There are 28 teams in Major League Soccer all harboring dreams of hoisting the 2022 MLS Cup trophy in the championship game on Nov. 5. But it’s going to take qualifying for the playoffs first.
The MLS regular season, featuring the debut of new expansion team Charlotte FC, started on Feb. 26. By the time it concludes on Oct. 9, only 14 teams will be left with a chance to contend for the title.
New York City FC (NYCFC) are the reigning MLS Cup champions and aim to defend their crown in a tough Eastern Conference. The New England Revolution logged the most points in the 2021 regular season to claim the Supporters’ Shield, but after a disappointing playoff exit against NYCFC, the Boston-based side will be seeking redemption.
Off to the best start this season is LAFC, which has collected the most points per game of any team so far. But it’s the NY Red Bulls (East) and last year’s expansion side Austin FC (West) which have the surprise lead in their respective conference.
Schedules, results, standings, and scorer tables below are updated as of matches on Saturday, April 30.
MLS 2022 upcoming schedule
Saturday, April 30
|Houston Dynamo 1, Austin FC 2||Highlights|
|Toronto FC 1, FC Cincinnati 2||Highlights|
|RSL 1, LA Galaxy 0||Highlights|
|CF Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1||Highlights|
|Columbus Crew 3, D.C. United 0||Highlights|
|New England 2, Inter Miami 0||Highlights|
|Orlando City 2, Charlotte FC 1||Highlights|
|Chicago Fire 1, NY Red Bulls 2||Highlights|
|Sporting KC 2, FC Dallas 2||Highlights|
|Colorado Rapids 2, Portland 0||Highlights|
Sunday, May 1
|NYCFC vs. San Jose||1 p.m.||—||ESPN+|
|Nashville SC vs. Philadelphia||4 p.m. ET||ESPN, ESPN Deportes||fuboTV|
|LAFC vs. Minnesota United||10 p.m. ET||FS1, Fox Deportes||fuboTV|
MLS standings 2022
The Philadelphia Union can break the three-way tie for first place with a result that would spoil Nashville’s stadium opener on Sunday. Below them, there are 10 teams in the East within three points (Nos. 5-14), which bodes well for a compelling playoff race as the season progresses.
|1.**||NY Red Bulls||17||9||5-2-2||+8||May 7 vs. POR|
|2.*||Philadelphia Union||17||8||5-1-2||+7||May 1 @ NSH|
|3.*||Orlando City||17||10||5-3-2||+1||May 7 @ MTL|
|4.*||CF Montreal||14||9||4-3-2||-2||May 7 vs. ORL|
|5.*||Columbus Crew||12||9||3-3-3||+4||May 7 @ NE|
|6.*||Atlanta United||11||9||3-4-2||-2||May 7 vs. CHI|
|7.*||Toronto FC||11||9||3-4-2||-3||May 4 @ CIN|
|8.||NYCFC||10||7||3-3-1||+6||May 1 vs. SJ|
|9.||New England||10||9||3-5-1||-2||May 7 vs. CLB|
|10.||Charlotte FC||10||10||3-6-1||-4||May 7 vs. MIA|
|11.||FC Cincinnati||10||9||3-5-1||-6||May 4 vs. TOR|
|12.||Inter Miami CF||10||9||3-5-1||-9||May 7 @ CLT|
|13.||Chicago Fire||10||9||2-3-4||-1||May 7 @ ATL|
|14.||D.C. United||9||8||3-5-0||-3||May 7 vs. HOU|
** = No. 1 seed earns first-round playoff bye at season’s end
* = Nos. 2-7 advance to first round of playoffs at season’s end
Austin FC are the surprise leaders in the West, momentarily taking over for LAFC, which can regain the top spot on Sunday. Further down, perennial West contenders Sporting KC and Seattle Sounders have ground to make up. The Sounders can be excused since they are simultaneously on a quest to be the first MLS team to win the CONCACAF Champions League.
