MLS: Five playoff berths unclaimed

With one week left in the 2022 MLS regular season, five playoff berths remain unclaimed.

Nine teams, including expansion FC Charlotte, are chasing the five berths -- three in the Eastern Conference and two in the Western Conference.

One team out of the playoff picture is Seattle, which won't play in the postseason for the first time in 14 MLS seasons.

The Sounders' last hope died on Sunday when they fell at Sporting KC, 1-0. They went 2-6-2 in their last 10 games but were still alive when three of the four teams ahead of them in the Western Conference lost on Saturday.

Two midweek games in the Eastern Conference -- Inter Miami-Orlando City and FC Charlotte-Columbus -- will bring some clarity. Right now, the top four teams are separated by one point.

Eastern Conference:
Clinched: 1. Philadelphia 64 points; 2. CF Montreal 62; 3. *NYCFC 52; 4. NY Red Bulls 50.
Still alive: 5. FC Cincinnati 46; 6. Orlando City 45 (32); 7. Inter Miami 45 (32); 8. *Columbus 45 (32); 9. FC Charlotte 41 (32).
Eliminated: 10. New England 41; 11. *Atlanta United 40; 12. *Chicago 38; 13. *Toronto FC 34; 14. *D.C. United 27.
*Former MLS champion.
Note: All teams have played 33 games unless otherwise noted.

Remaining games ...
5. FC Cincinnati (46 points, 11-9-13, 59/54)
Oct. 9 Away D.C. United
6. Orlando City (45 points, 13-13-6, 41/48)
Oct. 5 Away Inter Miami
Oct. 9 Home Columbus
7. Inter Miami (45 points, 13-13-6, 42/52)

Oct. 5 Home Orlando City
Oct. 9 Home CF Montréal
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8. Columbus (45 points, 10-7-15, 43/37):
Oct. 5
Away *Charlotte FC
Oct. 9 Away Orlando City
9. Charlotte FC (41 points, 13-17-2, 42/48)
Oct. 5
Home *Columbus
Oct. 9 Away NY Red Bulls
*Suspended game to resume in 16th minute with score 0-0.

Western Conference:
Clinched: 1. LAFC 67 points; 2. Austin FC 55; 3. FC Dallas 50; 4. *LA Galaxy 47, 5. Nashville SC 47.
Still alive: 6. *Portland 46; 7. Minn. United 45; 8. *Real Salt Lake 44; 9. Vancouver 43.
Eliminated: 10. *Colorado 42; 11. *Seattle 40. 12. *Sporting KC 40; 13. *Houston 36; 14. *San Jose 34.
*Former MLS champion.
Note: All teams have played 33 games.

Remaining games ...
5. Nashville SC (47 points, 12-9-11, 50/39)
Oct. 9 Away Los Angeles FC
6. Portland (46 points, 11-9-13, 52/50)
Oct. 9 Away Real Salt Lake
7. Minnesota United (45 points, 13-14-6, 46/51)
Oct. 9 Home Vancouver
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8. Real Salt Lake (44 points, 11-11-11, 40/44)
Oct. 9 Home Portland
9. Vancouver (43, points, 12-14-7, 40/55)
Oct. 9 Away Minnesota United

Photo: Nick Smith / Sounders FC Communications

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