Another first round tie in the MLS Cup Playoffs 2023 concludes on Saturday night when we find out who will host Sporting Kansas City in the Western Conference semi-final as the Houston Dynamo take on Real Salt Lake.
Both teams have come out on top in their home match in this series, although Real Salt Lake needed penalties to win their tie, and it will be interesting to see if there is an away win to be had or whether Houston are good things.
The Houston Dynamo would have gone into the postseason full of confidence, not just because they really delivered the goods in the second part of the campaign, but also having won the US Open Cup they know they can handle the pressure that knockout football brings. They did their bit with relative ease in their home game but might feel that one got away from them in game two when they led before they were pegged back.
Dynamo do head out onto home soil for this final match of the series knowing that no team in the Western Conference picked up more points at home this season than they did and if they can control the match like they did in the first one of the series then they are going to be hard to beat. They might feel that they deserve to already be through but they can’t think of that now. They need to make sure the focus is on getting the job done.
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Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake have given what they have got in this series but they haven’t been able to get in front in a match yet and assume their own control of the game. If they can get in front here it would be the ideal time to do it because it might get the home crowd on edge and that might feed into the Houston players. One thing Real Salt Lake can take out of the series so far is they held their nerve with their backs against the wall in the second match.
The positive for Real Salt Lake is that Chicho Arango hasn’t really been able to play much of a part in the series so far but he was on the bench in the previous game and you would imagine he’ll start here. He was their marquee summer signing and it would be an ideal time to return a little more on that investment here. Real Salt Lake have plenty of technical quality on the counter and their away form isn’t too bad which will encourage them.
Both teams have scored in both matches in this tie so far and I don’t see that trend stopping here. Real Salt Lake have a bit of a history of getting themselves up to win playoff games on the road and I wouldn’t be completely surprised if they manage to do something similar here but it is hard to go against the Houston Dynamo given the season that they have had, especially the latter end of it. Ultimately, the season is on the line here.
I’ve watched MLS for a number of years now and this league always takes the attacking option over the defensive one in this situation, which is one of the advantages of no relegation and things, and I don’t see that changing here. Real Salt Lake have scored in both games with Chicho Arango only on the pitch for 30 odd minutes. Houston have really found form in front of goal in the second half of the season. You rarely get 1.70 on both teams to score in MLS but I’m happy to be on it here.
Back Both teams to score for a 3/10 stake at 1.70 with Bet365