The 2013 MLS Playoffs begin today with the Colorado Rapids taking on the Seattle Sounders! It's almost certain to be an exciting playoff race as well, with one of the closest MLS regular seasons in the history of the league preceding it. Just like we did yesterday with the #TeamDillon vs. #TeamDeshorn thing, the Burgundy Wave staff all put in their MLS Cup 2013 predictions.
Here's what we all think will happen:
UZ - Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City
If you go back to the 2010 season, I appeared on a podcast and made the, at the time, rather bold prediction not to sleep on FC Dallas as a possible cup contender. My reasoning was because they were so masterful at not losing games, even though they didn't have the best record with winning them in the regular season. Because Extra Time and penalty kicks make it so ties are impossible in the playoffs, teams like Dallas, the Rapids and the Dynamo from the past few years have found footing in the postseason. I think Portland's 2013 side is better than any of those other squads, and they'll find their first major trophy because of it.
Bulldog Ben - Colorado Rapids vs. New England Revolution
Because God bless us, every one.
Alex Petri - Sporting KC vs. Colorado Rapids
In the West I won’t pick against the Rapids. But if they slip up, the Galaxy (sadly) have the players and confidence to beat every team they might face, home or away. The East is all about former Rapids turned head coaches. Houston could surprise again and New York is due for either a fairy tale run or a huge letdown. But Kansas City has the momentum, defense, and a real home field advantage. (Unless the Rapids make it,) Peter Vermes and Kansas City win their 2nd Cup.
Jpatrickrosch - Sporting KC vs. LA Galaxy
I think you see Sporting Kansas City raise MLS Cup 2013 due to their depth in the midfield and their overall defensive strength. They have allowed 30 goals this year (which is the lowest in MLS) and have the second best Goal Differential in the league. They have a stellar goal keeper and score enough to hold off most teams. If they get a lead they are hard to bet. They have the second highest point total in the league, which means they would host MLS Cup 2013 at Sporting Park.
Purple Rox - Sporting KC vs. LA Galaxy
LA Galaxy will win the West. As much as I hate to say this, the two time defending champ still is the team to beat out West. Real can't seem to beat them and Portland, while strong, has been extremely lucky with all their ties and goal tending, and ultimately will be exposed with a Galaxy team clicking on all cylinders.
This is the year that MLS's wet dream of a L.A.-New York final comes true. L.A. has too many weapons and always steps up their game in the postseason when international call-ups aren't calling. New York rides to the final on the strength of their offense, but will succumb to a stronger L.A. side.
It's simple enough that if Kansas City hosts the MLS Cup, then they will bring the silverware back to Missouri for the second time. Portland does it's best work at home but on the road are average. While both have excellent atmospheres for growing supporters if one of these teams hosts the final then that's who the smart money is going to be bet on.
That ends up being three votes for SKC, two for the Galaxy, and one vote each for the Timbers and Rapids. Just about everyone (Ben!) thinks that either SKC or the Galaxy are going to make it to the final, if not both. It's worth noting that last year, only one of our contributors got their prediction right. Even then, Chris thought that the Galaxy were gonna beat the Red Bulls.
Who's your pick for the MLS Cup this year?