Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Final Cuts

I'm fully aware of the historical numbers. I'm painfully aware that just two of my first eight picks for tie winners in this year's MLS Playoffs have come through.

Be that all as it may, I can only go with Toronto FC and Seattle to take their respective conference finals and set up just the third MLS Cup rematch in league history (and the first not to feature Houston).

This will surely piss off some folks in Columbus and Houston, but I find that both clubs have been incredibly lucky to get this far. That's not to say they didn't earn their place in the final four - but let's get real for a moment.

The Crew narrowly survived Atlanta United and NYCFC, both of whom squandered a bushel of great chances when just one more goal would have done the trick. The Dynamo scraped past Sporting KC before a sudden injury tornado all but wiped out the Portland line-up for them. That adds up to four ties, all won by the slimmest of margins.

It says here the luck is about to run out. It says here that Greg Vanney's Reds can manage a good enough first leg result without the Jozy-Seba axis of G-ville for them to be able to lay waste to Columbus when their star forwards return for the decider in Toronto. It says here that Seattle has the wide defenders capable of slowing Elis and Quioto, and the midfield to own their supply line.

So yeah, it says here that we're all headed back to BMO for another TFC-Seattle duel for all the marbles.

- Greg Seltzer

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