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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

MLS Playoff Preview


Photo courtesy of Brent Flanders/Flickr

Not many people follow soccer (football everywhere else in the world), and if they do it’s usually the big-name clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea, among many others. But the MLS playoffs are starting, and they should be very interesting and action packed. The MLS recently has expanded the number of teams (22 teams by the start of 2017) and has been recruiting world-class talent to come from overseas to play, including Andre Pirlo, Steven Gerrard, David Villa, Giovanni Dos Santos and Kaka. This season’s playoffs are putting heated rivals against each other, has original members of the league squaring off, and premier players going head-to-head when it all matters. All of these factors should make for a great playoff season and must-watch TV.


Knockout Round (1 Game)


#4 D.C. United vs. #5 New England Revolution:

This is a match-up between original members who have the most historic rivalry in the league. D.C. for a good part of the season was in the driver’s seat for a top two seed, but a very sub-par final month of the season has them playing in the first round. New England is trying to win its first championship of all time (they’re 0-5 so far, aka the Buffalo Bills of the MLS). Overall, New England has been playing better as of late and should give D.C. a run for its money. D.C. also just lost 5-0 on the last day of the season, which is not the result you want heading into the playoffs. It wouldn’t surprise me if things get heated between the two on the field. #standasONE

Prediction: New England 2-1


#6 Toronto FC vs. #3 Montreal Impact:

Oh Canada indeed! This should be a doozy to watch, and I would be very disappointed if there isn’t some blood spilled from this rivalry game. Montreal has been one of the most balanced teams in the league over the second half of the season. The addition of international superstar Didier Drogba really gave this team an attacking option to look toward. Toronto, on the other hand, lives and dies by the offense. Their defense is subpar and can be easily exploited. Sebastian Giovinco of Toronto could (and should) be the MVP of the league, scoring 22 goals while assisting 16 times. His back might break from carrying Toronto for so long.

Prediction: Montreal 2-0



#4 Seattle Sounders vs. #5 LA Galaxy:

The star players that will be on display here and which ones step up will define this game. Giovani dos Santos and Robbie Keane for LA give the team a formidable offense, with balance from U.S. men’s national team defender Omar Gonzalez holding the backline down. Seattle is the most dangerous team in the league when — and if — everyone is motivated and playing as a group. American hero and former captain (oh captain, my captain) Clint Dempsey needs to step up and dominate for Seattle. Dempsey is complemented by Obafemi Martins, who in his own right can be lethal. With home-field advantage, and LA only winning 2 games on the road all year, the potential danger of Seattle will win out and eliminate the defending champs.

Prediction: Seattle 3-2


#6 Sporting Kansas City vs. #3 Portland Timbers:

Kansas City just barely edged San Jose for the last playoff spot. The award for making the playoffs: playing in front of one of the most electrifying crowds in the league. Portland hasn’t been spectacular this season, their goal differential is only +2, but they’ve been consistent. Kansas City is similar, except their home and away records are vastly different. The team loves to be at home and hates being on the road. Sporting is also emerging as a premier team in the league. They won the playoffs in 2013, have big name players, a new stadium, great fans, etc. etc. Unfortunately, they are running into the hottest team in the league entering the playoffs.

Prediction: Timbers 1-0


Second Round (2 Games)


#1 NY Red Bulls vs. #5 New England Revolution

Prediction: Red Bulls 4-2

#2 Columbus Crew SC vs. #3 Montreal Impact

Prediction: Montreal 3-2



#1 FC Dallas vs. #4 Seattle Sounders

Prediction: FC Dallas 2-1

#2 Vancouver Whitecaps vs. #3 Portland Timbers

Prediction: Vancouver 1-0


Conference Championship (2 Games)


#1 NY Red Bulls vs. #3 Montreal impact

Prediction: Montreal 2-1


#1 FC Dallas vs. #2 Vancouver

Prediction: Dallas 3-2


MLS CUP FINAL (1 game)

#1 Dallas vs. #3 Montreal

Prediction: Dallas 3-2

Dallas throughout the year has been consistently the best team in the west. Montreal is entering the playoffs riding a hot-streak, but eventually they have to be cooled off. Dallas is near the top in scoring, while posing a decent defense. The Impact’s success has mainly been in the second half of the year. Before midseason, they were a very average team at best.  Montreal is going to rely on Didier Drogba and all his glory too much.

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