MLS Cup Playoffs Knockout Round Sees Four Matches of League's Best

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 1:41 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 1:41 PM UTC

The 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Knockout Round begins Wednesday night with two matches and two more scheduled for Thursday, including DC United hosting the Columbus Crew in Eastern Conference play.

MLS Capper Record Last Week: 1-3-0

MLS Capper October Record: 13-6-0

Philadelphia Union (15-6-14) at New York City FC (16-8-10)Yankee Stadium, New YorkWednesday, 7 p.m. ET (FS1, TSN, TVAS, UniMás)Free MLS Pick: NYCFC -134Best NYCFC Line Offered: 5Dimes

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David Villa and NYCFC host the Philadelphia Union in the opening match of the MLS Cup Playoffs Knockout Round on Wednesday night from NYC and The House That Ruth Built. Head Coach Domènec Torrent and the Bronx Blues beat the Union, 3-1 in matchweek 36 Sunday to split the season series after Philadelphia shut out NYCFC, 2-0 at Talen Energy Stadium. Cory Burke and Ilsinho scored second-half goals for the hosts, who needed the win to help make the playoffs.

  • NYCFC has only lost once at Home (12-4-1; NE Revolution 1-0)
  • NYCFC an unbeaten 3-1-0 lifetime at Home in MLS vs UNION (9 GF-5 GA)
  • UNION finished regular aeason with a -1 GD (49 GF-50 GA)

Predicted final score: NYCFC 3-Union 1

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SEE YOU BACK HERE IN A FEW DAYS #ForTheCity pic.twitter.com/Ji0sKkwUNz

— New York City FC (@NYCFC) October 28, 2018
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Portland Timbers (15-9-10) at FC Dallas (16-9-9)Toyota Park, Frisco, TexasWednesday, 9:30 pm ET/6:30 p.m. (ESPN+, TSN, TVAS, UniMás)Free MLS Picks: Timbers +298Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Head Coach Óscar Pareja and FC Dallas head into the MLS Cup Playoffs on a 3-match losing streak (COL 2-1 FCD, FCD 0-3 COL, DCU 1-0 COL) while Sebastian Blanco (11 goals, 100 assists) and the Timbers qualified in Matchweek 35 with their win over RSL.

The two teams tied both regular season meetings in fixtures where goals were scarce (FCD 0-0 PORT, PORT 1-1 FCD), and this one should plod along for awhile without a goal with the first goal likely being very, very important for the side looking to advance on to the next round.

  • FC DALLAS only have 2 Losses at Home (10-5-2)
  • FC DALLAS has only 1 Loss at Home to TIMBERS in MLS (6-5-1, 27 GF-13 GA)
  • TIMBERS only Win at FC Dallas was Oct. 26, 2014 (FCD 0-2 PORT)
  • Both Teams Have Scored the L6 meetings at Frisco

Predicted final score: FC Dallas 0-Timbers 1

Columbus Crew SC (14-9-11) at DC United (14-9-11)Audi Field, Washington, DCThursday, 8 p.m. ET (FS1, TSN, TVAS, UniMás)Free MLS Pick: DC United +110Best Line Offered: Bovada

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Wayne Rooney and DC United finished with an identical Record as the Crew, but with a positive GD (+10, 60 GF-50 GA) — thanks to a strong finish — compared to the Crew’s -2 (43 GF-45 GA), the Black-and-Red nabbed the Homepitch edge for this huge fixture which really matters for the hosts gere with an ugly 1-9-7 Road mark.

In the two meetings between these two Eastern Conference teams this Regular Season, the Crew won the first meeting in Columbus, 3-1 in march with GK Bill Hamid registering a Clean Sheet in 1 1-0 win in DC in April. On Sunday, Hamid notched a Clean Sheet as DCU extended its unbeaten streak to 10 with a 0-0 Draw to Chicago while the Crew saw Gyasi Zardes notch a hat trick in a 3-2 win vs visiting Minnesota United FC in a game delayed by weather.

  • DC UNITED unbeaten L10 (7-3-0, 21 GF-8 GA)
  • Teams have alternated W’s and L’s L5 at DC (DCU-CREW-DCU-CREW-DCU)
  • DC UNITED 23-4-10 lifetime vs CREW at Home (74 GF-44 GA)

Predicted final score: DC United-2 Crew 0

Real Salt Lake (14-7-14) at Los Angeles FC (16-9-9)Banc of California Stadium, Los AngelesThursday,10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2, TSN, TVAS, UniMás)Free MLS Pick: RSL +425Best Line Offered: Bovada

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Like the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL last year, the expansion Black and Gold are in the postseason in their first year of existence, and like VGK, LAFC will get the homefield edge in its first-ever playoff game a this midweek showdown with Real Salt Lake. RSL is the only club not to play on Sunday and which snuck into the 6th spot in the Western Conference thanks to an LA Galaxy loss vs Houston in a game it led 2-0 on Sunday.

So, the momentum and nothing-to-lose mentality will travel with RSL to LA where the hosts and No. 3-seed LAFC will head in 2-1 losers to Sporting Kansas City in Week 36 and in a spot where the perceived value in the sports gambling market may actually lie with the big underdog side with the -3 GD — Real Salt Lake (3-11-3 on road) despite the fact that Diego Rossi, Carlos Vela and and The New Kids In The League have only lost once in this new building.

  • LAFC 2-0-0 vs RSL (7 GF-1 GA; LAFC 2-0 RSL, RSL 1-5 LAFC)
  • LAFC had just 1 Loss at Home in Regular Season (9-7-1; SKC 2-0)
  • RSL only team in Western Conference Playoffs with a Minus GD (-3)

Predicted final score: LAFC 1-Real Salt Lake 2

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