Playoffs time! (…and Interview Week here at The Shin Guardian…a note on that in a bit).
The more I think about it, the more I like the uniqueness of playoffs to MLS. Maybe not the ridiculously confusing and backwards format, but at least having playoffs…very Uhmerican.
We’ll be along shortly with a playoff preview, but for now a quick look-see at some of the match-ups:
Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders
One-liner: The Galaxy easily captured the season series with a +5 goal differential. Seattle has some momentum and their zippy forwards give the Galaxy fits, but…
Opening match: Seattle: Sunday, 5pm PDT
Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas
One-liner: How do two do of the top teams play each other in the first round again? Huh?…Dallas fixed their defense and added David Ferreira to the first eleven this year (but scored less goals). Is that enough for Pizza Hut’s men against a battle-tested midfield, the reigning champs and a bowl full of dreadlocks?
Opening match: Dallas: Saturday, 2pm PDT.
New York Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes
One-liner: Looking for the upset series, this may be it. The Buck in Santa Clara will prove a more difficult labyrinth than at first blush for the Red Bulls and San Jose’s got a player each game that, if they muster it, can be a game changer: Convey, Ryan Johnson, Glen (ok, not Cornell Glen).
Earthquake honcho Frankie Yallop has been understated and a masterful puppeteer moving around pieces and coaxing out wins. Is Dane Richards faster than Mr. Wondoful is accurate? Oh…tasty!
Opening match: Santa Clara: Saturday, 7pm PDT
Columbus Crew vs. Colorado Rapids
One liner: Does a Thursday opener by the MLS Front Office suggest this series is easily on the undercard? The Crew have the experience while the Rapids have a two-pronged attack and the very underrated Jeff Larentowicz.
Opening match: Denver: Thursday, Denver, 6pm PDT.