MLS Cup Playoffs second legs: All to play for out West

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
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The MLS Cup Playoffs conference semifinals will meet their second legs over the next four days — one Thursday, three more Sunday — and only one favorite has a clear edge after 90 minutes away from home.

[ MORE: Zack Steffen talks with PST ]

Here’s the forecast for the home legs.

New York City FC vs. Columbus Crew — 5 p.m. ET Sunday
Crew leads 4-1 after one leg

While Columbus executives are being ensnared by email hoaxes, their Crew is within 90 minutes of advancing to an unlikely Eastern Conference finals match-up with either Toronto FC (likely) or New York Red Bulls (not impossible).

NYCFC manager Patrick Vieira says Columbus leaves itself open to goals, plural, but goalkeeper Zack Steffen and his crew — pun intended — can alter their tactical plan to keep this one within three… and that’s all they need to move forward.

Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls — 3 p.m. ET Sunday
TFC leads 2-1 after one leg

The No. 6 seed Red Bulls were better for much of the second half, but that Sebastian Giovinco guy scored another wonderful free kick to give the Reds a second away goal and a first leg win. Bradley Wright-Phillips gave the vaunted TFC defense fits at times, and will be a major part of any chance RBNY has at an upset.

Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo — 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday
Scoreless after first leg

Portland lost Diego Chara on a chopped up field in Texas, but will have raucous Providence Park behind it at home in a winner-take-all second leg. The Dynamo won’t have goalkeeper Tyler Deric following a domestic arrest, leaving Joe Willis to tend the sticks, but can advance with a scoring draw.

Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps — 10:30 p.m. ET Thursday
Scoreless after first leg

The first leg was mostly terrible, leaving the Cascadia Cup rivals to go all out for 90 minutes in Washington. The ‘Caps beat and drew Seattle in British Columbia, but the third meeting of the season was also the most recent. It came in Seattle, and went 3-0 to the Sounders. Advantage Seattle? Maybe not, because a scoring draw can do the trick for the ‘Caps.