The Philadelphia Union have clinched a playoff berth for the fourth time in franchise history and in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history.
San Jose’s 3-0 win over Orlando City early Sunday morning after the Union’s 3-1 win at home over Atlanta United clinched what is also by far the earliest the team has ever booked a spot in the playoffs.
The Union have five games remaining. They clinched with two games left last season on October 6, on the last day of the season in 2016 on October 23 and with one game remaining on October 15 in 2011.
With the playoffs guaranteed, the question now will be whether the Union can put themselves in position to get a first-round bye by winning the conference or at the very least host a first-round math (second, third and fourth place teams host the seventh, sixth and fifth place finishers).
They can also book a spot in the Concacaf Champions league by winning the conference or finishing third in the Supporters’ Shield race if Atlanta, which has already booked a spot by winning U.S. Open Cup, also wins the conference.