- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On November 7, 2008
- 4 Comments
- Game Predictions, Game Previews, MLS Cup Playoffs
You’ve got to love the return leg in a home-and-away series. The home leg is for the higher seed and as we saw last night the higher seed made the most of it as the Chicago Fire dominated the New England Revolution in a 3-0 thrashing. I sort of see the three home seeds doing the same this weekend after each got put into a good position to do so last week in the road leg.
I still don’t like the playoff format with the opening round like this but at least this year I think we will see that it won’t matter that the higher seeds are put on the road first in stead of at home to start the playoffs. There is a reason why the Columbus Crew and Houston Dynamo won their conferences, because of the way they play at home.
So three more games will produce our conference finals next week. I believe the Eastern conference final will be on Thursday and the Western conference final on either Saturday or Sunday (depending on TV I assume). But this weekend we get two tomorrow evening and one on Sunday.
If you have any predictions for this weekend, feel free to post them below.
Kansas City Wizards – at – Columbus Crew: The Crew could have been put into a tough situation going home down 1-0 had Steven Lehnart not scored in extra time last Saturday. The rookie has proved his worth time and time again here and that goal was huge for the Crew. It sent this series back to Columbus, where it started, all tied up.
I love the Crew at home too, they know how to win and will build off that late goal in the process. KC on the road this year hasn’t been anything to brag about either. They do have the heart and hustle to go through over the Crew but the talent that the Crew has is just going to be too much to overcome on the road. KC has a tough time stopping the wings and Columbus has some of the best wing play in the league.
Look for Robbie Rogers and guys like that to have a solid game with an early goal. KC could keep it close with the way Claudio Lopez is playing (finally like a DP should) but it won’t be enough. KC spoiled a top seed last year, that won’t happen this time around. Big difference between this year and last year for the Wizards, the club KC beat out last year (Chivas) was unhealthy and this year’s Crew are fully fit for this one. Big difference.
WVH Prediction: Columbus 2, KC 1 (Columbus wins series 3-2 on goals)
Real Salt Lake – at – Chivas USA: If there was a lower seed to advance to next week’s conference finals it would have to be Real. Not because of the one-goal advantage going into this game but because they have spoiler written all over them here.
This game should be a fun one to watch really. Both clubs really don’t like one another and that will go to a whole new level tomorrow night in Carson. Real will want to be physical throughout this game to not allow Chivas to get back in this series but we all know one goal can change a whole lot here. I think that will happen.
I think Chivas gets back into this series with a late goal to tie things up at one apiece. Then this one will shift into extra time and then penalties. It’s anyone’s guess at that point. I will still take the home team though in that event.
WVH Prediction: Chivas 1, RSL 0 (Chivas wins 5-3 on PK to advance)
New York Red Bulls – at – Houston Dynamo: This may be the safest bet all weekend. New York on the road is terrible and Houston at home is something else. Dominate may be the right word for Houston at home. Anyways, I just don’t like the Red Bulls chances on the road, in a place that nearly no one wins at in the fall.
Houston could have been down 1-0 and I would still think they would have a shot at winning this series. They did that the last two years, get in an early hole and then come back at Robertson Stadium to win the series big. They are already ahead of the curve this year with a one-goal tie in the series. Look for them to jump on a weak Red Bulls defense early and never let up.
New York’s playoff run will be short as usual, I just don’t see any miracles of them advancing in Houston.
WVH Prediction: Houston 3, New York 0 (Houston wins series 4-1 on goals)