Today is the day: The Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs start with a pair of play-in games for the Eastern Conference. The New England Revolution will face off against Inter Miami while Orlando City will play New York City FC. It all begins today.
With MLSsoccer.com hosting a bracket challenge for everyone to pick who they think will win, we here at Stumptown Footy thought it would be fun to place our own picks for the playoffs. So here it is: Stumptown Footy’s selections for the MLS Cup Playoffs. Please feel free to either praise us or yell at us.
Sam Svilar: Yeah, that’s right. Vamos San Jose. The MLS Cup Playoffs have always been an exercise in chaos. Every year some shenanigans seem to go down, and the pandemic-impacted 2020 edition will crank that up a couple notches. San Jose is just crazy enough to pull a fast one against SKC, and then just crazy enough still to ride that wave to the conference finals. Portland will deal with Dallas, then the Sounders in Seattle (Asprilla hat trick, of course), and then blow past the ‘Quakes. One of the play-in round teams in the East is going to shock someone (my money’s on Nashville shocking TFC), but Philly has been just too good top to bottom this season, especially at home, to not make the final. Unfortunately, I think they’ll prove to be just a bit too much for the injury-hit and fatigued Timbers, who fall in the final yet again. But c’mon, we all know what we’re really here for: Embrace the chaos.
Timm Higgins: Predicting playoffs is always hard, especially in win or go home matches. While I picked the Timbers to make it to the finals, it is only until they drop the championship to the Union. Listen, Philly is the team to beat. They hold the Supporter Shield and MLS Cup is in their sights.
Grant Little: The Portland Timbers showed that they can succeed in a single-elimination tournament in the bubble in Orlando. But this time around they are missing Sebastian Blanco. I still think the Timbers will make a deep run. In fact, I think they will outperform Seattle (unlike pretty much every MLS pundit). That being said Philadelphia Union have shown that they are the best overall team this year and they are led by the MLS coach of the year Jim Curtin. The Timbers barely got the best of the Union at MLS is Back and I’m not sure they will this time around.
Kyle Garcia: Much like Sam, I have also decided to embrace the chaos and put San Jose in my final. The Earthquakes are just too weird of a team, and I think that weirdness is exactly what will propel them to the conference finals. And despite the injuries and fatigue of playing the most games in MLS, I think Portland finds a way to gut out victories over everyone in the West. They’ve shown they’re one of the best teams in the league when everything is clicking, and I think they’ll do that again. Unfortunately, I also think this is Philadelphia’s trophy to lose. They’ve consistently been the best team all season long and the only thing that I think stops them is something chaotic happening in the East. I don’t think the Timbers will win the MLS Cup, but they’ll make a heck of a run until the very end.