2012 MLS Cup Playoffs

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2012 MLS Cup Playoffs
2012 MLS Cup Playoffs logo.jpg
Country United States
Canada
Teams 10
Champions Los Angeles Galaxy
Runners-up Houston Dynamo
Matches played 15
Goals scored 34 (2.27 per match)
Top goal scorer(s) Robbie Keane (6 goals)

The 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs was the seventeenth post-season tournament culminating the Major League Soccer regular season. The tournament began on October 31,[1] and culminated on December 1, 2012[1] with MLS Cup 2012, the seventeenth league championship for MLS, won by the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-1 over Houston Dynamo. It was the second year that the playoffs included ten teams,[2] and the first playoff series since 2006 in which teams could not cross conference brackets.[3] The top five teams in both the Eastern and Western conferences of the league earned berths, with the top three clubs in each conference earning direct byes to the conference semifinals. The fourth and fifth-place finishers of both conferences played in a single-elimination play-in match.

The play-in winner played their respective conference regular season champion in the conference semifinals, which was a two-leg aggregate series, without the away goals rule enforced. For the first time in MLS Cup Playoffs history, each Conference Championship was also a two-leg aggregate series, as opposed to the traditional single elimination match.[3] The MLS Cup championship still remain a single match, but the team with the stronger regular season record, the Los Angeles Galaxy, hosting the final at their home venue.[2]

Los Angeles Galaxy were the defending champions, having defeated Houston Dynamo 1–0 in last year's championship.[4]

Both finalists directly entered the 2013–14 CONCACAF Champions League, with the champion earning a Pot A seed. They were joined by San Jose Earthquakes, the Supporters' Shield winner, and Sporting Kansas City, the 2012 U.S. Open Cup champion. However, none of these berths wereavailable to the league's three Canadian teams, which instead participate in the Canadian Championship for that country's single berth in the CONCACAF Champions League.[5]

Format[edit]

For 2012, the league's previous system of "wild card" qualification—which had the potential for "crossover" series in which one team could play in the other conference's bracket—was scrapped. Instead, the top five teams in each conference will qualify for the playoffs and the two conference brackets are entirely separate. The First Round of each conference is a one-off match between the 4th and 5th place teams, similar to the previous wild card system, with the 4th-place team hosting. The First Round winner advances to play the conference's top seed in the Conference Semifinals.[1][2]

Conference Semifinals and Conference Championship series are conducted in a home-and-away aggregate-goal format. The lower-seeded team in the Conference Semifinal hosts the first game, and the higher seed hosts the second. If the teams are tied after two games, a 30-minute extra time period (divided into two 15-minute periods) will be played followed by penalty kicks, if necessary. The away goals rule or golden goal is not used.[1]

In the case of ties in the First Round and MLS Cup, extra time and penalty kicks are used in the same manner as above.[2]

Qualification[edit]

Eastern Conference

Pos
Team
Pts
Pld
W
L
D
GF
GA
GD
Qualification or relegation
1 Sporting Kansas City (E1) 63 34 18 7 9 42 27 +15 2012 MLS Cup Conference Semifinals
2 D.C. United 58 34 17 10 7 53 43 +10
3 New York Red Bulls 57 34 16 9 9 57 46 +11
4 Chicago Fire 57 34 17 11 6 46 41 +5 2012 MLS Cup Knockout Round
5 Houston Dynamo 53 34 14 9 11 48 41 +7
6 Columbus Crew 52 34 15 12 7 44 44 0
7 Montreal Impact 42 34 12 16 6 45 51 −6
8 Philadelphia Union 36 34 10 18 6 37 45 −8
9 New England Revolution 35 34 9 17 8 39 44 −5
10 Toronto FC 23 34 5 21 8 36 62 −26

Updated to matches played on 18:04 EDT October 28, 2012
Source: MLSSoccer.com
(E1) = Eastern Conference champion; (E2) = Eastern Conference runner-up; (E3) = Eastern Conference third seed; (WC) = Qualifies for playoffs via wild-card.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs, but not yet to the particular round indicated; (E) = Eliminated from playoff contention.

Western Conference

Pos
Team
Pts
Pld
W
L
D
GF
GA
GD
Qualification or relegation
1 San Jose Earthquakes (SS) (W1) 66 34 19 6 9 72 43 +29 2012 MLS Cup Conference Semifinals
2 Real Salt Lake 57 34 17 11 6 46 35 +11
3 Seattle Sounders FC 56 34 15 8 11 51 33 +18
4 LA Galaxy 54 34 16 12 6 59 47 +12 2012 MLS Cup Knockout Round
5 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 43 34 11 13 10 35 41 −6
6 FC Dallas 39 34 9 13 12 42 47 −5
7 Colorado Rapids 37 34 11 19 4 44 50 −6
8 Portland Timbers 34 34 8 16 10 34 56 −22
9 Chivas USA 30 34 7 18 9 24 58 −34

Updated to matches played on October 28, 2012
Source: MLSSoccer.com
(W1) = Western Conference champion; (W2) = Western Conference runner-up; (W3) = Western Conference third seed; (WC) = Qualifies for playoffs via wild-card.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs, but not yet to the particular round indicated; (E) = Eliminated from playoff contention.

