MLS Western Conference Placements 5-7: The Timbers Loses Out

The MLS Western Conference Playoffs Placements has been determined as Real Salt Lake wins at home

EDITORIAL – The MLS Western Conference placements have now been finalized. Nashville SC remains in fifth place despite a notable road win. This is while Salt Lake and Minnesota move up one place in the Western Conference. This is because Portland dropped from sixth to eighth position thanks to a loss against Salt Lake.

MLS Western Conference Placements: The 5-7 Places Have Been determined

5. Nashville SC (Position Did Not Change)

Nashville SC does not move from its fifth place in the Western Conference. They did though get an impressive win against reigning Supporters’ Shield champions, Los Angeles FC. Teal Bunbury scored in the 53-minute to give Nashville the win on the road.

Nashville’s goalkeeper, Joe Willis, deserves a lot of credit for the win. Willis had to make 14 saves (according to Nashville SC’s Twitter Account) in order to ensure that Nashville secures the win. Unfortunately, for Nashville, they needed the LA Galaxy to drop points on the road against the Houston Dynamo. That did not happen as the Galaxy won that game 3-1 and secure that fourth-place position.

In three seasons of their existence, Nashville has made the MLS Cup Playoffs every time. They made the MLS Conference Semi-Finals stage in the last two years looking to do better this year. They will travel to California to face the Los Angeles Galaxy on the road.

6. Minnesota United FC (↑ 1 Place)

Brian White was fouled in the first half inside the box. The Whitecaps should have gotten a penalty but were not awarded as the TSN analysts agreed. Minnesota was wasteful in the first half with nine shots and only one shot on goal. However, that one shot on goal Franco Fragapane capitalized on against the Whitecaps. Vancouver was close with four shots on goal but did not get the desired goal in the first half. Loid missed the target in the 70-minute of play.

However, the Loons were the more effective team against the Whitecaps. They were the better team with more shots and shots on goal. Jonathan González scored a late goal in the second half to seal the deal for the Loons. Dayne St. Clair made a terrific save in the 82-minute and there was no way back for the Whitecaps. This will be the fourth-straight year the Loons have made the MLS Cup Playoffs. Their best performance was a Western Conference Finals appearance back in 2020.

This is while the defending Voyageurs Cup champions failed to make the MLS Cup Playoffs this year. The Whitecaps will now have to wait until early next year when they will be in the Concacaf Champions League.

7. Real Salt Lake (↑ 1 Place)

Real Salt Lake was outside of the playoff picture entering Decision Day. They also needed a win at home in order to make the MLS Cup Playoffs. That was certainly what happened as Salt Lake got a 3-1 win over the Timbers.

Jefferson Savarino started the first half well with a fantastic strike from just outside the box to take the lead early in the game.  Then Rubio Rubin scored his first MLS goal this year thanks to a great set-up play by Bryan Oviedo. Oviedo was the one who set up the play and was credited with the assist. They then finished the deal with Bode Hidalgo’s goal to secure their MLS Cup Playoffs spot as they eliminate the team that made the MLS Cup Finals last year.

This will be Salt Lake’s second-straight MLS Cup Playoffs appearance. They last won the MLS Cup back in 2009.

MLS Western Conference: Teams That Miss Out and the Current MLS Cup Playoffs Picture

Embed from Getty Images

There were only two other teams that could have made the MLS Cup Playoffs before the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Portland Timbers went from being sixth to eighth in the Western Conference, being one of the big surprises to not make the MLS Cup Playoffs. This is while the Vancouver Whitecaps FC remained in the ninth position after losing to the Loons from Minnesota.

Nashville will travel to California to face the Galaxy, FC Dallas will host the Loons, and Austin FC will have a memorable first MLS home game against Real Salt Lake. This is while the reigning Supporters’ Shield champions, Los Angeles FC, will have a bye from the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Read More: MLS Decision East 5-7: Cincy clinch, Columbus Crew miss out