New York Red Bulls 2014 Playoff Chances
The New York Red Bulls are in a dogfight as they close out the 2014 MLS regular season. Presently (9/29/14) sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, the Red Bulls are two points behind the Columbus Crew for the 4th spot. Not only that, but the Toronto FC are lurking in sixth place, just one point behind the Red Bulls and a playoff bid.
It is crucial for the New York Red Bulls to try and jump the Crew, and 3rd place Sporting Kansas City to avoid the potential one game knockout playoff that takes place between the fourth and fifth seeded teams in the Conference. The MLS playoffs have the first three teams have “byes” into the conference semifinals, while #4 duels #5 in a one-game knockout. The semifinals are determined by a two-game, aggregate score. So if the Red Bulls can avoid that knockout game, they’ll have a much better chance to do some damage in the playoffs.
After a 4 – 0 loss to the LA Galaxy on Sunday, the rest of the Red Bulls schedule has become much more interesting. This week, New York will return to Red Bulls Arena for three straight home games against the Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC, and the Columbus Crew. Houston currently has 36 points this year that puts them above only five other MLS teams and they have a -15 goal differential. This means that the Red Bulls should get a victory on October 4th but a stumble in this match will be a huge blow to the New York Red Bulls playoff chances. The Toronto FC match will be huge for the Red Bulls. Toronto sits at 40 points, just one behind New York, making this game almost a must win if the Red Bulls want to make the postseason. Not last week it looked as if Toronto was fading and that the Red Bulls would have a good chance at making it to 3rd place in the Eastern Conference. Now the two teams are neck and neck and the importance of this game has turned into a do or die for a playoff berth.
The Sunday, October 19th matchup with the Crew is a big one as this is a potential knockout game for the Eastern Conference. For fans looking to attend, the median ticket price is a very affordable $32. A win for the Red Bulls would probably cement at least home field advantage for the knockout game if the two ultimately meet there.
The season will end for New York on Sunday, October 26th when they face the Seattle Sounders. This is the most expensive game remaining this year for the Red Bulls with a $49 median ticket price. This game is growing in importance as the race for the final two playoff spots is heating up.
Below is the full remaining MLS schedule for the New York Red Bulls:
Saturday, October 4th @ 6:00 PM EST | vs. Houston Dynamo
Saturday, October 11th @ 7:00 PM EST | vs. Toronto FC
Sunday, October 19th @ 3:00 PM EST | vs. Columbus Crew
Sunday, October 26th @ 8:30 PM EST | @ Sporting KC