Two of the three Canadian teams will compete in the MLS Cup Playoffs after a shortened regular season, while one will head into the offseason a little earlier than the rest. Toronto FC and Montreal Impact will look to get on a postseason run, while the Vancouver Whitecaps FC season is over.
Decision Day of the MLS marked the final day of the regular season on Nov. 8, but the league is still going through a break before it gets ready for the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. The postseason will feature 18 teams that advanced based on their performance throughout the regular season.
Before we move on to postseason play, here’s a look at how the Canadian teams fared during the MLS regular season.
Toronto FC had a fantastic regular season, finishing in second place in the Eastern Conference standings. The team played all 23 scheduled games and finished with 44 points, a 13-5-5 overall record and finished with 1.91 points per game, trailing only Philadelphia Union in the conference.
Toronto FC had a chance going into the final day of the regular season to claim the Supporters’ Shield given to the team with the best overall record, but the team suffered a 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls to end that possibility.
Toronto FC finished the 2019 season as the runner up in the MLS Cup Playoffs in a loss to the Seattle Sounders. Toronto won it all in the 2017 season and will look to do it again.
The Montreal Impact finished the regular season as the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference. Appearing in all 23 games, the team finished with 26 points with an 8-13-2 overall record for 1.13 points per game, as the Impact advanced as the second to last team in the conference.
Montreal advanced to the playoffs in dramatic fashion on Decision Day in a 3-2 victory over D.C. United in which it trailed multiple times during the game.
This will be the Impact’s first time competing in the MLS Cup Playoffs since 2016 when they advanced to the Eastern Conference final. Montreal has never won the MLS Cup.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC came close to ensuring all three Canadian teams were a part of the playoffs in 2020 but fell just short. The Eastern Conference includes 10 teams in the postseason, while the Western Conference only allows eight teams in. Vancouver finished in ninth place in the Western Conference. Competing in 23 games, Vancouver had a 9-14 record for 27 points and 1.17 points per game.
The team finished off its 2020 season with a 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy in a game that meant nothing as far as postseason aspirations. Both teams were already eliminated from playoff contention prior to the game getting started.
This is the third consecutive year Vancouver Whitecaps FC will not be a part of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. Vancouver has never won the MLS Cup in its short history.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 9, 2020
MLS Cup betting odds
Of the two Canadian teams competing, Toronto FC has the best chance as the team comes in with the sixth best odds to win the MLS Cup at +800, while Montreal is tied with Inter Miami CF for the 16th best odds in the 18-team postseason.
- Philadelphia Union +400
- Los Angeles FC & Seattle Sounders +500
- Orlando City SC +600
- New York City FC +700
- Toronto FC +800
- Sporting KC +900
- Portland Timbers +1100
- Columbus Crew +1800
- FC Dallas +3000
- Minnesota United +3300
- New England Revolution +5000
- Colorado Rapids +8000
- Nashville SC & New York Red Bulls +10000
- Inter Miami CF & Montreal Impact +15000
- San Jose Earthquakes +20000
How we got here
Just like all sports across the globe, the MLS regular season was a strange one as it was impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The league suspended play on March 12 and did not return until the MLS is Back Tournament, which began play on July 8. This tournament made the MLS the first North American sport to return since all sports shut down operations for much of the summer including the NBA, MLB and NHL.
The revised regular season schedule made for a 23-game slate for each team in the MLS, though not every team reached that amount of games due to cancellations and postponements. The league adopted a system where it would utilize a points per game system to determine the final regular season standings and decide which teams will advance to the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs even with not every team playing the same amount of games.