SBI's 2018 MLS Cup Playoff Predictions

SBI's 2018 MLS Cup Playoff Predictions

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SBI's 2018 MLS Cup Playoff Predictions

The 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs are ready to kick off meaning it’s time to predict how things will shake out between the league’s best teams.

Despite ups-and-downs for every team in the playoffs, it’s hard to tell who will turn it on in primetime. The SBI Editorial Staff took a crack at planning out how the playoffs will shake out knowing some twists and turns are bound to occur. Regardless of who comes out on top, the 2018 MLS season has been one for the ages with plenty of memories to remember.

Here are SBI’s Staff picks for the 2018 MLS Playoffs:

Ives Galarcep, Editor-in-Chief

EAST

Knockout Rounds: NYCFC beats Union, D.C. United beats Crew.

Semifinal Round: Red Bulls beat D.C. United, Atlanta United beats NYCFC

Conference Final: Red Bulls beat Atlanta United

WEST

Knockout Round: Timbers beat FC Dallas, LAFC beats Real Salt Lake.

Semifinal Round: Sporting KC beats Timbers, Sounders beat LAFC

Conference Final: Sporting KC beats Sounders

MLS Cup Final

Red Bulls beat Sporting Kansas City

A rematch of the 2017 U.S. Open Cup final sees the Red Bulls host Sporting KC at Red Bull Arena in the final and finally exorcise the club’s playoff demons, lifting the first MLS Cup in team history. Bradley Wright-Phillips shines, as does the stingy Red Bulls defense in a 2-0 victory.

Larry Henry, Co-Managing Editor

EAST

Knockout Round: Union beats NYCFC, D.C. United beats Crew.

Semifinal Round: Red Bulls beat Union, Atlanta United beats D.C. United

Conference Final: Atlanta United beats Red Bulls.

WEST

Knockout Round: Timbers beat FC Dallas, LAFC beats Real Salt Lake.

Semifinal Round: Sporting KC beats Timbers, LAFC beats Sounders.

Conference Final: Sporting KC beats LAFC.

MLS Cup Final

Atlanta United beats Sporting KC

Atlanta United may not have finished as the No. 1 team in the East or Supporters Shield winners, but Tata Martino’s side will lift the MLS Cup in their second season. With several dangerous attacking players leading the way, the Five Stripes will do in the postseason what they’ve done all season long. Win.

Joe Hojnacki, Co-Managing Editor

EAST

Knockout Round: NYCFC beats Union, D.C. United beats Crew.

Semifinal Round: Red Bulls beats D.C., Atlanta United beats NYCFC.

Conference Final: Red Bulls beat Atlanta United.

WEST

Knockout Round: Timbers beat FC Dallas, LAFC beats RSL.

Semifinal Round: Sporting KC beats Timbers, LAFC beats Sounders.

Conference Final: Sporting KC beats LAFC.

MLS Cup Final

Red Bulls beat Sporting Kansas City

The Red Bulls finally get their MLS Cup, oddly enough after Jesse Marsch leaves the team. They’ve played well down the stretch and earned their Supporters Shield thanks in large part to the best defensive record in the league. Defending is key in the playoffs and it’s what it will take to get them all the way. We also can’t forget that this team can score goals by the truckload as well, and they will score plenty enough to lift the trophy in December.

Jimmy Mack, Assistant Editor

EAST

Knockout Round: NYCFC beats Union, D.C. United beats Crew.

Semifinal Round: Red Bulls beat D.C., Atlanta United beats NYCFC.

Conference Final: Red Bulls beats Atlanta.

WEST

Knockout Round: LAFC beats RSL, Timbers beat FC Dallas.

Semifinal Round: Sporting KC beats Timbers, Sounders beat LAFC.

Conference Final: Sporting KC beats Sounders.

MLS Cup Final

Red Bulls beat Sporting KC

After spending most of the season playing second fiddle to Atlanta United, the Supporters Shield winning New York Red Bulls will get the last laugh when they hoist their first MLS Cup trophy. The Red Bulls have shown over the course of the season that they are the most complete team in the league. While Bradley Wright-Phillips is definitely the attacking centerpiece, others like Royer and Kaku can step up and score goals when needed. The Red Bulls true offensive strength lies in their creativity, with seven players earning five or more assists on the year. Defensively led by Aaron Long and Luis Robles, the Red Bulls statistically are the best in the league. SKC is no cupcake but the Red Bulls at home will prove too much for SKC to overcome.

David Wilson, Assistant Editor

EAST

Knockout Round: NYCFC beats Union, D.C. United beats Crew.

Semifinal Round: Red Bulls beat D.C., NYCFC beats Atlanta United.

Conference Final: Red Bulls beat NYCFC.

WEST

Knockout Round: Timbers beat FC Dallas, LAFC beats RSL.

Semifinal Round: Sporting KC beats Timbers, Sounders beat LAFC.

Conference Final: Sounders beat SKC.

MLS Cup Final

Red Bulls beat Sounders

The season that the Red Bulls have to make a midseason coaching change will also be the year the most successful club in MLS finally wins the silverware to validate all of their regular season success. Atlanta and NYCFC have regressed in the back half of the season and D.C. United will be exposed when forced to leave the confines of Audi Field. Seattle’s effective but no pretty brand of soccer combined with playoff experience will see them through the West but will ultimately not be enough against a superior Red Bulls side.

Joe Tansey, Senior Writer

EAST

Knockout Round: NYCFC beats Union, D.C. United beats the Crew.

Semifinal Round: Red Bulls beat D.C. United, Atlanta United beats NYCFC.

Conference Final: Red Bulls beat Atlanta United

WEST

Knockout Round: RSL beats LAFC, Timbers beat FC Dallas

Semifinal Round: Sporting KC beats RSL, Sounders beat Timbers

Conference Final: Sporting KC beats Sounders

MLS Cup final

Sporting KC beats Red Bulls

Two of the most storied franchises in MLS will square off in one of the best MLS Cups in recent memory at Red Bull Arena.

Although the Red Bulls will have home-field advantage, Peter Vermes’ side will emerge victorious in extra time after Bradley Wright-Philips and Johnny Russell score in regulation.

Matt Besler ends up scoring the game-winning goal in extra time, finishing off a storybook ending for SKC.

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