2012 MLS Playoffs kick off tonight (Who do you see winning MLS Cup?)

The 2012 MLS Playoffs kick off tonight with the Chicago Fire taking on the Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference wild card match-up at Toyota Park in a race that could see any number of teams lift the championship trophy once the post-season is done.

Ten teams will be vying for the MLS Cup title over the course of the next month, and while there are teams considered favorites to reach the final, the race appears as wide open as any in years.

Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes enter the playoffs as favorites given their status as regular season conference champions, but more than half the teams in the playoffs can be considered as having strong chances to lift the MLS Cup trophy in December.

As we prepare to provide you with playoff coverage today, our question is this: Which team do you see winning the MLS Cup Final? Will the Earthquakes continue their dramatic winning ways? Will Sporting KC’s stingy defense prove too tough to beat? Can the Los Angeles Galaxy find a way to rally from a wild card spot to repeat as champions?

Cast your vote after the jump:

 

  • San Jose Earthquakes
  • Sporting Kansas City
  • D.C. United
  • New York Red Bulls
  • Real Salt Lake
  • Chicago Fire
  • Seattle Sounders
  • Los Angeles Galaxy
  • Houston Dynamo
  • Vancouver Whitecaps

Who did you vote for? Which team do you think could be the surprise of the playoffs? Which teams do you see making the final?

Share your thoughts below.

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22 Responses to 2012 MLS Playoffs kick off tonight (Who do you see winning MLS Cup?)

  1. JRP says:

    Anyone but LA. If I have to watch Keane do his Riverdance Fairy goal celebration one more time in 2012 I am going to stab my eyes. Go Whitecaps. If it can’t be my RSL that wins it all (and it can), I hope it is SJ or SKC. They are both programs I think are for the long-term growth of the league beyond huge markets and a Trinity of DPs. The NBA and NFL are huge because of the people in small towns who watch it on TV and buy the merch. For the MLS to grow, it has to grow everywhere, not just LA and NY.

  2. Rex says:

    I would like to see what an MLS ref does for a San Jose/KC final. Hack then dive vs hack, hack, then dive.

  3. AzTeXan says:

    Winner of SJ/LA games wins. Going out on a limb there.

  4. Gnarls says:

    There are only 200 votes at the moment, but the results are already pretty telling. SKC in 1st and SJ in 2nd. If I were a betting man, I’d put money on those two in the final.

  5. Luke S says:

    SKC all the way baby

  6. Charles says:

    I was surprised that KC was the top pick. There D is just too tough for me not to pick them.

    Rooting for the Sounders to pull the upset.

    Seeeeeaaatle Soooooounders !

  7. Todd says:

    I like DC’s chances. I remember in 2004, no one thought they had they squad to do it then, and I think it applies now. Also, it helps that they may get DeRo back in time.

  8. anon says:

    Is it true SKC, Red Bulls or DC United would host final if they play anyone but San Jose? Huge advantage for those teams. Chicago Fire would host Seattle in the final, but RSL would host Chicago because of greater goal differential…

  9. anon says:

    Galaxy will have to play for MLS Cup on the road, unless they end up playing the Dynamo (highly unlikely). So Galaxy will have a tough time winning.

  10. beto says:

    5 of last 8 years one of the 7-8 seeds makes it. #1′s almost never do and #2 occasionally lose the final. Also the USOC winner has only won the MLS once, in 1996. Depth and hot streaks always seems to prevail.. based on that il take New York, Seattle or LA

    • beto says:

      the home field advantage will change things now that the top team will host the final. for that id say Seattle over New York in Seattle.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Trying to use past years to predict the current year is a tricky proposition because so much has changed with regard to things like format and even salary cap. Teams that compete in Champions League now receive extra money for cap relief, which can in turn make their benches stronger and better-equipped to cope with the extra games. Also, the days of an 8 seed facing a No. 1 with no real benefit to the higher seed are over. NOW, the low seeds have to play an extra game and then play on short rest against rested higher seeds. Definitely not like it used to be, so people expecting underdogs to have success like year’s past might want to consider how much tougher it is now.

      • Beto says:

        Very true, however parity is still very strong…

        I think the new format makes it a lot more difficult for lucky teams like the ’10 Rapids. Still Something has to be said about how top teams fall in the early rounds basically every year. I always attribute this to a top player who has 1 bad game and lack of depth fails them… If wondo or zusi has a bad game i think skc or sj are upsetable

  11. Jeter says:

    I’ve gotta go with the “dark horse” of a team called the Houston Dynamo with their little 6% chance of winning. Go Houston! Let’s bring home another title