MLS playoffs set after frantic finish to 2021 regular season

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Real Salt Lake made Decision Day 2021 a memorable one.

Damir Kreilach scored in the 95th minute to give RSL a dramatic 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City and secure his team's unlikely passage to the 2021 MLS Cup playoffs.

Kreilach smashed in his 16th goal of the season with the last meaningful kick of the game, bumping the LA Galaxy out of the postseason picture.

The Galaxy lost out after battling to a 3-3 draw with Minnesota United.

Defending champions Columbus Crew also missed the playoffs, and Los Angeles FC failed to advance for the first time in four years, as the regular season came to a close Sunday.

Earlier, Atlanta United, Orlando City, and the New York Red Bulls claimed the final three playoff berths in the East, joining the New England Revolution, the Philadelphia Union, Nashville SC, and New York City FC.

Minnesota and the Vancouver Whitecaps completed the top seven in the West, joining the Colorado Rapids, the Seattle Sounders, Kansas City, the Portland Timbers, and Real Salt Lake.

The Revolution - who clinched the Supporters' Shield with an MLS-record 73 points - and Rapids earned byes to the conference semifinals as the best teams in the East and West.

The first round of the 2021 MLS Cup playoffs begin Nov. 20 with single-elimination matches between the following teams:

East

  • (2) Philadelphia Union vs. (7) New York Red Bulls
  • (3) Nashville SC vs. (6) Orlando City SC
  • (4) New York City FC vs. (5) Atlanta United

West

  • (2) Seattle Sounders vs. (7) Real Salt Lake
  • (3) Kansas City SC vs. (6) Vancouver Whitecaps
  • (4) Portland Timbers vs. (5) Minnesota United

Columbus won't have a chance to defend its title despite beating the already eliminated Chicago Fire on Sunday.

LAFC lost 5-2 to the Rapids to spoil their perfect playoff attendance.

The Red Bulls made the postseason for the 12th consecutive season with a scrappy 1-1 draw in Nashville.

D.C. United missed out despite winning 3-1 at Toronto FC.

Josef Martinez scored the goal of the day - a ridiculous volley from close range - to give Atlanta a 2-1 comeback win over FC Cincinnati and ensure the club's return to the playoffs.

Orlando scored a big 2-0 win in Montreal to eliminate the Canadian side from postseason contention.

All first-round matches will take place Nov. 20, 21, and 23. The conference semifinals are set for Nov. 25, 28, and 30, while the conference finals will be played Dec. 4 and 5.

The MLS Cup will take place Dec. 11.

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MLS playoffs set after frantic finish to 2021 regular season
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