The LA Galaxy will enter the MLS Cup playoffs as the #4 seed in the Western Conference after jumping into the top four (and thus securing a home match in the first round) on Decision Day.
The Galaxy will host 5-seed Nashville SC in the first round of the playoffs. LA and Nashville were even on points this season, but LA earned the tiebreaker based on total wins. Nashville is led by MVP candidate Hany Mukhtar and USMNT centerback Walker Zimmerman, among others.
This first round matchup will happen this Saturday (October 15th) at 3:00 pm ET (noon PT), and it will be broadcasted on Univision.
LA earned the home playoff match by ending the season strong, capping it off with a 3-1 win over the Houston Dynamo on Decision Day. LA ended the season in quality form, picking up ten points in their final four matches. That also comes as a part of an 11-match stretch to end the year where LA only lost one match. They went 5-1-5 in that stretch, picking up 20 points.
The play of Chicharito played a big role in LA gaining a top four seed with his play down the stretch. He ended up with 18 goals scored on the season, with a lot of his damage coming late in the year. He scored four goals in LA's final four matches, part of a run of 11 goals in his final 12 appearances of the season.
Full Playoff Outlook
Here is what a potential playoff run for the Galaxy would look like:
Looking forward, we could be in for a very interesting proposition in the second round if the Galaxy advance. LAFC earned the #1 seed in the West, which means that if the Galaxy beat Nashville then we will get a playoff version of El Trafico (even if there is an upset in another playoff matchup, since the MLS playoff bracket is fixed and there is no re-seeding after a round. LAFC will play the winner of the 4v5 match no matter what). The potential LAFC vs LA Galaxy second round match would happen next weekend (October 20th-23rd) with LAFC hosting. This matchup will likely be televised on FS1, and would be very intriguing for sure.
Then after that would be the conference finals (if the Galaxy keep advancing), taking place on October 30th. The higher seed will host this matchup. Meaning that if 2-seed Austin FC or 3-seed FC Dallas makes it through the other side of the bracket, then the Western Conference Finals would be a road match for the Galaxy. However, if 6-seed Minnesota or 7-seed Real Salt Lake makes it, then the Galaxy would hypothetically be the home team.
Looking forward to the MLS Cup: it will take place on November 5th, with the team amongst the two teams playing who had regular season points hosting. The match will be broadcasted on Fox. Looking at the point totals of the playoff teams in the East, if any of the top four seeds (Philadelphia, Montreal, NYCFC, or New York Red Bulls respectively) make it to the MLS Cup then the Galaxy would be the road team. If it is any of the 5-7 seeds that make it (Cincinnati, Inter Miami, or Orlando City respectively) then the Galaxy would host a hypothetical MLS Cup.
This was just a quick snapshot of the Galaxy's playoff outlook in general. I believe LA has a solid chance of making a run based on the form that they ended the season with. They have a tough matchup in the 1st round though, with the talented Nashville squad.