MLS Cup Playoffs: Breaking Down the Final Four

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIINovember 11, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 15:  Calen Carr #3 of the Houston Dynamo is tackled in the penalty area by Danny Cruz #2 of D.C. United in the second half at BBVA Compass Stadium on July 15, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Houston was given a penalty kick on the play. Houston won 4-0. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The MLS Cup Playoffs are now down to the final four. The D.C. United will take on the Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Finals, while the Seattle Sounders will take on the Los Angeles Galaxy in the West.

What can we expect from these two matchups? Read on to find out.

D.C. United vs. Houston Dynamo

The United are coming off an improbable victory against the Red Bulls, while Houston went past Kansas City to get to this game.

Houston has issues with speedy players, but lucky for the Dynamo, the United don't have too many of those. Oscar Boniek Garcia is a creative midfielder and Will Bruin is the leading scorer in the playoffs.

For the United, they feature a lot of talent, led by midfielder Nick DeLeon, who scored the series winner against the Red Bulls. They are down to their backup goalie, Joe Willis, but he has played admirably.

The United will need Dwayne De Rosario to come back from a leg injury to have a chance, but he's in a race against the clock. If he can come back and be effective, the United will have a good shot. If not, Houston will take this easily.

Look for Houston to advance to the final round.

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Seattle Sounders vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

The Galaxy are the defending champs, but Seattle is up to the task. The Sounders beat the Galaxy twice in three regular season matchups.

The Galaxy have a great offense, led by Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and Mike Magee. When they're on, it's hard to stop.

Superb Sounders goalie Michael Gspurning will have a tough task ahead of him, but he'll rely on the MLS' second-best defense in front of him to stop them.

The Galaxy have the upper hand as the defending champs, and this is the first time that Seattle has gotten past the conference semifinals round.

The Galaxy know how to handle the pressure if things get rough. Seattle might not.

For that reason, look for LA to have a chance to defend their title in the finals. 


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