This is it. Orlando City’s playoff push comes down to its final match, a Decision Day showdown at Stade Saputo against CF Montréal. With a win or a draw, Orlando City will clinch a playoff berth. 

But there are a wide variety of scenarios at play. For instance, Orlando could also get in with a Nashville SC win over the New York Red Bulls. Or the Lions could miss out entirely. Or, in one unlikely scenario, Orlando City could still host a game in the first round of the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs. 

Here are the standings heading into Decision Day, from spots four through eight:

4. New York City FC - 50 pts, 14 wins, +20 GD


5. Atlanta United - 48 pts, 12 wins, +7 GD

6. Orlando City - 48 pts, 12 wins, 0 GD

7. New York Red Bulls - 47 pts, 13 wins, +6 GD


8. CF Montréal - 46 pts, 12 wins, +4 GD

The first tiebreaker for playoff berths and seeding is total wins, while the second is goal differential. Barring multiple miraculously-lopsided results, Orlando City won’t be able to overcome any of its playoff rivals if City ends up tied with any of them, so the Lions will have to finish ahead of any potential opponents for a spot.

Here are the other games to keep an eye on while you watch Orlando vs. Montréal:

Nashville SC (53 pts, 3rd) vs. New York Red Bulls (47 pts, 7th)

Sunday 11/7, 3:30 p.m.

This is the nationally-televised game on ESPN, and it’s a big one for Orlando City. If Nashville wins, the Lions will make the playoffs regardless of what they do against Montréal. 

The Boys in Gold were the benefactors of last Sunday’s controversial finish at Exploria Stadium, with the fortunate point setting them up nicely to get up into second in the East. They’ll need to achieve a better result than Philadelphia Union on the day in order to do that and lock up two guaranteed home games in the playoffs, which means they’ll be plenty motivated for this one.

Red Bulls, meanwhile, will clinch a playoff spot with a draw by virtue of their total wins tiebreaker over Orlando City. New York has been one of the hottest teams in MLS over the past two months, but they dropped points on Wednesday night in a 0-0 draw with Atlanta United despite outshooting the Five Stripes 15-2.

FC Cincinnati (20 pts, 14th) vs. Atlanta United (48 pts, 5th)

Sunday 11/7, 3:30 p.m.

Yes, FC Cincinnati has lost a post-shootout era record 11 games in a row. Yes, they conceded six goals at home last week against Nashville. Yes, they have a new GM and an interim coach and a roster likely headed for major changes this winter.

But this is MLS and anything is possible, right? For Orlando City to potentially host a playoff game, or at least pass Atlanta in seeding, they’ll need Cincinnati to take points off the Five Stripes in this contest. Weird things happen on Decision Day all the time. We’ll see.

New York City FC (50 pts, 4th) vs. Philadelphia Union (53 pts, 2nd)

Sunday 11/7, 3:30 p.m.

If there’s a team hotter than the Red Bulls in the East, it’s the Union, who beat Cincy 2-0 on Sunday night to run their post-CCL record to 6-1-3. However, they’re heading into the house of horrors that is Yankee Stadium, where NYCFC is 6-1-1 with a +21(!) goal differential this season. For the Lions to play at home in the first round, they’ll need the Union to win this game.

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In the Hunt Rooting Guide for Decision Day

NSHvRBNY: Nashville win (required for clinch if ORL loses)

CINvATL: draw or Cincinnati win

NYCvPHI: Philadelphia win