MLS Playoffs 2018 Semifinals

Well, playing at home wasn’t the best in the knockout round where only NYCFC advanced at home, all the other visitors came and won some in heart breaking fashion, DC United and Columbus went to Penalties to decide the game, other not so much as LAFC is out thanks to an own goal and Portland advanced over Dallas.

As for this upcoming round which begins on Sunday in the lower seed home followed by a game at the higher seeds home the following Sunday or Thursday in the case of Seattle. In the East, Columbus Crew host New York Red Bulls and NYCFC host Atlanta United. I really hope that it doesn’t end up with the two teams from New York meeting in the Conference Finals. I think that everyone should have a soft sport for the Crew one of the original teams with the threat of them moving to Austin is the team didn’t get funding for a new Stadium remember it was only last year when it was all #SavetheCrew. If I had to pick Columbus and NYCFC make it out of this round. In the West Real Salt Lake host Sporting KC and the Portland Timbers host Seattle Sounders. I’m hoping that Sporting KC and the Timbers make it to the Finals. Although the Sounders seems more likely to advance as they have been the most dominate team in the League since they joined and they have made it to the MLS Cup Finals the past two years.

MLS Playoffs 2018

Sure the least know major American Sports League, Major League Soccer has reached the end of their regular season and are going to begin their playoffs.  MLS starts their playoffs with knockout games before the typical home and home for the next two round before the final game, scheduled for December 8.  The top six teams from both Conferences made the playoffs and the top two seeds have a bye through the knockout round. with the high seed hosting the lower seed. After this round the teams get reseeded so the top team will play the lowest seed left.

In the East: Atlanta United, Columbus Crew, DC United, NYCFC, NY Red Bulls, and Philadelphia Union are the teams that made it, and in the West: FC Dallas, Los Angeles FC, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City have gotten in.  We will be getting a new MLS Champion this year as Toronto FC didn’t make the playoffs. The Knockout round begins on Halloween, with NYCFC hosting Philadelphia Union at Yankees Stadium and FC Dallas hosting Portland Timbers in Frisco, Texas. The next day DC United host Columbus Crew SC at Audi field and the LAFC host Real Salt Lake in LA. This is the first season from the LAFC. This is a single game and the winners we go on to play the top seeds in the Conference Semifinals, the lowest seed will play at NY Red Bulls and Sporting KC and the other winners, the higher seed will face Atlanta United and Seattle Sounders.

Some predictions for the knockout round, DC United have been lights out at home so they have the advantage, that’s the only solid pick I have. Philly played NYCFC in New York on Sunday and lost 3-1 can they bounce back before Wednesday’s game? NYCFC wins, and we have them playing Atlanta in the Semifinals and the classic oldest MLS Rivalry United/Red Bulls in the other game.  In the West, while it would be real cool to see more rivals meet up in the semifinals it seems unlikely but these are just dumb guesses let’s have Real Salt Lake beat LAFC and the Timbers beat Dallas, so we have the Real Salt Lake playing Sporting KC, and Timbers/Sounders. Although it seems more likely that Dallas will beat the Timbers and then facing Seattle.

 

NFL playoff picture and MLS playoffs

With roughly half of the NFL season over it is pretty crazy that most of the league still has a chance to make the playoffs with about 21 of them likely to have upswings in their seasons. This is the results of parity throughout the league for better of worse. Hopefully nothing will be decided until at least December where it could make for some interesting division games to wrap up the season.

Over in Major League Soccer they have shifted to the Conference Finals. These four teams will play a home and home with the aggregate goal total advancing to the MLS Cup. In the East we have a match between the previous two winner of the Eastern Conference in Columbus Crew SC and Toronto FC. So both teams have experience in playing in these gamesIn the West we have the defending Champions in the Seattle Sounders and a team from Houston the Dynamo matching up. Who knows how these games will go we might get to see another team from Houston playing for a Championship or Seattle could be the first to defend a championship since the LA Galaxy back in 2011-2012. It will be an exciting couple of games upcoming.

MLS Playoffs

Sure Major League Soccer doesn’t get much exposure so it isn’t that big of a sport in America but Professional Soccer has been a thing for over two decades now. Currently they are in the Conference semifinals with a home and home series for all the teams with the aggregate score winner moving on to the Conference Finals. In the East we have both New York teams the Red Bulls and NYCFC along with Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew SC. In the West we have the last two MLS Cup winners in the Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers alongside the Houston Dynamo and the Vancouver Whitecaps. While we might be a rematch of last year MLS Cup, Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC, I and many others are hoping for a good story to come out with the Columbus Crew winning it all. They are currently a pawn in another stadium exhortation scheme as ownership of the Crew, Anthony Precourt has threatened to move the team to Austin, Texas if he doesn’t get a new downtown stadium. Columbus does play in a stadium built in 1999 but it’s not like it is a bad location compared to other stadiums it still hosts a great energy, and the US Men’s National Team has had some great success there as well. According to the reports the move is to keep up with all the new teams and new stadiums that have come to the league since 1999 and if they move or build a new stadium it would be several years from now the are in a 25 year lease on the current stadium.
Enough about the Crew, but it would be nice to the see the Eastern Conference win as the West has been dominate since 2000 winning 15 of the titles. Hopefully, this can evolve to closer to parity between the two conferences.

Preseason Football

We are currently in the second week of the NFL Preseason and the sports media is already hyping football like it’s the only game in town despite the fact that there are several MLB postseason races which are mighty interesting and the MLS season is winding down as well.  Sure I understand the reason why preseason games need to be played as it’s a chance for some players to audition for a role on the team or the settle who all is starting material for the upcoming season. However there is also the chance that injuries can happen and basically wreck the whole season before it begins. My hometown team, has had the unfortunate place of having two such injuries within their first two games, the top Tight End is out for the season and it looks like the Offensive line still has holes that need the be patched up so that the Quarterback can have some time to throw the ball.  Throwing in the towel at this stage of the season is not something to look forward to, sure perhaps in the three or so weeks before the season begins some of these problems will get fixed but that would be very hopeful thinking.

My biggest question is if the NFL wants to have the addition revenue from ticket sales of  four more weeks of the season why not just start the whole season with preseason and have these games count it would be one way to get more fans into the stand to see the games since they would mean something or at least make like games 3 and 4 count then the media hype around the event would mean something.  Well the NFL season begins soon as does the College Football season, and people are all ready to see what will happen this upcoming year.