The second legs of the Quarter finals happen over the next couple of days, with a couple of desperate teams more or less needing miracles on Wednesday, followed by two more delicately balanced games on Thursday, all culminating in what is becoming a deliciously grudge filled game between the glamour clubs of Los Angeles and New York. Best of all, seeing as how there's no NASCAR to get in the way, all 4 games will be on TSN2.
The first game is Sporting Kansas City against Colorado Rapids. SKC have a two goal lead, it will be their first playoff game at Livestrong Park, and Colorado picked up a bunch of injuries and a suspension to Tyrone Marshall in the first leg, I really can't see any way back for the defending champs in this one, which will mean the East will be guaranteed an Eastern representative (though Houston could well make a small mockery of that) for the first time since 2008.
That's followed by Seattle Sounders trying to overturn a 3-0 deficit against Real Salt Lake. Even though they're further behind than Colorado, I'd give them a better chance of coming back. Thye've got the hometown advantage of the plastic pitch, as well as what will be a large and loud crowd behind them, and judging by their tough talk on Twitter, Sounders fans are doing their best to convince themselves they have a chance. An early goal for the Sounders could be huge, but there's too much quality and big game experience in the RSL team for them to let this get away from them. They'll lose on the night, but go through on aggregate.
Thursday's first game is Houston Dynamo v Philadelphia Union. Houston have a 2-1 lead from the first leg, and should have enough to stop the Union from coming back. With Houston having two away goals, Philadelphia will need to win by two, so will have to attack, meaning Houston should get plenty of counter attack opportunities, which they should be able to take advantage of, they'll win on the night as well as overall.
That leaves just the one game, LA Galaxy v New York Red Bulls, and this should be interesting. The first leg wasn't a great exhibition of football, but New York will have to show some urgency, and they've certainly got the attacking talent to make things happen, while LA also have the weapons to be able to pick them off on the Counter attack.
What makes this game more interesting though is the drama. As the cliche goes, these teams really don't like each other. I'll have a post about that in more detail tomorrow, but after it all boiled over at the end of the first leg, with Rafa Marquez throwing the ball at landon Donovan, a bit of a fight ensuing, Marquez doing a comedy dive and clutch of the face, and Marquez and Juninho ending up suspended, there's been a lot of sniping back and forth in the media between the two teams. It could well turn nasty (I hope so, that'd be awesome), or there may not be any disciplinary problems at all, but at the very least, both teams should be fully motivated to prove a point, which should make for a compelling game. I'll take LA to win both this tie and the tie as a whole.