MLS Cup Playoffs Preview

It’s that time of the year, folks. The MLS Cup Playoffs begin on October 20th. We will look at potential matchups and possible scenarios for Philadelphia Union. Holding the first overall position in the conference (and the league) gives Philadelphia a bye in the first round. With teams collapsing and making late-season runs for playoff position. We look into who the Union could play and the most favorable matchups. The quest for the Cup begins soon.

With the first-round bye that Philadelphia has. They will get a chance to watch the matches and learn much about who they could play next. If the playoffs were to start today, the matchups would be Montreal-Inter Miami, New York Red Bulls-Cincinnati, and NYCFC-Orlando City. Having played a few of these clubs recently could give Philadelphia an advantage when it comes time to play them in the playoffs. This article will cover the teams the Union may face on the road to the MLS Cup. Let’s dive right in.

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The Others

Montreal and head coach Wilfried Nancy have had an amazing season. After finishing 10th last season in the conference, Montreal has seen a resurgence that has propelled them to second this season. Players like Victor Wanyama and Romell Quioto have helped Montreal go from being on the outside looking in to being in the dance and looking to make their mark on an amazing turnaround season. With a record against Philadelphia this season of 0-1-1, Philly has a distinct advantage. But don’t let the regular season record against the number one team fool you. Montreal is where they are for a reason, and they are relishing in their opportunity.

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New York Red Bulls are again in the MLS Cup Playoffs and have a better position in the standings, which gives them a match at home this time. Head coach Gerhard Struber has done what their fans wanted and made this team tougher to play against. Red Bulls battled with Philadelphia and crosstown rivals NYCFC for top positioning in the Eastern Conference early on in the year and have shown massive improvement in their attack. They have, however, been showing a lack of discipline on the pitch. With the second most fouls committed in MLS, New York Red Bulls need to reign in the poor discipline if they have any chance at making a run this postseason.

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NYCFC is the defending MLS Cup champions, but has it come at too steep a price? Not only are they the club with the most fouls committed this season across the entire league, but they lost forward Valentin Castellanos to La Liga side Girona on a transfer. Lacking that edge in the final third has caused the club to take a nose dive of sorts in the standings.

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They battled with Philadelphia and New York Red Bulls for the top spot in the Eastern Conference early on in the year. That gave the fans hope for a potential repeat as champions. Then, the Castellanos transfer happened, and the collapse began. First, the lack of goal scoring was quickly followed by frustration and a severe lack of discipline. NYCFC will need to tighten up and find that scoring touch if they plan on making any sort of a deep run in the MLS Cup playoffs.

The playoffs begin in less than a month, and the stakes have never been higher. It’s win-or-go-home time as all eyes are being set on the cup. We will break down the remaining three teams in the Eastern Conference and give you all a look at what the Western Conference has to offer. The hunt is on.

Austin Hamell
Austin Hamell

Austin is the host of The Attacking Third (Tuesday nights at 9 pm). His passion for soccer started in the early 2000s because of his brother and father’s influence. He is a dedicated fan of all Philly sports and also is a fan of gaming.

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