The conference semi-finals are here and, with them, our MLS playoffs prediction league returns. Here’s how things stand after the knockout round:
|Name||Correct Scores||Correct Results||Points|
|Mark De Luca||1||3||6|
It’s still all to play for ahead of the four semi-final first legs to be played on Sunday. This round is very simple; with no possibility of extra time or penalties, you’ll get three points for guessing the correct final score and one for picking the winner (or a draw).
Here are a few of our contributors’ predictions - as usual, please leave yours in the comments section below!
Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls
Michael Veenstra: Montreal ran roughshod over D.C. United, but New York has a much better backline. Add in their strong midfield and attack, and this could be the game of the day. 1-2.
Philip Zivanovich: Montreal put on a masterclass against D.C. but NYRB is a different animal all together. The Red Bulls haven't lost in 20-something matches and I don't see that changing on Sunday. 1-3.
Jon Peckitt: Montreal smashed D.C. on Wednesday, with Ignacio Piatti showing why he should be in the MVP conversation. NYRB will be looking to return to New Jersey with at least some road goals. 2-2.
Dawid Burzynski: The second installment of MLS Canada versus New York. The Red Bulls ended the season in great form and Montreal picked up a lot of momentum in their midweek win; it should be an attacking as well as back-and-forth game. 2-2.
Oliver Platt: The job Montreal did on D.C. was impressive and I see them winning again, but not by a margin that will leave NYRB with a mountain to climb. 2-1.
LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids
Michael Veenstra: LA quietly put up a strong defensive season, and Colorado's offensive difficulties are well documented. 2-0.
Philip Zivanovich: Has the potential to be a yawner of a game. They play each other close and cautious and, somehow, the Galaxy push one across the line before 90 minutes is up. 1-0.
Jon Peckitt: LA will be riding high after a solid team effort against Real Salt Lake, but Colorado has had a great year. Expect Gashi to be the difference. 0-1.
Dawid Burzynski: A potent attack with star power against a less star-studded but extremely capable defensive unit. The duel between Sjoberg and Keane (if healthy) will be very interesting to watch, as will the tactical battle between Bruce Arena and Pablo Mastroeni. 2-1.
Oliver Platt: The Galaxy will grind out another narrow win but, once again, this isn’t a tie I see swinging dramatically in one direction in the first leg. 1-0.
Toronto FC vs. New York City FC
Michael Veenstra: The Reds can win this series with defence if they play solid, connected soccer like they did earlier this season. 2-0.
Philip Zivanovich: TFC continue to build momentum against a well-rested yet rusty NYCFC. The teams will trade punches but in the end, TFC will take a one-goal advantage back to the Empire State next week. 3-2.
Jon Peckitt: Toronto will be feeding off the energy of a city begging for a winner - a storybook scenario for the club’s first ever win against NYCFC. Villa and Co. will be a handful but won't overcommit ahead of the big return leg at Yankee Stadium. 2-1.
Dawid Burzynski: Toronto has great momentum after Wednesday's win and hopefully it carries them to victory against the playoff newcomers, who may take some time to adjust to the pace. 2-1.
Oliver Platt: Toronto overwhelm New York City but concede a consolation goal late to keep things interesting going into the return leg. 3-1.
Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas
Michael Veenstra: Seattle did well to eke out a win against Sporting KC, but FC Dallas are much better offensively and will take the chances KC squandered. 2-3.
Philip Zivanovich: A tight affair that sees some quality passages of play, resulting in a few nice goals, but both teams trying to lock it down after scoring. Look for Canadian Tesho Akindele to pot one of Dallas' goals. 1-2.
Jon Peckitt: Seattle took out Sporting KC in a chippy, emotional knockout game on Wednesday, while Dallas will be looking to prove their Supporters’ Shield winning season was no fluke. 1-1.
Dawid Burzynski: The toughest game to pick, not counting the Reds’ match (bias can cloud predictions). Seattle has a lot of momentum after their late surge up the standings and knockout-game win, but Sporting KC created chances against them. Dallas are missing a couple of star players out but do have Oscar Pareja and a winning culture in the dressing room. 1-1.
Oliver Platt: Another one for the draw. Mauro Diaz is a huge loss for Dallas but I can still see them grinding something out here. 1-1.