Fans of the Good Friday Caps, more than sleep until the first playoff game in four years. Considering this fact, it could be a sleepless night …
Seriously, the first round of playoff games always seem to bring more than their fair share of drama and intrigue and this year was no exception, thanks in large part to a batch of teams that, like Vancouver, closed the year. on a solid form. . Well, his MLS – what would it be without a little bit of madness?
My predictions for the playoffs at the start of the season involved the Columbus Crew in the finals, so I’m officially an idiot (to be honest so are a lot of other pundits who are a lot more expert than me). But because I can’t get off on my own well enough, here are my #takes on how the first round of matches will go.
Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls, 11:30 am Saturday
The Red Bulls are an intriguing team, a team that has managed to strike over their weight all season. Gerhard Struber is playing the energy drink mavens in a high press, but the goals didn’t necessarily follow suit. It won’t be any easier against a stingy Philadelphia Union team, with Andre Blake being a newly dubbed goalie of the year runner-up. The Red Bulls are also pretty good defensively and I could see this one heading for extra time and potentially penalties. Yet the Union clearly seems to be the best.
Prediction: Union advance
NYCFC vs. Atlanta united, 12:00 p.m. Sunday
One of the tastiest first-round clashes involves two teams that finished the regular season in good form, with Atlanta in the “teams that got better after their head coach was sacked.” All Valentin Castellanos does is score, but NYCFC will be without Keaton Parks to help set up their Golden Boot winner. Atlanta is probably the better team, but the NYCFC has a major advantage on the pitch. Give me the inside side in a toss.
Prediction: NYCFC lead
Portland Wood vs. Minnesota united, 2:30 p.m. Sunday
Two teams that are not quite the sum of their parts. As I picked Portland to qualify for the MLS Cup pre-season final, it turns out that a) their defense is much more fragile than initially thought and b) they are really striated. Sebastian Blanco will have to show up if they want to advance and Minnesota’s defensive capacity will make that difficult. Portland is playing well at the right time, however, and has shown that they can milk these hot streaks for all they’re worth.
Prediction: Timbers advance
Nashville SC vs. City of Orlando, 5:00 p.m. Monday
Another great game for the Eastern Conference side, Nashville has been perhaps the most reliable and sneaky good team of the past two seasons. You can defend Hany Mukhtar because MVP and Nashville haven’t lost at home all season. Orlando has his generally strong attacking squad, but will face a well-established defensive team. The two teams have drawn in their previous clashes this season, making them a bit of an unknown.
Prediction: Nashville ahead
Seattle Sounders vs. Real salt lake, 7:30 p.m. Monday
Call it the Freddy Juarez Revenge Tour or not, but it seems like a tailor-made showdown for the Sounders. RSL will be happy to be in the playoffs, thanks to a refereeing snafu and an assist from Minnesota United on decision day. It’s not a bad team and Damir Kreilach and Albert Rusnak are shooting at full speed. But Seattle is a cut above, despite a shaky end to the regular season.
Prediction: pollsters advance
Am I missing one? Oh yes …
Kansas City Sports vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 2:00 p.m. Saturday
It’s going to be tight – I think Vanni Sartini had it pegged to a 51/49 game, with a slight advantage over Sporting KC. The Caps have struggled outside BC Place, but they are a confident team and it remains to be seen which of Sporting KC’s key players will actually start. I picked the home side in our preview, but I would like someone to prove me wrong – and I think the Caps can do it.
Prediction: Sporting KC advance
The best of the rest
Ice-teca win over Mexico put Canada on the brink of a World Cup spot and garnered much-deserved global attention
And when that happens, why not celebrate in the snow?
The regular season is over for Pacific FC – here’s a look at how things went
A neat profile of a longtime Caps fan in Kansas City. Good to know that there will be at least one away fan at Saturday’s game
LAFC and Bob Bradley have split, Bradley heading to Toronto FC
Mark-Anthony Kaye was not happy with the choice of Ricardo Pepi on Tajon Buchanan for the young player of the year