The second legs of the quarter-final of the 2016 MLS Cup is underway on Sunday. Here’s our preview:
FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders (3-0 Seattle on Agg.)
FC Dallas went to Seattle being the favorite to win the MLS Cup. After an interesting decision to play with three in the back by Coach Oscar Pareja and a lack of focus for seven minutes at the beginning of the second half, FC Dallas finds themselves down 3-0 on aggregate heading into their second leg game on Sunday. They will attempt to have a better showing in Dallas and replicate last year’s comeback playoff win against Seattle. Dallas has been a fortress at home this season, only losing one game, but they will have to do much more than keep themselves from losing in leg two. Dallas will need to keep Seattle away from their goal and score three to at least force over time.
New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact (1-0 Montreal on Agg.)
The New York Red Bulls are far from finished in a series where they find themselves trailing Montreal 1-0 going into the second leg. New York will look to take advantage of playing in front of their home crowd and work to turn the many chances they had in leg one into goals in leg two. Montreal will most likely stay compact until New York forces them to attack by scoring at least two, which is an even better reason for New York to score early and often. Montreal will attempt to hold on to the narrow (and somewhat lucky) win they got last Sunday at home.
Colorado Rapids vs. L.A. Galaxy (1-0 L.A. on Agg.)
The Colorado Rapids trail the L.A. Galaxy 1-0 on aggregate heading into their second leg fixture on Sunday at home. The Galaxy dominated leg one but will still be looking to score their first actual goal as the only goal in the series thus far was scored by Rapids defender Axel Sjoberg. The Rapids will look to continue their unbeaten streak at home this year and come back against an L.A. team that looked strong in leg one. They will look toward Jermaine Jones to create magic from the midfield but will also rely on goalkeeper Tim Howard to continue his good form.
New York City FC vs. Toronto FC (2-0 Toronto on Agg.)
New York City FC will be fighting an uphill battle as they take on Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. They find themselves down 2-0 on aggregate against an attack heavy Toronto FC that features some of the league’s best attackers such as Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore. New York likes to play from the back which also works against them as Toronto uses a 3-5-2 formation that puts pressure in high areas of the park and forces balls to be cleared rather than passed. New York does not match up well against Toronto, and assuming that Toronto’s offense scores at least one as projected, New York will have to score at least four. With Andrea Pirlo possibly injured, Frank Lampard coming off the bench, and David Villa being subbed out last week, New York will be hard pressed to find a path to the conference final.
All games are on Sunday starting with L.A. at Colorado at 2:00 PM EST, Montreal at New York Red Bulls at 4:00 PM EST, Toronto FC at New York City FC at 6:30 PM EST, and Seattle at FC Dallas at 9:00 PM EST. L.A. Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids and New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact can both be found on ESPN while Toronto FC vs. New York City FC and Seattle Sounder vs. FC Dallas can be found on Fox Sports 1.