With just three regular season matches left to play in MLS, it’s getting down to the nitty gritty. While the race for the Supporters’ Shield and playoff position in the East is important, perhaps the most important race is for the final spot in the 2019 Concacaf Champions League. This spot will be awarded to the top American club in MLS with the most combined points over the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The spot was originally due to go to the winner of the 2017 MLS Cup, but Toronto FC are only allowed to qualify for this tournament through the Canadian Championship and have clinched that spot.
Spot 1: Sporting Kansas City (2017 U.S. Open Cup winner)
Spot 2: Toronto FC (2018 Canadian Champions)
Spot 3: Houston Dynamo (2018 U.S. Open Cup winner)
Spot 4: 2018 MLS Cup Champions (Non-Canadian)
Spot 5: Team with best aggregate record over the 2017 and 2018 MLS regular seasons (Non-Canadian)
2019 CCL Spot Update #6
It’s pretty simple now. With three match remaining in the season, only two teams remain eligible to collect the CCL spot. NYCFC have officially been eliminated as they are seven points behind Atlanta United with just two matches left on their schedule.
If Atlanta wins any of their remaining matches, they would virtually lock up the spot with the Red Bulls needing to win out just to match them on points. If a scenario plays out where the Red Bulls do tie, they could earn the spot via the first tiebreaker which is total wins. Atlanta has one more win (34) than the Red Bulls (33) over the course of the last two seasons, but they would need to win 2 more than Atlanta to get even, thus pulling ahead.
The easiest road for Atlanta to the CCL spot is picking up four points in their final three matches. If they can do that, they are in. If not, it could get tricky if the Red Bulls have a good run of form.