There will be upsets.
While Major League Soccer’s playoffs certainly should provide plenty of love for home teams in the one leg format, it will also give underdogs the chance to outfox better seeds over 90 minutes.
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Considering that 92 of 408 MLS matches ended in ties this season, we may also see a few matches hit penalty kicks.
Here’s where we see the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs going…
(5) DC United defeats (4) Toronto FC
(3) Philadelphia Union defeats (6) New York Red Bulls
(2) Atlanta United defeats (7) New England)
(5) LA Galaxy defeats (4) Minnesota United
(6) Portland Timbers defeat (3) Real Salt Lake
(2) Seattle Sounders defeat (7) FC Dallas
Why the upsets? DC’s defense has been very good this season, and there’s something about Wayne Rooney‘s MLS exit that doesn’t seem immediate. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a big game player and Minnesota’s experiencing the playoffs for the first time. Portland is missing Brian Fernandez but has enough savvy and experience to outlast a decent (and very strong at home) RSL.
(5) DC United defeats (1) New York City FC
(2) Atlanta United defeats (3) Philadelphia Union
(1) LAFC defeats (5) LA Galaxy
(2) Seattle Sounders defeat (6) Portland Timbers
Why the upset? If there’s one team equipped to deal with the NYCFC possession-based attack on a baseball field, it’s DC. The back line and Bill Hamid do enough to stun a No. 1 seed which will not have played in nearly a month.
(2) Atlanta United defeats (5) DC United
(1) LAFC defeats (2) Seattle Sounders
MLS Cup Final
(2) Atlanta United defeats (1) LAFC
Why the upset? Just to be different, and so all the people who laid Atlanta’s early struggles at the feet of Frank De Boer and not adapting to the post-Miguel Almiron era can sigh, “Ohhhhh.”