Will We See Some Formalities Or 90 to 120 Minutes of Playoff Drama
New York Red Bulls at Toronto FC
The Red Bulls can attack, create many chances, and Toronto can score off a counterattack to win the series. The game can end like that. A 1-0 goal scored by the Reds late or early can make this game boring.
The question is will New York attack early or hold back to settle for counterattacks. Enough time will disappear that an all-out attack is imminent. An early Red Bulls goal can create self-doubt for Toronto.
Toronto will get on the board and settle their nerves. It could be a classy performance at BMO with an easy win. 3-1 will be the score.
Columbus Crew SC versus New York City FC
New York City can win at home. The problem is when City attack it exposes their defense. New York can score three goals but might give up two.
NYCFC centerbacks Frederic Brilliant and Alexander Callens have to push the line high for City to be an attacking threat. Forwards Jack Harrison and David Villa had to hover over the left side to generate an offense in Columbus. New York’s three shots on goal versus the Crew were anemic.
New York will be the victor. City won’t score enough goals to overcome that night in Columbus. 2-1 is the score in the Bronx.
Houston Dynamo at Portland Timbers FC
The Timbers were able to play on a rough field and evenly attack both sides of the flank. Portland held possession 39% on the right side and 41% on the left.
Some of the Timbers’ players a suffering from injuries. Fanendo Adi, Darlington Nagbe, and David Guzman are questionable. Questionable means they will play hurt. The Dynamo can end the aggregate by scoring one goal and parking the bus.
Houston’s third game in two weeks coupled with Portland’s injuries may even the fitness level for both teams. The well-groomed turf at Providence Park means a better attacking effort for the Dynamo.
Portland’s injuries can lead the Dynamo to go for the draw. Houston could score first to make Portland dig deeper. I predict a Dynamo win, 1-0.