Sunday, November 1, 2015

MLS Conference Semi-Final Predictions

DC United vs. New York Red Bulls - 3pm - ESPN
DC United looked pretty weak towards the end of the season and the only reason I feel they have gone this far is because they faced an equally weakened New England side in the knockout round. They toom advantage of some undisciplined play from the Revs and hit a late goal followed by a little luck to carry themselves into this match with the heavily favored Red Bulls. The Red Bulls may have turned into New York's "other" team since the arrival of New York City, but make no mistake, these guys are good. They won the Supporters Shield and I don't think any Eastern Conference team is capable of slowing them down. That includes United over these two legs. New York will have loftier ambitions than a simple away goal this afternoon.  I expect a win on their trip down the Atlantic Coast.

First Leg Prediction: DC United 1-2 New York Red Bulls

Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps - 5pm - ESPN
The Timbers got an exiting, and tiring, win over Sporting Kasas City on Thursday night. One of their biggest challenges here will be recovering from the physical and emotional exhaustion of that match. Also working against them is their poor form against Vancouver this season. In three matches against their Cascadia rivals, the Timbers are 0-1-2. They lost 2-1 on the road back in April and have drawn twice at home since then. They have been finding their goal scoring form of late, and their back line is still pretty good. Vancouver will be happy with an away goal, but the Timbers will be reluctant to give it to them. I am expecting a bit of a defensive game here.

First Leg Prediction: Portland Timbers 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps

Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew - 7pm - FS1
The Impact have found new life since the arrival of Didier Drogba. They creamed Toronto last week and will have plenty of momentum heading into a home first leg. The Crew have quietly been one of the best teams in the league, however, and will be quite the formidable opponent today. I expect Montreal to get a goal or two, but the away goal they should concede will come back to haunt them next weekend in Ohio.

First Leg Prediction: Montreal Impact 2-1 Columbus Crew

Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas - 9:30pm - FS1
I am not sure what to think of the Sounders yet. I know Dallas is one of the league's best and came close to the Supporters Shield this year. But the Sounders have been so streaky that I really don't know if they can hold it together for both legs here. The only way I see them getting through this alive is with a clean sheet and multiple goals in game one. I think Dallas is too good to let that happen.

First Leg Prediction: Seattle Sounders 1-1 FC Dallas

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