MLS Cup Playoffs 2013: Full Schedule, Bracket and Final Predictions

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2013

Oct 27, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; The Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates after Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane (7) scored a goal against the Seattle Sounders during the 2nd half at CenturyLink Field. The game was a 1-1 draw. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Everything was on the line in the final day of the season, and the MLS teams in action didn't disappoint.

The LA Galaxy ensured that the Seattle Sounders would have to battle through the knockout round after Robbie Keane's 78th-minute goal resulted in a 1-1 draw. The Houston Dynamo and New England Revolution each clinched playoff spots with key wins on Sunday. The New York Red Bulls clinched the league's Supporters' Shield with a win over the Chicago Fire.

And the Colorado Rapids cost themselves a No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoffs after losing to the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0, a game that saw Camilo Sanvezzo notch a hat trick and earn the league's Golden Boot award.

So the playoff picture is set, and a memorable postseason certainly appears to be in the cards, with all 10 teams separated by just 10 points in the standings this season. Let's take a closer look at the road to the MLS Cup. 

 

Schedule

MLS Playoff Schedule
DateTimeRoundMatchupWatch
Wednesday, October 3010:30 p.m. ETWestern Conference KnockoutColorado Rapids at Seattle SoundersMLS Live
Thursday, October 318 p.m. ETEastern Conference KnockoutMontreal Impact at Houston DynamoTSN; RDS
Saturday, November 28 p.m. ETEastern Conference SemifinalsSporting KC at New England RevolutionMLS Live
Saturday, November 210 p.m. ETWestern Conference SemifinalsPortland Timbers at TBDNBCSN
Sunday, November 33:30 p.m. ETEastern Conference SemifinalsNew York Red Bulls at TBDNBC
Sunday, November 39 p.m. ETWestern Conference SemifinalsReal Salt Lake at LA GalaxyESPN
Wednesday, November 6TBDEastern Conference SemifinalsNew England Revolution at Sporting KCTBD
Wednesday, November 6TBDWestern Conference SemifinalsTBD at Portland TimbersTBD
Thursday, November 7TBDEastern Conference SemifinalsTBD at New York Red BullsTBD
Thursday, November 7TBDWestern Conference SemifinalsLA Galaxy at Real Salt LakeTBD
Saturday and Sunday, November 9/10TBDConference FinalsTBDTBD
Saturday and Sunday, November 23/24TBDConference FinalsTBDTBD
Saturday, December 74 p.m. ETMLS CupTBDESPN; UniMas; TSN2; RDS2
MLS.com

 

Bracket

 

Predictions

Oct 26, 2013; Carson, CA, USA; Portland Timbers celebrate after a goal scored by Portland Timbers midfielder Will Johnson (4) against the Chivas USA during the second half at StubHub Center. The Portland Timbers defeated the Chivas USA 5-0. Mandatory Cred

Clint Dempsey erased a 590-minute scoreless drought since his return to the MLS, but Seattle was once again unable to earn a win, extending their winless streak to end the season to seven games (they had two draws in that time). They face a Colorado side they went 1-1-1 against this season but recently lost 5-1 against. 

Still, Seattle is a dramatically better team in their home stadium, having lost just two games at home all season. They'll advance, but by the skin of their teeth. 

Montreal won two of their three matches against Houston this season, but both of those games were at home. Houston can be vulnerable at home, with four losses their on the season, but they'll use a rowdy home crowd to advance to the conference semifinals. 

Oct 27, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Dynamo midfielder Giles Barnes (center) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the against the DC United during the first half at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA T

Is anyone willing to bet against the LA Galaxy at this point? The team has won back-to-back MLS Cups, and that experience will shine through as they advance to the Western Conference finals. They'll face the Portland Timbers, who will vanquish rival Seattle on the form that saw them go unbeaten in the season's final eight games. 

Chalk will hold in the East, as New York and Sporting KC will meet in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Portland beat the LA Galaxy twice and drew with them in the one match in Los Angeles, and they have given up just three goals since the beginning of September. They'll stifle a potent Galaxy attack and ensure there is a different MLS Cup champion this season. 

They'll face a New York Red Bulls side that also hit the playoffs on an eight-game unbeaten streak and desperately wants to add the MLS Cup to their trophy mantle. It won't happen—Portland has simply been too good this season and will beat New York behind a superior defense. 

 

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