Eye on MLS: Conference Semifinals Status Check

The first leg of the Conference Semifinals are behind us–by the end of this weekend the fixtures for the final 4 MLS teams advancing to the Conference Finals will be set. Here’s a quick status check on where each matchup stands going into the second and final leg. In addition, FFG takes a stab at something new: the prediction game. If you disagree, we hope you’ll vociferously (but respectfully) state your case in the comments.

Correction: In our first post regarding the Conference Semifinals, we mentioned that away goals are weighted over home goals (as they are in many double-leg fixtures across the globe). In truth, however, MLS playoffs are played as a pure aggregate. In the case of a tie on aggregrate goals, a 30 minute overtime “match” is played to determine a winner. If still tied, teams go to penalty shots. Disadvantages to this approach? The 30 minute overtime period following the 2nd leg gives the 2nd leg home team an additional home field advantage.

Columbus Crew vs Colorado Rapids

1st Leg Result: Colorado 1, Columbus 0

2nd Leg: November 6, 4pm ET
Match Up: Colorado Rapids at Columbus Crew
Where: Columbus Crew Stadium
Watch it on: TeleFutura
FFG Crystal Ball: Columbus 2, Colorado 1

Schelotto and company were ineffective in the thin mountain air, but they’ve tasted a recent championship and possess that killer bite a team needs for a clutch win. They’ll come out regrouped, more disciplined and tuned to a higher frequency. Colorado, on the other hand, won’t go limp. Marvell Wynne and Drew Moore on the backline have both been solid and Connor Casey up top plays with the detached coolness of a Hell’s Angel.

Columbus advances on penalties after a 2 – 2 on aggregate.

FC Dallas vs Real Salt Lake

1st Leg Result: FC Dallas 2, Real Salt Lake 1

2nd Leg: November 6, 10pm ET
Match Up: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake
Where: Rio Tinto Stadium
Watch it on: FSC
FFG Crystal Ball: Salt Lake 1, FC Dallas 1

OK, so we know Salt Lake hasn’t lost at home for like a gazillion games. Who said anything about losing? If there is one team on the planet you don’t want to play you for a draw, it’s Dallas. If it were an art (and we’re not saying it’s a pretty one), they’ve become the DaVincis of it. Without playmaker Morales (out with a red card issued in game 1) Salt Lake will struggle to command the midfield. Dallas will play a physically brutal game led by midfield bruiser Hernandez and frustrate Salt Lake up to the closing minute. If they aren’t careful, a last minute counter by a speedy Dallas sub-in will make it 2 – 1.

FC Dallas advances on 3 – 2 aggregate.

New York Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes

1st Leg Result: San Jose 0, New York 1

2nd Leg: November 4, 8pm ET
Match Up: San Jose at New York
Where: Red Bull Arena
Watch it on: ESPN2
FFG Crystal Ball: New York 3, San Jose 1

San Jose obviously doesn’t read FFG’”s advice and now they’re paying the price. At home, New York’s wingers will be even harder to contain. Angel will be looking to finish his Red Bull career with flair. “No way San Jose.”

New York advances 4 – 1 on aggregate.

LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders

1st Leg Result: Seattle 0, LA 1

2nd Leg: November 7, 9pm ET
Match Up: LA Galaxy at Seattle Sounders
Where: The Home Depot Center
Watch it on: ESPN
FFG Crystal Ball: LA 2, Seattle 1

With Buddle scoring world class golasos and the millionaires (Donovan and Beckham) willing to do the dirty work and defend their wings, it doesn’t seem likely Seattle will be able to do on the road what they couldn’t do with the most intensely supportive stadium in the MLS behind them. Look for a Hollywood ending to this one.

LA advances 3 – 1 on aggregate.

One Comments Post a Comment
  1. Blake Owen says:

    I couldn’t believe that Buddle goal. I kept thinking over and over – where was that during the World Cup?

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