2018 MLS Cup Playoffs

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2018 MLS Cup Playoffs
2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Logo RGB 4C ltbg.png
CountryUnited States
Defending championsToronto FC
(did not qualify)
Matches played12
Goals scored41 (3.42 per match)
Top goal scorer(s)Croatia Damir Kreilach
Peru Raúl Ruidíaz
(3 goals each)

The 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs (branded as the 2018 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for sponsorship reasons) began on October 31 and will end on December 8 with MLS Cup 2018, the 23rd league championship match for MLS. This is the 23rd version of the MLS Cup Playoffs, the tournament culminating the Major League Soccer regular season. Twelve teams, the top six of each conference, compete in the MLS Cup Playoffs.[1]

The first round of each conference has the third-seeded team hosting the sixth seed while the fourth-seed hosts the fifth seed in a single match to determine who advances to the Conference Semifinals. In the Conference Semifinals, the top seed plays the lowest remaining seed while the second plays the next-lowest. The winners advance to the Conference Finals. Both the Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals are played as a two-legged aggregate series. The winners advance to the MLS Cup, a single match hosted by the participant with the better regular season record which will be hosted at either Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta or Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, depending on the outcome of the Eastern Conference finals.[2]

Toronto FC are the defending MLS Cup champions, but failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Qualified teams[edit]

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Conference standings[edit]

The top six teams from each conference advance to the MLS Cup playoffs.


Knockout Round  Conference Semifinals Conference Finals MLS Cup
10/31 – Bronx, New York              
E3  New York City FC  3
E3  New York City FC  0  1  1
E6  Philadelphia Union  1      
E2  Atlanta United FC  1  3  4  
Eastern Conference
11/1 – Washington, D.C. E2  Atlanta United FC      
  E1  New York Red Bulls        
E4  D.C. United  2 (2)
E5  Columbus Crew  1  0  1
E5  Columbus Crew (p)  2 (3)  
E1  New York Red Bulls  0  3  3  
10/31 – Frisco, Texas    
W4  FC Dallas  1
W5  Portland Timbers (p)  2  2  4 (4)
W5  Portland Timbers  2      
W2  Seattle Sounders FC  1  3  4 (2)  
Western Conference
11/1 – Los Angeles, California W5  Portland Timbers      
  W1  Sporting Kansas City        
W3  Los Angeles FC  2
W6  Real Salt Lake  1  2  3
W6  Real Salt Lake  3  
W1  Sporting Kansas City  1  4  5  

Knockout Round[edit]


Team 1  Score  Team 2
Eastern Conference
New York City FC (E3) 3–1 Philadelphia Union (E6)
D.C. United (E4) 2–2
(2–3 p)
Columbus Crew (E5)
Western Conference
Los Angeles FC (W3) 2–3 Real Salt Lake (W6)
FC Dallas (W4) 1–2 Portland Timbers (W5)


FC Dallas1–2Portland Timbers
Attendance: 10,297
Referee: Alan Kelly

New York City FC3–1Philadelphia Union
Attendance: 15,153
Referee: Robert Sibiga

D.C. United2–2 (a.e.t.)Columbus Crew
Attendance: 20,600
Referee: Allen Chapman

Los Angeles FC2–3Real Salt Lake

Conference Semifinals[edit]


Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Eastern Conference
Columbus Crew (E5) 1–3 New York Red Bulls (E1) 1–0 0–3
New York City FC (E3) 1–4 Atlanta United FC (E2) 0–1 1–3
Western Conference
Real Salt Lake (W6) 3–5 Sporting Kansas City (W1) 1–1 4–2
Portland Timbers (W5) 4–4
(4–2 p)
Seattle Sounders FC (W2) 2–1 2–3 (a.e.t.)


Columbus Crew1–0New York Red Bulls
Attendance: 12,892
Referee: Nima Saghafi
New York Red Bulls3–0Columbus Crew

New York Red Bulls won 3–1 on aggregate.

New York City FC0–1Atlanta United FC
Attendance: 19,198
Referee: Kevin Stott
Atlanta United FC3–1New York City FC

Atlanta United won 4–1 on aggregate.

Portland Timbers2–1Seattle Sounders FC
Attendance: 21,144
Referee: Ted Unkel
Seattle Sounders FC3–2 (a.e.t.)Portland Timbers
Tied 4–4 on aggregate. Portland Timbers won 4–2 on penalties.

Real Salt Lake1–1Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City4–2Real Salt Lake
Attendance: 19,918
Referee: José Carlos Rivero
Sporting Kansas City won 5–3 on aggregate.

Conference Finals[edit]


Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Eastern Conference
Atlanta United FC (E2) v New York Red Bulls (E1) Nov 25 Nov 29
Western Conference
Portland Timbers (W5) v Sporting Kansas City (W1) Nov 25 Nov 29


Portland TimbersvSporting Kansas City
Referee: Robert Sibiga

MLS Cup[edit]


Top goalscorers[edit]

Last updated: November 11, 2018[3]
Rank Player Club Goals
1 Croatia Damir Kreilach Real Salt Lake 3
Peru Raúl Ruidíaz Seattle Sounders
3 Argentina Sebastián Blanco Portland Timbers 2
Argentina Federico Higuaín Columbus Crew
Venezuela Josef Martínez Atlanta United
Austria Daniel Royer New York Red Bulls
Chile Diego Rubio Sporting Kansas City
Hungary Dániel Sallói Sporting Kansas City
Argentina Diego Valeri Portland Timbers


  1. ^ "Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs schedule revealed, final to be played on Dec. 8". mlssoccer.com. Major League Soccer. September 8, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  2. ^ Baer, Benjamin (November 11, 2018). "Red Bull Arena or Mercedes-Benz Stadium to host 2018 MLS Cup". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  3. ^ "Playoffs Top Scorers". Major League Soccer.