Tiebreak rules[edit]

When two or more teams are tied in standings on points the following tiebreak rules[2][6] apply:

  1. Goals for
  2. Goal differential
  3. Fewest disciplinary points in the official points table (foul – 1 pt, first yellow – 3 pts, second yellow – 5 pts, straight red – 6 pts, disciplinary commission suspension – 6 pts, etc.)
  4. Road goals
  5. Road goal differential
  6. Home goals
  7. Home goal differential
  8. Coin toss (2 teams) or drawing of lots (3 or more teams)

Bracket[edit]

East Wild Card
     
E4 Chicago Fire 1
E5 Houston Dynamo 2
West Wild Card
     
W4 LA Galaxy 2
W5 Vancouver Whitecaps FC    1
  Conference Semifinals Conference Finals MLS Cup 2012
                               


E1  Sporting Kansas City 0 1  
E5  Houston Dynamo 2 0  
  E5  Houston Dynamo 3 1  
Eastern Conference
  E2  D.C. United 1 1  
E2  D.C. United 1 1
E3  New York Red Bulls 1 0  
  E5  Houston Dynamo 1
  W4  LA Galaxy 3
W1  San Jose Earthquakes 1 1  
W4  LA Galaxy 0 3  
  W4  LA Galaxy 3 1
Western Conference
  W3  Seattle Sounders FC 0 2  
W2  Real Salt Lake 0 0
W3  Seattle Sounders FC 0 1  

[7]

Schedule[edit]

Knockout round[edit]

October 31, 2012
20:00 CDT
Chicago Fire 1 – 2 Houston Dynamo
Alex Goal 83' Report Bruin Goal 12'46'
Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois
Attendance: 10,923
Referee: Baldomero Toledo

November 1, 2012
19:30 PDT
Los Angeles Galaxy 2 – 1 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Magee Goal 69'
Donovan Goal 73' (pen.)
Report Mattocks Goal 3'
The Home Depot Center, Carson, California
Attendance: 14,703
Referee: Silviu Petrescu

Conference semifinals[edit]

Eastern conference[edit]

November 4, 2012
2:30 PM CST
Houston Dynamo 2 – 0 Sporting Kansas City
Moffat Goal 18'
Bruin Goal 75'
Report
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 20,689
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
November 7, 2012
8:00 PM CST
Sporting Kansas City 1 – 0 Houston Dynamo
Sinovic Goal 64' Report
Livestrong Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas
Attendance: 20,894
Referee: Allen Chapman

Houston Dynamo won 2 – 1 on aggregate


November 3, 2012
8:00 PM EDT
D.C. United 1 – 1 New York Red Bulls
Miller Goal 61' (o.g.) Report Hamid Goal 65' (o.g.)
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C
Attendance: 17,556
Referee: Jair Marrufo
November 8, 2012
7:30 PM EST
New York Red Bulls 0 – 1 D.C. United
Recap DeLeon Goal 88'
Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey
Attendance: 14,035
Referee: Mark Geiger

D.C. United won 2 – 1 on aggregate Note: While D.C. United won the right to host the second leg owing to being the higher seed, the order of the legs was reversed owing to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.[8] The second leg was originally scheduled for November 7 but was postponed one day due to snow.[9]

Western conference[edit]

November 4, 2012
6:00 PM PST
Los Angeles Galaxy 0 – 1 San Jose Earthquakes
Report Bernárdez Goal 90+4'
November 7, 2012
8:00 PM PST
San Jose Earthquakes 1 – 3 Los Angeles Galaxy
Gordon Goal 82' Report Keane Goal 21'34'
Magee Goal 39'

Los Angeles Galaxy won 3 – 2 on aggregate


November 2, 2012
7:00 PM PDT
Seattle Sounders FC 0 – 0 Real Salt Lake
Report
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
Attendance: 34,941
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
November 8, 2012
7:30 PM MST
Real Salt Lake 0 – 1 Seattle Sounders FC
Report Martínez Goal 81'
Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
Attendance: 19,657
Referee: Chris Penso

Seattle Sounders won 1 – 0 on aggregate

Conference championships[edit]

November 11, 2012
5:00 PM CST
Houston Dynamo 3 – 1 D.C. United
Hainault Goal 51'
Bruin Goal 68'
Sarkodie Goal 81'
Report DeLeon Goal 27'
November 18, 2012
4:00 PM EST
D.C. United 1 – 1 Houston Dynamo
Bošković Goal 83' Report García Goal 34'
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C
Attendance: 20,015
Referee: Baldomero Toledo

Houston Dynamo won 4 – 2 on aggregate


November 11, 2012
6:00 PM PST
Los Angeles Galaxy 3 – 0 Seattle Sounders FC
Keane Goal 46'67'
Magee Goal 64'
Report
November 18, 2012
6:00 PM PST
Seattle Sounders FC 2 – 1 Los Angeles Galaxy
Johnson Goal 12'
Scott Goal 57'
Report Keane Goal 68' (pen.)

Los Angeles Galaxy won 4 – 2 on aggregate

MLS Cup[edit]

Main article: MLS Cup 2012
December 1, 2012
1:30 PM PST[1]
Los Angeles Galaxy 3 – 1 Houston Dynamo
Gonzalez Goal 60'
Donovan Goal 65' (pen.)
Keane Goal 90+4' (pen.)
Report Carr Goal 44'

Post-season statistical leaders[edit]

Note: Statistics only for post-season games.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "2012 MLS Cup Playoffs". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved October 30, 2102. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Competition Rules and Regulations". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved October 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Big changes for MLS Cup Playoffs format in 2012". MLSsoccer.com. November 20, 2011. Retrieved November 25, 2012. 
  4. ^ "History: MLS Cup 2011". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved October 30, 2102. 
  5. ^ "Champions League Qualifying 2013-14". CONCACAF. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ "New tiebreakers designed to encourage attacking play". MLS Communications. MLSSoccer.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  7. ^ "MLS Cup Playoffs 2012". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  8. ^ http://www.nj.com/redbulls/index.ssf/2012/10/hurricane_sandy_forces_red_bulls_dc_united_to_switch_home_dates_for_playoff_series.html
  9. ^ http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1218094/snow-postpones-red-bulls-dc-united-playoff?cc=5901