A closer look at the MLS Cup Playoffs

MLSCup (ISIPhotos.com)

By IVES GALARCEP

The MLS Cup playoffs kick off tonight in New England and Seattle, and the conference semifinals are shaping up to be some truly memorable affairs.

Here is my Goal USA preview of the conference semifinal match-ups, as well as a look at the players who could be breakout stars in the post-season. Lastly, here is a breakdown of the playoff field, with each team’s odds of lifting the MLS Cup.

For individual looks at each conference semifinal series, here are breakdowns of the following match-ups:

New York vs. Houston

Sporting KC vs. New England

Portland vs. Seattle

Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy

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What do you think of the conference semifinal match-ups? Who do you see winning the match-ups? Which series are you most looking forward to?

Share your thoughts below.

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19 Responses to A closer look at the MLS Cup Playoffs

  1. Brian says:

    Sounders were lucky to face Colorado without Dillon Powers. Cannot see them upsetting Portland tonight in the big rivalry match after playing Wednesday.

  2. Larry says:

    they should really drop the “playoffs” branding and market this tournament as strictly a Cup.

    • Clyde Frog says:

      But it is play-offs. It isn’t a cup.

    • Andrew says:

      It’s called MLS Cup Playoffs, and that is exactly what it is.

      • Larry says:

        and all evidence suggests that the majority of American soccer fans do not like playoffs with soccer.

        • bryan says:

          uh, i’d like to see the data because i don’t buy that.

          • Larry says:

            just look at the TV ratings for MLS playoff games and the MLS Cup final. They are abysmal.

            And then compare that with how many people tune in to watch other leagues and international tournaments.

            The majority of American soccer fans are not watching MLS. Is it because of the pointless regular season and playoff structure? That’s probably a big part of it. Though i think the league weakening the play on the field with its salary cap is a big factor too.

            • John says:

              A big problem is many Americans view MLS as a minor league and it’s hard to blame them when you have playoff matches on an NFL feild.

            • SoccerGuru says:

              What a stretch there… Majority of American Sports fans prefer playoffs. Playoffs are simply awesome. Playoffs and tournaments are the same thing basically.

              The reason that leagues like the EPL and International tournament get higher ratings is because the soccer is better, and that’s where all the big stars play. Simple as that.

              If the EPL had a playoff structure, the ratings would still be as high.

              Anyways, with no promotion or relegation possible, playoffs are the best format.

            • bryan says:

              MLS TV ratings are terrible, period. i’m not sure you can pin that on the playoffs or the fact that MLS has playoffs.

              like you said, i think it has to do with the cap. people watch Barca and Manchester United because of the players on the team.

  3. PD says:

    Timbers – Sigi loses his job
    New York – Houston gives them a scare
    New England – KC gets the lump (one of the favorites has to)
    LA – because beating RSL when I’m pulling for RSL is one of the reasons I hate LA.

    New York beat Revs

    Timbers beat LA and Arena dies of a belly ache

    New York beats Portland cause it’s just NY’s year.

  4. ThaDeuce says:

    So were they offside or not?

  5. byob el paso tx says:

    I repeat, when MLS reaches 20 teams, or 24 teams, dont have conference playoffs. Have single table winner, in west and east and give them a semifinal direct spot for MLS CUP PLAYOFFS .
    MAKE PLAYOFF GAMES, KNOCKOUT GAMES, NOT TWO LEGGED SERIES.