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The 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs (branded as the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs presented by AT&T for sponsorship reasons) was the nineteenth post-season tournament culminating the Major League Soccer regular season. The tournament began in late October and culminated on December 7, 2014 with MLS Cup 2014, the nineteenth league championship for MLS.

2014 MLS Cup Playoffs
2014 MLS Cup Playoffs Logo.png
CountryUnited States
Canada
Teams10
Defending championsSporting Kansas City
ChampionsLA Galaxy (5th title)
Runners-upNew England Revolution
Semi-finalists
Matches played15
Goals scored42 (2.8 per match)
Top goal scorer(s)United States Charlie Davies
England Bradley Wright-Phillips
(4 goals each)
2013
2015

The 2014 playoffs was the first time that the away goals rule was applied to the home-and-away, aggregate-goal series.[1] The first series impacted by the rule was a Western Conference semifinal that saw the Seattle Sounders advance past FC Dallas when the first match (held in Dallas) ended 1–1 and the second (held in Seattle) ended 0–0.[2]

LA Galaxy defeated New England Revolution 2–1 after extra time in the MLS Cup 2014, thus earning a spot in the 2015–16 CONCACAF Champions League.

Sporting Kansas City were the defending champions, but they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round by New York Red Bulls.

FormatEdit

The top five teams from both the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference qualified and are seeded in the MLS Playoffs in order to determine conference champions. The two conference champions will face off in the MLS Cup.

Knockout RoundEdit

The fourth and fifth seeds in each conference play a single match hosted by the fourth seed. The winners advance to the conference semifinals.[3]

Conference Semifinals and Conference FinalsEdit

In the conference semifinals, the first seed in each conference plays the winner of their conference knockout round match. Also in the conference semifinals, the second and third seeded teams in each conference play one another. The teams winning the conference semifinal matches advance to their respective conference final.

In these two rounds, all matches are played in home-and-away aggregate-goal format. The lower seeded team hosts the first leg of the series and the higher seeded team hosts the second leg. The first leg lasts the usual 90-minutes and can end in a tie. In the second leg, if the two teams are tied after 90-minutes (180-minute total) then the team that scored more goals away from home advances to the next round.

If there is still a tie after the away goals rule is applied, a 30-minute overtime period (divided into two 15-minute periods) is played followed by a penalty kick shootout, if necessary. The away goals rule does not apply to goals scored in the overtime period.[3]

MLS CupEdit

The two conference champions face one another in the MLS Cup. The MLS Cup is a single match hosted by the team with the stronger regular season record.[3]

QualificationEdit

Qualification for the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs was based on the results of the 2014 Regular Season. The five teams from each conference with the highest point totals were seeded into their conference playoff bracket.

The 2014 regular season ran from March 8, 2014 to October 26, 2014. Teams played 34 games total, 17 at home and 17 away and were awarded three points for a win, one point for a tie (draw), and zero points for a loss. When two or more teams have the same point totals, the following tiebreak rules were applied:[3][4]

  1. Total number of wins
  2. Goal Differential
  3. Goals For
  4. Fewest Disciplinary Points in the official points table
  5. Road Goals Differential
  6. Road Goal For
  7. Home Goals Differential
  8. Home Goal For
  9. Coin Toss (2 clubs) or Drawing of Lots (3 or more)

Eastern Conference TableEdit

Pos Team Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 D.C. United 34 17 9 8 52 37 +15 59 Conference Semi-finals & 2015–16 CONCACAF Champions League
2 New England Revolution 34 17 13 4 51 37 +14 55 Conference Semi-finals
3 Columbus Crew SC 34 14 10 10 52 42 +10 52 Knockout round
4 New York Red Bulls 34 13 10 11 55 50 +5 50
5 Sporting Kansas City 34 14 13 7 48 41 +7 49
6 Philadelphia Union 34 10 12 12 51 51 0 42
7 Toronto FC 34 11 15 8 44 54 −10 41
8 Houston Dynamo 34 11 17 6 39 58 −19 39
9 Chicago Fire 34 6 10 18 41 51 −10 36
10 Montreal Impact 34 6 18 10 38 58 −20 28
Source: MLS
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) total wins; 3) total goal differential; 4) total goals scored; 5) disciplinary points; 6) away goals scored; 7) away goal differential; 8) home goals scored; 9) home goal differential; 10) coin toss or drawing of lots.

Western Conference TableEdit

Pos Team Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Seattle Sounders FC 34 20 10 4 65 50 +15 64 Conference Semi-finals & 2015–16 CONCACAF Champions League
2 LA Galaxy 34 17 7 10 69 37 +32 61 Conference Semi-finals
3 Real Salt Lake 34 15 8 11 54 39 +15 56 Knockout round
4 FC Dallas 34 16 12 6 55 45 +10 54
5 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 34 12 8 14 42 40 +2 50
6 Portland Timbers 34 12 9 13 61 52 +9 49
7 Chivas USA 34 9 19 6 29 61 −32 33
8 Colorado Rapids 34 8 18 8 43 62 −19 32
9 San Jose Earthquakes 34 6 16 12 35 50 −15 30
Source: MLS
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) total wins; 3) total goal differential; 4) total goals scored; 5) disciplinary points; 6) away goals scored; 7) away goal differential; 8) home goals scored; 9) home goal differential; 10) coin toss or drawing of lots.

