By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard
The race for the MLS Cup kicks into high gear Wednesday night when Colorado visits Seattle. The post season is exciting when it comes to any sport or league but this years MLS Cup playoffs have a lot of big questions to answer.
In the black for the Red Bulls?
The NY Red Bulls pulled in their very first trophy in franchise history with the Supporters Shield. One would believe that this would make them an odds on favorite to take home MLS Cup. It could very well happen with the team they have but this is also a club that has continued to not live up to expectations over their tenure in MLS. Until they hoist the cup above their heads there will always be doubt.
Portland finished the regular season with a record setting 5 losses over 34 games. Impressive stuff considering what this team looked like last season. Can Caleb Porter and his “Porter-ball” excel in the playoff format or will their legs be too tired from the long hard road which is the MLS regular season. Their first opponent could be their arch rival Seattle. Now that is TV worth watching.
Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane are a higher seed then they were entering last years playoffs however they have to square off against Real Salt Lake to start off. RSL is probably the most dangerous team in the playoffs. But LA has the experience and the expectation of winning. Three peats are hard to do, even in LA, and LA has it’s work cut out for them.
Old Timers and First Timers
Montreal is an older team. Houston is a veteran club. New England is a young team. Sporting KC is a well rounded team. Montreal v Houston and NE v SKC are two of your first three games. Anyone of these teams could get hot and runaway with the Cup however each team has some big weaknesses like Montreal’s age, Houston’s lack of success against New York, New England’s youth and SKC’s ability to not be dominate at home this season.
The playoffs are here and regardless of your loyalty this should be something worth watching.