5 Storylines To Follow On MLS 2022 Decision Day

Last Wednesday’s cluster of rearranged fixtures brought every side in the MLS to 33 games played across their 2022 schedules. Inter Miami were the big headliners as their 4-1 win over Orlando booked their first-ever playoff appearance, however, there is still plenty left to settle across the division as the MLS 2022 Decision Day is all set to kick off this weekend. Check out SinkorSwimSports as we run you through all the major storylines you need to be following this weekend! 

LAFC won the 2022 Supporters’ Shield

What’s Already Been Decided For Decision Day? 

The MLS 2022 Decision Day will see all 28 teams play in seven simultaneous Eastern Conference games at 2:30 pm ET and seven out of the West at 5 pm ET. The full schedule of fixtures can be found on the MLS website here

LAFC have already clinched the 2022 Supporters’ Shield, meaning they’ve booked home advantage across the postseason playoffs. Elsewhere, the other sides who have qualified for the MLS playoffs are: Philadelphia Union, CF Montréal, NYCFC, New York Red Bulls, Inter Miami, Austin, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy and Nashville.

Charlotte FC, New England Revolution, Atlanta United, Chicago Fire, Toronto, D.C.United, Colorado, Seattle, Kansas City, Houston Dynamo and San Jose Earthquakes can all no longer qualify for the playoffs. 

Columbus Crew Or Orlando: Who Gets In? 

Orlando vs Columbus Crew – Exploria Stadium, Orlando

Undoubtedly the big headline event of the weekend, this is about as ‘do or die’ as it gets for the Columbus Crew and Orlando City. For both Caleb Porter and Oscar Pareja’s sides, the formula is pretty simple: win and you qualify, lose and you don’t. 

Orlando have a huge advantage in being able to host the Crew, with the Exploria Stadium set to host one of the biggest matches in its history. The game will have national television rights as well, with fans able to watch the game on FS1/FOX Deportes.

Our Prediction

Can Cincy Avoid The Biggest Of Upsets? 

D.C. United vs FC Cincinnati – Audi Field, Washington 

FC Cincinnati come into Decision Day on the cusp of securing their first-ever postseason appearance. Pat Noonan’s side are currently tied with their Hell is Real rivals in the Columbus Crew, but crucially ahead when it comes to the amount of wins tiebreaker. 

So, the formula is, in theory, a simple one: avoid defeat against Wayne Rooney’s wooden spoon winners and the job’s a good ‘un. 

D.C. United have failed to score in eight of their past eleven matches, which should be encouraging for a Cincy side that have conceded 54 times this season. 

Our Prediction

How Will Things Land In The West? 

Real Salt Lake vs Portland Timbers – Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy

Minnesota United vs Vancouver Whitecaps – Allianz Field, Saint Paul 

Over in the Western Conference, two fixtures dominate proceedings: Real Salt Lake hosting Portland and Minnesota welcoming Vancouver. 

Both home sides know a win will be enough to see them book their passage into the postseason, both come into the weekend with a five and six-game winless run respectively. As for the Whitecaps, they have the lowest amount of points of the four, but arrive at Decision Day with the best form behind them, having won the last three games in a row. 

Our Prediction

Can Montreal Beat Philadelphia? 

Inter Miami vs Philadelphia Union – DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale

Philadelphia Union have been the pace-setters in the Eastern Conference, mounting the closest challenge to LAFC in the race for the Supporters’ Shield. However, the Union seem to have run out of energy in the dying weeks of the regular season, drawing once and losing twice in their last three games. 

A draw or a loss against Toronto on Decision Day opens the door to nearest rivals CF Montreal. 

The Canadian outfit do need a win of their own on the road against Inter Miami to stand any chance of bagging the Eastern Conference crown. Montreal have only lost once since mid-July, however, Miami have won four on the bounce coming into this weekend. 

Our Prediction

Who Will Bag The Golden Boot? 

LAFC vs Nashville – Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles

Austin vs Colorado Rapids – Q2 Stadium, Austin

The MLS Golden Boot has historically been the biggest deciding factor behind who is given the honor of the Landon Donovan MVP award, and the 2022 season has gone right down to the wire coming into Decision Day. 

Hany Mukhtar is currently leading the 2022 MLS Golden Boot charts, having bagged 23 goals (including ten in his last eight games). With his Nashville side visiting LAFC. His nearest rival for the top scorer award is Austin’s Sebastian Driussi, with the Argentine sitting on 21 goals coming into the weekend. 

Austin host the Colorado Rapids at the Q2 Stadium on Decision Day, with the creative forces in the team surely looking to feed their talisman as much as possible throughout the game.

Our Prediction