BracketEdit

East Knockout
   
E4 New York Red Bulls 2
E5 Sporting Kansas City 1
West Knockout
   
W4 FC Dallas 2
W5 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1


  Conference Semifinals Conference Finals MLS Cup 2014
                                     
E1 D.C. United 0 2 2  
E4 New York Red Bulls 2 1 3  
  E4 New York Red Bulls 1 2 3  
Eastern Conference
  E2 New England Revolution 2 2 4  
E2 New England Revolution 4 3 7
E3 Columbus Crew 2 1 3  
  E2 New England Revolution 1
  W2 LA Galaxy (a.e.t.) 2
W1 Seattle Sounders FC (a) 1 0 1  
W4 FC Dallas 1 0 1  
  W1 Seattle Sounders FC 0 2 2
Western Conference
  W2 LA Galaxy (a) 1 1 2  
W2 LA Galaxy 0 5 5
W3 Real Salt Lake 0 0 0  

ScheduleEdit

Knockout roundEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

New York Red Bulls2–1Sporting Kansas City
Wright-Phillips   77'90' Report Dwyer   53'
Attendance: 15,518
Referee: Armando Villarreal

Western ConferenceEdit

FC Dallas2–1Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Akindele   40'
Michel   84' (pen.)
Report Hurtado   64'
Attendance: 10,279
Referee: Mark Geiger

Conference SemifinalsEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

Columbus Crew2–4New England Revolution
Meram   64'
Higuaín   90+4' (pen.)
Report Davies   34'78'
Tierney   51'
Nguyen   70'
Attendance: 9,040
Referee: Drew Fischer
New England Revolution3–1Columbus Crew
Nguyen   43'
Gonçalves   55'
Bunbury   77'
Report Tchani   69'
Attendance: 20,184
Referee: Armando Villarreal

New England Revolution won 7–3 on aggregate


New York Red Bulls2–0D.C. United
Wright-Phillips   40'
Luyindula   73'
Report
D.C. United2–1New York Red Bulls
DeLeon   37'
Franklin   90+1'
Report Luyindula   57'
Attendance: 20,187
Referee: Ismail Elfath

New York Red Bulls advanced 3–2 on aggregate


Western ConferenceEdit

Real Salt Lake0–0LA Galaxy
Report
Attendance: 20,713
LA Galaxy5–0Real Salt Lake
Donovan   10'54'72'
Keane   20'
Sarvas   63'
Report

Los Angeles Galaxy advanced 5–0 on aggregate


FC Dallas1–1Seattle Sounders FC
Michel   34' (pen.) Report Alonso   54'
Attendance: 16,112
Referee: Allen Chapman
Seattle Sounders FC0–0FC Dallas
Report
Attendance: 38,912
Referee: Baldomero Toledo

Seattle Sounders advanced on an away goal


Conference FinalsEdit

New York Red Bulls1–2New England Revolution
Wright-Phillips   27' Report Bunbury   17'
Jones   85'
New England Revolution2–2New York Red Bulls
Davies   41'70' Report Cahill   26'
Luyindula   52'
Attendance: 32,698
Referee: Baldomero Toledo

New England Revolution advanced 4–3 on aggregate


LA Galaxy1–0Seattle Sounders FC
Sarvas   52' Report
Attendance: 27,000
Referee: Kevin Stott
Seattle Sounders FC2–1LA Galaxy
Evans   26'
Dempsey   32'
Report Juninho   54'

Los Angeles Galaxy advanced on an away goal


MLS CupEdit

LA Galaxy2–1 (a.e.t.)New England Revolution
Zardes   52'
Keane   111'
Report Tierney   79'
Attendance: 27,000
Referee: Mark Geiger

GoalscorersEdit

Rank Player Club Goals[6]
1   Charlie Davies New England Revolution 4
  Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls
3   Landon Donovan LA Galaxy 3
  Péguy Luyindula New York Red Bulls
5   Teal Bunbury New England Revolution 2
  Robbie Keane LA Galaxy
  Lee Nguyen New England Revolution
  Michel FC Dallas
  Marcelo Sarvas LA Galaxy
  Chris Tierney New England Revolution
11   Tesho Akindele FC Dallas 1
  Osvaldo Alonso Seattle Sounders FC
  Tim Cahill New York Red Bulls
  Nick DeLeon D.C. United
  Clint Dempsey Seattle Sounders FC
  Dom Dwyer Sporting Kansas City
  Brad Evans Seattle Sounders FC
  Sean Franklin D.C. United
  José Gonçalves New England Revolution
  Federico Higuaín Columbus Crew
  Erik Hurtado Vancouver Whitecaps FC
  Jermaine Jones New England Revolution
  Juninho LA Galaxy
  Justin Meram Columbus Crew
  Tony Tchani Columbus Crew
  Gyasi Zardes LA Galaxy

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Major League Soccer to introduce away-goals rule for first time in 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs". Major League Soccer. March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  2. ^ Itel, Dan (November 10, 2014). "Seattle Sounders 0, FC Dallas 0 - MLS Cup Playoffs Match Recap". Major League Soccer. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "Competition Rules and Regulations". Major League Soccer. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  4. ^ Bonn, Kyle (March 7, 2014). "MLS releases new playoff tiebreakers and salary regulations". NBC Sports ProSoccerTalk. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "MLS 2014 Playoff Schedule". Major League Soccer. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  6. ^ "Major League Soccer Stats: Top Goal Scorers – 2014". ESPN FC. ESPN. Retrieved November 1, 2014.