MLS Eastern Conference
No. 2 CF Montréal vs. No. 7 Orlando City SC
Final Score: 2-0 Montréal
Predicted Watchability Score: D+
Watchability Score: C
Predicted Winner: CF Montréal
Winner: CF Montréal
It would always take just short of a miracle for Orlando City SC to grab a win over Montréal and move on to the second round. Though Orlando put up a fight, a game-sealing goal from former Serbian-league star Djordje Milanovic all but crushed a potential upset for the ages last Saturday.
Montréal will move on to face New York City FC this Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT in New York. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
No. 3 New York City FC vs. No. 6 Inter Miami CF
Final Score: 3-0 NYFC
Predicted Watchability Score: B
Watchability Score: B
Predicted Winner: New York City FC
Winner: New York City FC
New York looked to repeat its MLS Cup win over the Portland Timbers last season, its first in franchise history. In a win that would move them one step closer to a historic rival in the New York Red Bulls, NYCFC ensured a younger team in Inter Miami went back to the drawing board in the second half, scoring three straight goals despite keeping the ball in their possession for 52% of the match.
NYCFC will take on FC Montréal this Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT in New York. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
No. 4 New York Red Bulls vs. No. 5 FC Cincinnat
Final Score: 2-1 Cincinnati
Predicted Watchability Score: A-
Watchability Score: A
Predicted Winners: New York Red Bulls
WInners: FC Cincinnati
14 shots, 14 misses.
Though the Red Bulls have broken into the MLS playoffs for 13 years in a row, they and FC Dallas have a single appearance in the MLS Cup finals since its creation in 1996. The Red Bulls’ streak continued as Cincinnati earned its first playoff win in franchise history in its first ever postseason appearance off of a nearly-last-minute goal from All-Star forward Brandon Vazquez.
Cincinnati will work to push past Philadelphia this Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT in Cincinnati. The game will be broadcasted on FS1 and FOX Deportes.
MLS Western Conference
No. 2 Austin FC vs. No. 7 Real Salt Lake
Final Score: 2-2 (Austin advances off penalties, 3-1)
Predicted Watchability Score: C+
Watchability Score: A-
Predicted Winner: Austin FC
Winner: Austin FC
Austin FC barely scraped past a Salt Lake team with everything to prove off of two penalty saves from goalkeeper Brad Stuver. Real Salt Lake looked as though they would pull off an almost-league-changing upset after scoring two goals in 15 minutes, but Austin’s talented goal scorers put the MLS back into a state of normalcy with two gut-wrenching goals on their way to win their first playoff game in franchise history.
Austin FC will look to shake off a heavily-contested matchup when they take on FC Dallas this Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
No. 3 FC Dallas vs. No. 6 Minnesota United FC
Final Score: 1-1 (Dallas advances off penalties, 5-4)
Predicted Watchability Score: B-
Watchability Score: B+
Predicted Winner: FC Dallas
Winner: FC Dallas
FC Dallas seemed to have every opportunity to put the game away once and for all and advance in a decisive victory, keeping possession for 60% of the match, but Minnesota’s fantastic defensive play held off 19 shots, eight on goal. FC Dallas finally broke through with a goal in the 64th minute from forward Facundo Quignón.
FC Dallas will face its Texas rival in Austin FC this Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
No. 4 LA Galaxy vs. No. 5 Nashville SC
Final Score: 1-0 Los Angeles
Watchability Score: A+
Watchability Score: F
Projected Winner: Nashville SC
Winner: LA Galaxy
The Nashville bias in me thought an upset win would happen.
A 1-0 loss ended a season filled with MVP-caliber performances from midfielder Hany Muktar, performances in a new stadium and what could have been so much more for an up-and-coming Nashville roster. It will be up to Muktar and the rest of the Nashville roster to regroup and fight again next season with the players they have remaining from the upcoming expansion draft.
The LA Galaxy will battle its crosstown rival in LAFC this Thursday at 10 p.m. EDT. The game will be broadcasted on FS1 and FOX Deportes.
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