Welcome to the playoffs! This won’t be your usual cheering guide, as we’ll look at every matchup over this glorious weekend. No match ratings. No impact ratings. Just straight up “Who do we want to see win”. Let’s get to the beautiful chaos of knockout soccer.
New York Red Bulls vs FC Cincinnati – Saturday @ 11 a.m. (Unimas/TUDN/MLS Website)
This game could off the rails in a hurry. Sure, they’ve played a pair of 1-1 draws, but these two teams have the capability to score fast and in bunches. FC Cincinnati makes their first playoff appearance ever after failing to defend the Wooden Spoon for a 4th straight season, and they should be helped by facing what is expected to be a less than enthusiastic crowd at Red Bull Arena. If we’re choosing someone to root for, it’s the Knifey Lions. They’ve been through so much pain that seeing FCC win a playoff game would make our hearts warm. However, they are from Cincinnati, so we know how this is likely to end up.
The Side: FC Cincinnati
L.A. Galaxy vs Nashville SC – Saturday @ 2 p.m. (Unimas/TUDN/MLS Website)
Hello slugfest. These two finished level on points, but it’s the Galaxy who get the home match thanks to having one more regular season win. L.A. went 1-0-1 against Nashville this season, but the win was back when the Coyotes were playing every match on the road while Geodis Park was still under construction. Nashville have quietly been one of the best teams in the league over the last two months and it feels like they have a great chance of pulling off the California double-double.
No, not THAT double-double. I’m talking about beating Galaxy this week and LAFC next week. While an El Traffico would be wildly entertaining in the 2nd round, I’ll take Nashville because I think they have a better chance of knocking off LAFC and potentially giving Austin FC a path to a home Conference Final.
The Side: Nashville…..with a side of fries
Club de Foot Montreal vs Orlando City – Sunday @ 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Our own Adrian Healy will be on the call for this one! This is a matchup the immediately hurts Austin’s CCL chances, because one of these teams must lose. Montreal is playing lights out soccer entering the playoffs, having gone 11-1-3 (25 pts) over their final 15 matches. Montreal also finished above ATXFC in the Suppoters’ Shield race, meaning if Austin played Montreal in the MLS Cup Final, that game would be played at Stade Saputo. Since that’s the case……
The Side: The Club Formerly Known As the AzTex
NYCFC vs Inter Miami FC – Monday @ 6:00 p.m. (FS1)
This should be a fun one at
Yankee Stadium, no Red Bull Arena, sorry Citi Field. The NY wandering soccer club moved the match to Queens once the New York Mets were knocked out of the playoffs, proving once again that playoff games should always be played in a 60% empty baseball park when available. And if NYCFC win + Montreal lose, we get more soccer-base! Count me in.
The Side: NYCFC
FC Dallas vs Minnesota United FC – Monday @ 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
Have you bought an $18 Electric Jellyfish at Q2 Stadium? Congratulations! You’ve officially paid more for a beer than it will cost Frisco fans to attend a playoff match.
Y’all, they are begging folks to show up. But it’s a school night, in Frisco mind you, and I just don’t see that happening. The atmosphere is going to feel like a night spent in…..well, Frisco.
If ATXFC wins Sunday, they will play the winner of this match. I’d much prefer that be Minnesota.
The Side: Loooonnnnsssss