|1.**||Austin FC||20||9||6-1-2||+14||May 8 vs. LA|
|2.*||LAFC||19||8||6-1-1||+11||May 1 vs. MIN|
|3.*||LA Galaxy||16||9||5-3-1||+3||May 8 @ ATX|
|4.*||FC Dallas||16||9||4-1-4||+7||May 7 vs. SEA|
|5.*||Real Salt Lake||16||10||4-2-4||-3||May 8 @ NSH|
|6.*||Minnesota United||14||8||4-2-2||+5||May 1 @ LAFC|
|7.*||Houston Dynamo||12||9||3-3-3||+1||May 7 @ DC|
|8.||Colorado Rapids||12||9||3-3-3||0||May 7 @ SJ|
|9.||Nashville SC||11||8||3-3-2||-1||May 1 vs. PHI|
|10.||Portland Timbers||11||10||2-3-5||-5||May 7 @ RBNY|
|11.||Sporting KC||8||10||2-6-2||-8||May 7 @ NYC|
|12.||Seattle Sounders||7||7||2-4-1||-2||May 7 @ DAL|
|13.||San Jose Earthquakes||6||8||1-4-3||-5||May 1 @ NYC|
|14.||Vancouver Whitecaps||4||8||1-6-1||-11||May 8 vs. TOR|
** = No. 1 seed earns first-round playoff bye at season’s end
* = Nos. 2-7 advance to playoff first round at season’s end
MLS Playoffs 2022
The top seven teams in each conference qualify for the single-elimination knockout playoffs at the end of the regular season. Extra time and penalty shootouts (if necessary) are used in cases of a draw after 90 minutes.
- First Round: The No. 1 team in each conference earns a first round bye, while the other six teams in the conference battle in first-round matches hosted by the higher seed.
- Conference Semis: In the following round (Conference Semis), the No. 1 seed hosts the No. 4 vs. No. 5 winner. The other two teams face off at the home of the higher remaining seed.
- Conference Finals & MLS Cup: Similarly, the highest seed hosts.
If the playoffs started today…
Eastern Conference First Round (Bye: No. 1 NY Red Bulls)
|No. 2 (Philadelphia)||vs.||No. 7 (Toronto FC)|
|No. 3 (Orlando)||vs.||No. 6 (Atlanta)|
|No. 4 (CF Montreal)||vs.||No. 5 (Columbus)|
Western Conference First Round (Bye: No. 1 Austin FC)
|No. 2 (LAFC)||vs.||No. 7 (Houston)|
|No. 3 (LA Galaxy)||vs.||No. 6 (Minnesota)|
|No. 4 (FC Dallas)||vs.||No. 5 (RSL)|
2022 MLS top scorers
The top of the MLS goalscoring chart sees some major international signings alongside a handful of young American attackers.
Former River Plate and FC Zenit star Sebastian Driussi leads the way with Spanish forward Jesus Jimenez. U.S. national team fans hope Jesus Ferreira can continue his goal-scoring hot streak into the World Cup in November.
Last year’s top scorer, Valentin “Taty” Castellanos and Mexican legend Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez also figure on the list.
|Rank||Player||MLS Team||Goals (PKs)||Assists||Matches||Minutes|
|1.||Sebastian Driussi||Austin FC||7 (1)||3||9||799|
|Jesus Jimenez||Toronto FC||7 (0)||1||9||786|
|3.||Jesus Ferreira||FC Dallas||6 (0)||1||9||730|
|4.||Leonardo Campana||Inter Miami||5 (0)||2||9||509|
|Valentin Castellanos||NYCFC||5 (2)||1||7||594|
|Brandon Vazquez||FC Cincinnati||5 (0)||1||8||647|
|Diego Rubio||Colorado Rapids||5 (0)||1||9||696|
|Jeremy Ebobisse||SJ Earthquakes||5 (1)||0||8||679|
|Chicharito Hernandez||LA Galaxy||5 (0)||0||9||792|