Seattle's 3-1 aggregate loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy has locked and loaded our final four for the MLS this season. The San Jose Earthquakes will take on our Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park while the Los Angeles Galaxy will face FC Dallas at the Home Depot Center. Gonna be two fantastic games to decide who makes the MLS Cup final in Toronto.
My predictions were absolutely awful last round, I only wound up picking a single series correctly - picking Colorado to advance over Columbus - but being dead wrong has never stopped me before!
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids: It's hard to call the San Jose Earthquakes a fluke team. They defeated the team with the lowest number of points in the playoffs to make it to the next round, but it's a hell of a task to go into Red Bull arena and come out with not just a win, but a 3-1 win. Chris Wondolowski is a true talent, winning the Golden Boot this season. The question is, will he be on one of his cold streaks on the day he needs to score the most? He tends to score goals in chunks, and he can just as easily be shut out of a game like he was in the first leg of the NYRB series as he could explode for three against Chivas USA.
Personally, I think that this game will come down to the simple fact that Colorado simply never seemed to lose at home this season. Despite several setbacks throughout the time, the only thing that has been able to fell them is facing the best team in the league (Galaxy loss) or starting a subpar 2nd team squad (DC loss). San Jose is neither the best team in the league nor are they liable to see Danny Earls and Scott Palguta getting the start for the Rapids. The home field at The Dick should provide the Rapids with enough spark to pull this one out.
UZ'S PREDICTION: 2-1 Rapids
FC Dallas vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: I will gladly admit how wrong I was about FC Dallas. They have played like a different team in the playoffs than they were in the regular season, where scraping out draws and conservative play were their bread and butter. All cylinders seem to be clicking at the right time for Dallas as they knocked out the reigning champs Real Salt Lake using powerful offense and rejuvenated spectacular goalkeeping from a healthy Kevin Hartman.
The Galaxy simply picked apart the scrappy Sounders in their series, winning 3-1 in aggregate - with Seattle's only goal being a late desperation shot that had no effect on the series whatsoever - and getting production from everyone on the pitch, especially goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. This game will probably be a great test of wills between these top two goaltenders, and despite the fiery offenses of both teams I expect a low scoring affair. The Galaxy have some world class players and I think if this goes to PK's they will have the advantage in the end.
UZ'S PREDICTION: 1-1 draw, Galaxy win 5-4 in PK's.
So there you go. Your MLS Cup final this year will be the Colorado Rapids (!) vs. the Los Angeles Galaxy in Toronto.