-round assignment, a road game in front of the boisterous Timbers Army. (Playoffs Round 1: at Portland Timbers, Sunday)

11. Vancouver Whitecaps: Not afraid to provide bulletin board material for the Whitecaps’ first-round playoff opponent, interim coach Vanni Sartini boldly stated “we’ll beat Sporting Kansas City.” (Playoffs Round 1: at Sporting KC, Saturday)

12. New York Red Bulls: While the Seattle Sounders have reached the playoffs a record 13 consecutive seasons, RBNY has actually done so in 12 straight years. Big difference? Seattle has reached four MLS Cups and won two. During its streak, RBNY has never ever gotten past the Eastern Conference last. Don’t expect that to happen this year, either. (Playoffs Round 1: at Philadelphia Union, Saturday)

13. Orlando City SC: This team has been an enigma all season. Orlando required a win at Montreal on Choice Day to squeak into the postseason field. Now, Orlando will need big performances by players such as Nani and Daryl Dike to make any sort of playoff run. (Playoffs Round 1: at Nashville SC, Tuesday)

14. Real Salt Lake: RSL made the playoff field with a dramatic late-video game goal in a Decision Day win over Sporting Kansas City. Their reward: A first-round matchup against a Sounders group with sufficient postseason experience. (Playoffs Round 1: at Seattle Sounders, Tuesday)

This short article initially appeared on U.S.A. TODAY: MLS playoffs: Ranking the 14 groups ahead of mission for MLS Cup

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.