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The 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs (officially the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs for sponsorship reasons)[1] was the 20th post-season tournament culminating the Major League Soccer regular season. The tournament began on October 28 with D.C. United defeating New England Revolution and culminated on December 6, 2015 with MLS Cup 2015, the twentieth league championship match for MLS.

2015 MLS Cup Playoffs
2015 MLS Cup Playoffs Logo.svg
CountryUnited States
Canada
Teams12
Defending championsLA Galaxy
ChampionsPortland Timbers (1st title)
Runners-upColumbus Crew SC
Semi-finalists
Matches played17
Goals scored46 (2.71 per match)
Top goal scorer(s)Sierra Leone Kei Kamara
(4 goals)
2014
2016

Twelve teams[2] (top 6 per conference) competed, up from 10 the last 3 seasons. The first round of each conference had the third-seeded team hosting the sixth seed, while the fourth-seed hosts the fifth, 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 seed plays the next-lowest. The winners advanced to the Conference Finals.

Both the Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals are played as two-legged aggregate series. If teams are level at the end of the second leg, the away goals rule will be used in attempt to determine a winner. If the away goals rule does not resolve the deadlock, 30 minutes of extra time will be played, but the away goals rule will not be applied after extra time. If scores are still level following extra time, a penalty shootout will be conducted.

The winners advance to the MLS Cup final, a single match hosted by the participant with the better record.[3]

The winner of MLS Cup 2015, Portland Timbers qualified for the 2016–17 CONCACAF Champions League. If a Canadian team were to win the MLS Cup, the next-best team from the United States will take their place.[4]

On March 6, 2015, Audi was announced as the official sponsor of the playoffs starting in 2015.[1]

The Portland Timbers won the MLS Cup by defeating the Columbus Crew SC by a score of 2–1. The Timbers' Diego Valeri scored the fastest goal in MLS Cup history at 27 seconds after Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark, made a fundamental error after he miscontrolled his defender's back-pass; allowing Valeri to strike at the opportunity.[5]

Contents

2015 MLS Conference standingsEdit

The top 6 teams from each conference advance to the MLS Cup playoffs.

BracketEdit

                                           
Knockout Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals MLS Cup
October 29 – Stade Saputo              
E6  Toronto FC  0
E3  Montreal Impact  2  1  3
E3  Montreal Impact  3      
E2  Columbus Crew (a.e.t.)  1  3  4  
Eastern Conference
October 28 – RFK Stadium E2  Columbus Crew  2  0  2
 
  E1  New York Red Bulls  0  1  1  
E5  New England Revolution  1
E4  D.C. United  0  0  0
E4  D.C. United  2   December 6 – Mapfre Stadium
E1  New York Red Bulls  1  1  2  
 
October 29 – Providence Park E2  Columbus Crew  1
 
  W3  Portland Timbers  2
W6  Sporting Kansas City  2 (6)
W3  Portland Timbers  0  2  2
W3  Portland Timbers (p)  2 (7)      
W2  Vancouver Whitecaps FC  0  0  0  
Western Conference
October 28 – CenturyLink Field W3  Portland Timbers  3  2  5
 
  W1  FC Dallas  1  2  3  
W5  LA Galaxy  2
W4  Seattle Sounders FC  2  1  3 (2)
W4  Seattle Sounders FC  3  
W1  FC Dallas (p)  1  2  3 (4)  

Source: [6]

ScheduleEdit

Knockout RoundEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

D.C. United2–1New England Revolution
Pontius   45'
Rolfe   83'
Report Agudelo   15'
Attendance: 11,554
Referee: Mark Geiger

Montreal Impact3–0Toronto FC
Bernier   18'
Piatti   33'
Drogba   39'
Report

Western ConferenceEdit

Seattle Sounders3–2LA Galaxy
Dempsey   5'
Valdez   12'
Friberg   77'
Report Lletget   6'
Zardes   22'

Conference SemifinalsEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

D.C. United0–1New York Red Bulls
Report McCarty   72'
Attendance: 19,525
Referee: Fotis Bazakos

New York Red Bulls1–0D.C. United
Wright-Phillips   90+2' Report
Attendance: 25,219
Referee: Ted Unkel

New York Red Bulls win 2–0 on aggregate

Montreal Impact2–1Columbus Crew
Bernier   37'
Venegas   77'
Report Higuaín   33'
Attendance: 17,655
Referee: Chris Penso

Columbus Crew3–1 (a.e.t.)Montreal Impact
Kamara   4'111'
Finlay   77'
Report Duka   40'

Columbus Crew wins 4–3 on aggregate

Western ConferenceEdit


Vancouver Whitecaps0–2Portland Timbers
Report Adi   31'
Chara   90+4'

Portland Timbers win 2–0 on aggregate

Seattle Sounders2–1FC Dallas
Ivanschitz   67'
Dempsey   86'
Report Castillo   18'

FC Dallas2–1 (a.e.t.)Seattle Sounders
Akindele   84'
Zimmerman   90+1'
Report Marshall   90'
Penalties
Diaz  
Hollingshead  
Akindele  
Zimmerman  
4–2   Dempsey
  Ivanschitz
  Barrett
  Rose
Attendance: 17,287

FC Dallas wins 4–2 on penalties after 3–3 draw on aggregate

Conference FinalsEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

Columbus Crew2–0New York Red Bulls
Meram   1'
Kamara   85'
Report
Attendance: 21,617
Referee: Allen Chapman

New York Red Bulls1–0Columbus Crew
Abang   90+3' Report

Columbus Crew wins 2–1 on aggregate

Western ConferenceEdit

Portland Timbers3–1FC Dallas
Ridgewell   23'
Asprilla   53'
Borchers   90+1'
Report Texeira   62'
Attendance: 21,144
Referee: Ted Unkel

FC Dallas2–2Portland Timbers
Hollingshead   68'
Pérez   73'
Report Adi   54'
Melano   90+5'
Attendance: 20,966
Referee: Ismail Elfath

Portland Timbers win 5–3 on aggregate

MLS CupEdit

Columbus Crew1–2Portland Timbers
Kamara   18' Report Valeri   1'
Wallace   7'
Attendance: 21,747
Referee: Jair Marrufo

GoalscorersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "MLS announces partnership with Audi, including presenting sponsorship of MLS Cup Playoffs". mlssoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  2. ^ "Armchair Analyst: Ranking the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoff teams, 1-through-12". MLSsoccer.com.
  3. ^ "Audi MLS Cup Playoffs 101: Everything you need to know about the postseason". MLSsoccer.com.
  4. ^ Kingston, Gary (August 25, 2015). "Whitecaps face fine balancing act in settling on Voyageurs Cup lineup". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  5. ^ "Portland Timbers' Diego Valeri Scores Fastest Goal In MLS Cup History (Video)". NESN. December 6, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  6. ^ "MLS Playoff Bracket". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  7. ^ "Schedule". MLSsoccer.com.