Last night provided some great action to (pardon the pun) kickoff the MLS Cup Playoffs. DC United took care of the New England Revolution 2-1, while the Seattle Sounders knocked off the champs last night in a barnburner, beating the LA Galaxy 3-2.
Tonight looks pretty sweet as well: Montreal Impact hosts Toronto FC (welcome to the playoffs, Reds), while Sporting Kansas City travels to Portland to take on the Timbers (all on UniMas, all in English--praise God!).
Who do you think will hold the trophy at the end? Well, let me back up: who do you want to win, and who do you think will win?
Now that my beloved boys in burgundy are out, I'm pulling for the Columbus Crew SC. Why? For one, while I lived in Kentucky, they were the closest MLS team to us (three hours away). Secondly, they are the Crew SC, showing that they are Americans (they are a soccer club, not a football club). Thirdly, they improved greatly, taking the second seed in the East. They have Kei Kamara and Ethan Finlay (All-Stars) along with Federico Higuain--they have some studs taking the pitch.
Can they get past New York Red Bulls in the East? Honestly, can anyone right now stop Montreal? (As I typed that, I am thinking right now, "I never, ever thought I'd say that!") The Eastern Conference playoffs look very intriguing, but I believe that the Crew have what it takes to take home another MLS Cup trophy.
In the West, FC Dallas had a tremendous home record, but that's the beauty and wonder of the MLS playoffs. Home-and-home contests and goal differentials make this, in my opinion, one of the most intriguing aspects in sports. In no other American sports do amount of points/runs matter like they do in the MLS playoffs.
Yet, Seattle always scares me. Can they score enough goals away to make a difference and take advantage of their home pitch? I don't see it. Playing against FC Dallas means they will have to play against a solid offense and defense. Vancouver Whitecaps(a team the Colorado Rapids beat not once, but twice!) seems more consistent, with similar home and road records. I just don't see anyone getting past FC Dallas and the Flying Parejas, but I hope I'm wrong. I honestly don't care for any of the teams in the West.
My pick is FC Dallas hosting the Columbus Crew on December 6th for the MLS Cup. I'll be pulling hard for the Crew SC, but FC Dallas won the tougher division and I see them winning 3-2.
Who you got?