Major League Soccer

Who will win in the MLS Playoff First Round?


                                                         Photo by ISIphotos.com

The 2008 MLS Playoffs are set to kick off on Thursday night and it is time to start taking a closer look at the match-ups.

You can read my in-depth take on the Eastern Conference playoffs on ESPN.com. As you can see, my East preview was written before the Taylor Twellman news surfaced. Colleague Jeff Carlisle tackled the Western Conference playoff preview.

Here is my question for you. Which teams do you see winning the four first-round series? I see Columbus, Chicago, Houston and Chivas USA. Now it’s your turn to vote on all four series after the jump:

Who will win the MLS first-round playoff series?


Columbus Crew vs. Kansas City Wizards

Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution


Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls

Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake

  • joe k

    you heard it here first: sassano as the super-sub strikes a 30-yarder in the 85th minute to win it for the red bulls in houston.



  • Kevin

    Without Ralston or Twellman, the Revs might as well pack it in. KC and NY stand absolutely no chance, and I like Real Salt Lake over Chivas because I hate picking the favorite to win every single game.


  • Ryan

    I seem to be the only one picking NE. They are consistently solid in the playoffs, even when riddled with injuries. If nothing else, their experience will be a key factor.


  • Nic D "The Texas 2 Stepper"

    I think everyone is looking on my paper!

    *** Raises hand ***



  • Eugene

    The Dynamo have a slow back line and don’t play well on turf. There could be an upset coming there.


  • Michoacano

    I want to see Kansas City upset C-bus and Red Bulls upset Houston. Chicago and Chivas USA move forward as well.


  • Beech

    For those of you writing off KC so fast:

    Team | Record in last 7 games | Pts

    Kansas City | 5-1-1 | 16

    Columbus | 4-1-2 | 14

    Chivas | 4-2-1 | 13

    Houston | 3-0-4 | 13

    Real Salt Lake | 2-2-3 | 9

    Chicago | 2-3-2 | 8

    New York | 2-4-1 | 7

    New England | 1-4-2 | 5

    Possibly peaking at the right time for a change.


  • brooklyn_crew

    Yeah, but CLB played mostly back-ups in their only loss and they were facing a string of teams that had everything on the line.


  • Isaac

    Kljestan takes Chivas all the way to the final and notches a game winning goal. You heard THAT here first.


  • SonicDeathMonkey

    Redbullfan, it might as well be Dr. Renee Richards…….NYRB has not shot. Houston v Crew in the final.


  • Alexi Lalas

    You go, Becks!

    Btw, can I come over and trim your hedges, or wash out your pool? I need a few bucks …


  • soccerroo

    Only half believe but defenitly want RSL to win.

    If new york scores a goal against Houston I would be suprised.


  • ben


    I firmly believe RSL can beat Chivas. They really have outplayed them this season and just lost on fluke goals rather than in the actual run of play. I like RSL’s chances with the first game at home. That being said, if they fold under the pressure like they did last weekend against Colorado, it could get ugly fast…



    No one is mentioning the Chicago Fire. I believe Blanco, McBride, Rolfe, Soumare, Conde, Thorington, Busch and the rest of the squad will take the cup this year. They tore-up NY last week – and what do you think they will do to a injury/red card striken team? Its going to be Matt Reis and Michael Parkhurst vs all of Chicago.


  • A.S.

    23% believe the Red Bulls will beat Houston? Really? Who knew that 23% of SBI readers smoke crack?


  • Tom P


    I hope you are right as I will be rooting for RSL as well. They are a much more entertaining team to watch then Chivas and since I have no allegiance that is always the deciding factor of who I root for.

    Chivas is a boring team to watch- most likely the most boring in MLS. Having said that I do greatly admire their coaching and organization but as a neutral that only goes so far. The MLS is at its best when it is wide open and fancy free from a viewing standpoint.

    That’s what made the Galaxy such a compelling train wreck this year.


  • hartley

    I read your article on ESPN. Hmmm. You have completely overlook KC’s Davy Arnaud. Take a look at his scoring down the stretch. And combined with Jewsbury in the middle, Arnaud not only creates for the attack, both players are very good defenders. C-bus will have to play better defense if they are going to beat the Wizards.



    I think RSL benefits from having their first playoff experience at home where they have been solid all year. They will go to the HDC knowing exactly what they need to do to advance. It was the same scenario in Colorado, it wasn’t pretty but they got it done.

    Columbus is clearly the team to beat in the East especially with TT and SR out for New England. Chicago could challenge them, but I give the edge to Columbus.

    KC has been playing well lately, and the series will be closer than expected. In the end, I think Columbus will do what they have done all season – get the result.

    New York was pretty lucky to get into the playoffs, but I really think they have a shot at upsetting Houston. I think it comes down to Osorio and Rojas. If they can figure out a way to exploit Houston’s slow backline on the turf. The return trip is where it gets tricky. New York will need to carry a two goal lead into Houston to realistically have a chance.


  • f4denz

    Ben is right and RSL have outplayed Chivas in every match and even in the early season loss at the HDC RSL was the better team.

    The two teams are very close on the talent level but an easy way to look at it is that Chivas lost to Colorado at home two weeks ago, and RSL drew with them in Denver.

    I think RSL wins 3-1 at home and gets a 1-1 draw on the road and moves into the second round.


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