The opening matches in the MLS Cup Playoffs continue on Sunday night when three more fixtures take place as the best of three series get underway for six teams who will all be looking to go one up with two to play.
As has been the case all season, all three matches will have full coverage on Apple TV and you don’t even need to subscribe to the MLS Season Pass to watch these either. If you don’t have Apple TV then most bookmakers stream this league.
Houston Dynamo vs Real Salt Lake (22.00)
We begin the night in the Western Conference where the teams who finished fourth and fifth will battle it out in a clash which could be as tight as the league table suggests as the US Open Cup winners Houston Dynamo take on Real Salt Lake.
The very nature of the fact that the Dynamo won the US Open Cup tells us that they are competent and comfortable when it comes to winning knockout football matches and they will look to use that to their advantage here. They will need to be on it here though because Real Salt Lake have a very dangerous attacking unit and as I said for Saturday’s matches, the away teams in these first games have absolutely nothing to lose and can just have a real go here. My sense is that this will be a high scoring Houston win but to be fair to the Dynamo their matches are generally controlled much more. Of all of the series this was the one I wanted to watch a game of and assess the situation before I got stuck into a bet.
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FC Cincinnati vs New York Red Bulls (00.00)
The one Eastern Conference clash on the evening comes from TQL Stadium as the Supporters’ Shield winners FC Cincinnati take on the New York Red Bulls, the winner of the midweek wildcard match to take their place in the draw bracket.
That win over Charlotte FC should have given the Red Bulls plenty of confidence, not least because they thumped in five goals in victory, but this feels like a tough assignment for them. The good news for New York is the tie isn’t over if they lose this match and after that midweek outing and relatively short turnaround I wonder if they will target the second game more than this one. That would make sense because only two sides have left this part of Ohio with three points this season, although the Red Bulls won’t need reminding that they were one of them. The caveat to that though was Cincinnati had the Shield won and were just ticking over waiting for the postseason to start. The more relevant statistic is that there were 26 points between these two in the regular season and with the MVP candidate Luciano Acosta pulling the strings for Cincinnati I just expect them to be too good having had no midweek action to overcome.
St Louis City vs Sporting Kansas City (02.00)
The final match of the night is the battle of Missouri as two local rivals battle it out in what has the potential to be the best of all eight of these best of three series as St Louis City SC takes on Sporting Kansas City at CityPark.
St Louis City know that for as long as they are in this competition up until the MLS Cup Final they will have home advantage and they will look to use that positively in this opening match. They will not need reminding that Sporting Kansas City have been here twice this season and lost 4-0 and 4-1 on those occasions. Sporting Kansas City won’t need reminding of that either and they will at least be able to give this one a real good go with no pressure on them and nothing to lose but the fact they had a pretty tough match with San Jose Earthquakes in the wildcard round on Wednesday night. While they haven’t had too far to travel, they haven’t had much recovery and preparation time and this feels like an excellent chance for St Louis City SC to get their first postseason win on the board in their first playoff match.
Back FC Cincinnati (-0.5AH) to beat New York Red Bulls for a 3/10 stake at 1.88 with Bet365
Back St Louis City SC to beat Sporting Kansas City for a 3/10 stake at 2.15 with Bet365