San Jose Earthquakes v New York Red Bulls
Peter Welpton: Both of the Eastern teams will struggle against their Western opponents, but NY is the one team that will survive. NY beats SJ in the "mini" game at RB Arena (2-2, 3-2)
Buzz Carrick: I like what Wondo has done down the stretch, but NY finds a way and wins it in the mini-game.
Jay Brownlee: Congratulations to Chris Wondolowski for earning October MLS Player of the Month. Do the Earthquakes have enough to overcome New York? No way, Jose.
Colorado Rapids v Columbus Crew
Peter Welpton: Colorado is playing well now, MLS playoffs is all about form at the moment and the Crew don't have that. Rapids by two goals (1-0, 2-1)
Buzz Carrick: I also like Colorado in this one, the rapids are built for tough games and are as hot as anyone. I take the sweep even with Rapids winning both games.
Jay Brownlee: Colorado’s flash and bang combination of Omar Cummings and Conor Casey will overcome Columbus’ slow back line. Colorado is this year’s playoffs dark horse. Watch out for the Rapids.
FC Dallas v Real Salt Lake
Peter Welpton: Kreis' team is playing the best, but Hyndman's is the most mentally resilient. This is going to be a battle, but Dallas just is a step or two behind Real. Real Salt Lake (1-1, 2-0)
Buzz Carrick: Before the injuries I'd have taken Dallas, but now I just don't see FCD being in good enough form. RSL ties in Dallas and wins at home.
Jay Brownlee: This is the marquee match up of the first round. These two teams are evenly matched. You heard it here first: this one comes down to penalty kicks and Dallas wins.
Seattle Sounders v LA Galaxy
Peter Welpton: Seattle has been warming up, but LA has the parts that should be able to "turn it on", plus the set piece bonus of Beckham, give LA the edge. LA in a mini game (2-2, 2-1)
Buzz Carrick: Seattle is getting hot at the right time with all their piece back in place, this is the team I picked to win it all in the spring. Seattle wins the series by goal aggregate.
Jay Brownlee: It’s hard to pick against the Seattle Sounders because they are arguably the hottest team in MLS at the moment. Throw in a game on the fake stuff at Qwest Field and L.A.’s chances to bring the 2nd leg back home close looks like a tall order. But Beckham and Donovan and the best defense in MLS will be too much for Seattle to overcome.
Colorado over NY
RSL over LA on PK's (Beckham misses his)
Colorado is to hot for anyone, even on the road Conor Casey scores in overtime.
Seattle upsets RSL at home on PKs.
I hate to admit it, but if Real Salt Lake doesn’t end Dallas’ magical season, then the Galaxy does. Boring soccer wins playoff matches and Bruce “Offense Sleeps With The Fishes” Arena will bore… err lead the Galaxy into the MLS Cup.
New York has the better players; Colorado the better team. Colorado wins on the road to cap an improbable run to the MLS Cup.
Peter Welpton: Real Salt Lake
Buzz Carrick: Seattle, I'm sticking with them. Colorado will make it tough though.
Jay Brownlee: L.A. Galaxy v Colorado Rapids. MLS finally gets the champs it’s wanted and the rest of us felt sick about. I would more easily predict a match-fixing scandal than MLS miss out allowing their Golden Child franchise go away empty-handed for a second straight year. Los Angeles 2:1 Colorado Rapids.