The Full 90

My MLS playoff predictions

The MLS playoffs, as they are such constructed, begin this evening. While the matchups are not quite as enticing as they could be (

like maybe this

), they're still the playoffs and they still feature the 8 best teams in the league.

Here are my predictions for the actually-quite-predictable-usually MLS Playoffs.

Seattle will "upset" Los Angeles.

What a fine reward for the regular season champion, huh? Seattle is the league's hottest team and Los Angeles won the Supporter's Shield on the strength of a remarkable Spring/early Summer. They've not been as sharp recently. Seattle's speed and depth will trouble LA.

Real Salt Lake and Dallas will be decided by penalty kicks, RSL will win.

These two teams are both possession-based teams. Both are fairly good. This has draw/penalties etched all over it. For shame, this would make an excellent Western Conference finals.

New York will barely control the San Jose Earthquakes.

New York might have clinched the Eastern Conference, but that's like saying Matt Cassel is the best quarterback on the Kansas City Chiefs roster. Of course he is, have you looked at the roster? (Yes, if you follow this analogy, Columbus = Brodie Croyle.) They have a lot of talent, but they aren't invincible. I think they've got just enough to get past the Quakes.

Colorado will expose Columbus and punish them.

I want (very badly) to go against the grain here and pick Columbus -- they're very talented and good at home. But Will Hesmer is out for the entire playoffs and their vets have looked old as the season wore on.

Seattle will win the Western Conference; Colorado will win the Eastern.

I actually hate writing both of those. For starters, I'm not sure Colorado is one of the best 4 teams in the league -- they are dangerous, for sure, but they aren't better than Dallas or Los Angeles. (I. Hate. This. Playoff. Format.) I also hate writing that Seattle will win, because I'm pretty sure it means that I think Seattle will win the whole thing.

Which they probably will. Let's make it official:

Seattle will realize their destiny and win the MLS Cup this year.