Controlling the quality of life. That's what she said.
With the regular season over, tomorrow marks the start of the playoff race to the 2012 MLS Cup. This year’s MLS playoff format has been changed to resemble more that of other American major league sports. There are no inter-conference games in the playoffs until the MLS Cup final, which seems like common sense.
The playoffs kick off with Chicago Fire hosting the Houston Dynamo. To be honest, I haven’t been keeping up with the Eastern conference, but for what I’ve seen n’ read this looks to be an intense matchup between two teams of the same caliber. Both teams backed into the playoffs with a chance to earn a higher seed and possibly secure a first-round bye, but instead they only posted a collective 3 wins in last ten games (Fire L-L-W-L-D, Dynamo L-W-D-W-L). Both teams have a history of success (albeit Houston’s history is a short one…*holding grudge for moving Earthquakes to Houston*), but they haven’t quite regained their footing at the end of the regular season. Chicago’s inability to make the most of scoring chances has bitten them in the derrière. Hopefully this will be a close game because both teams have returned to form and not because they’re both in shambles from the regular season. Winner moves on to play #1 Eastern conference team, Sporting Kansas City.
Eastern Conference Knockout Round: Houston Dynamo at Chicago Fire
Wednesday 10/31, 9PM ET (6PM PT) on ESPN2
The following match is the ever star-studded Los Angeles Galaxy with its super advantageous post-season home record (9-1-0) hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps (1-3-1 in last 5 games, 3rd worst in last 10 games). This game appears to be an easy pick. Some may also say this is a boring game to watch. However, the reason you should watch it is because it might be one of the most epic upsets. A gal can dream. While Galaxy had a dismal start to the season, they never stopped playing catch-up n’ earned home-field advantage for the knockout round (although they have some players questionable due to injury). In contrast, the ‘Caps had a good start, a decent first two-thirds of the regular season, but they have played a disappointing last third. Hopefully they regroup, find their form n’ make this matchup an interesting one. Give LA something to talk about. Winner moves on to play #1 MLS team, Supporters Shield winner, San Jose Earthquakes. (So I’m obviously keeping a close eye on this match.)
Western Conference Knockout Round: Vancouver Whitecaps at Los Angeles Galaxy
Thursday 11/1, 10:30PM ET (7:30PM PT) on NBCSN (Sports Network)
Do you think any of these four teams have a chance to go all the way? (Please don’t say Galaxy, you’ll break my poor ol’ heart.)
Quick shoutout: Quakes’ Chris Wondolowski for tying the MLS record for goals in a single regular season n’ earning his bigillionth Golden Boot.