MLS Conference Semifinals – Preview and Free Picks

Last Updated on October 19, 2022 5:21 pm by Erwin Noguera

The MLS season is going to the very last stretch, and we now have the top 4 teams in each of the conferences, fighting to crown themselves before the final match to decide the national champion begins.

The Philadelphia Union (Eastern Conference) and LAFC (Western Conference) enjoyed their respective rests to get back in action during the Conference Semifinals on Oct. 20 as the respective No. 1 seeds, but their opposing teams are ready for the task of facing the teams that dominated the regular season with ease.

2022 MLS – MLS Conference Semifinals Preview

When: Thursday, October 20th, and Sunday, November 23rd

Where Can I Watch it? ESPN, FOX Sports, TUDN, ABC.

MLS Conference Semifinals: Eastern Conference

1: Philadelphia Union (-143) vs. Cincinnati (+370) Draw at +300 – Oct. 20th

Union is the favorite to get the victory on home soil.

Philadelphia Union was the top dog in the Eastern Conference this season. 

They won the league title after picking up 19 wins, drawing ten, and losing only five. 

The Eastern Conference champions will be looking to make home advantage count in this one and secure their passage through to the Conference finals.

After securing the fifth position, Cincinnati was paired up against the New York Red Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. 

After going a goal down three minutes after the break, the Lions pulled off a miraculous turnaround to seal a shock 2-1 victory at the Red Bull Arena. 

A Luciano Acosta penalty leveled the tie, and Cincinnati won it thanks to Brandon Vazquez’s strike four minutes from time.

The Orange and Blue head to Philadelphia as the second favorites, but Noonan’s side has been tough to beat in recent months and will fancy their chances of causing an upset after the weekend heroics in New Jersey.

Our pick is placed on the Philadelphia Union.

2: Montreal +107 vs. New York City +255 Draw at +250 – Oct. 23rd

New York City FC began the defense of the MLS cup against Inter Miami at Citi Field on Monday night.

After a tense opening 45, second-half goals from Gabriel Pereira, Maxi Moralez, and then Héber saw NYC FC to an emphatic 3-0 victory.

Now, on the road, this match will be a far tougher assignment, visiting the east’s second seeds, who finished ten points clear of them in the regular season.

Club de Foot Montréal welcomed Orlando City to Quebec on Sunday night, eventually prevailing 2-0.

Given their higher finish, and the fact Wilfried Nancy’s side has a home advantage, CF Montréal does come into this one as favorites, and we might have to agree with that prediction.

MLS Conference Semifinals: Western Conference

1: LAFC -136 vs. LA Galaxy +330 Draw at +310 – Oct. 20th

El Trafico Derby has quickly become one of the biggest rivalries in Major League Soccer and the stage doesn’t get much bigger than the playoffs. 

After winning the Supporters’ ShieldLAFC had time to recover from a long season with a first-round bye and will now face the Galaxy who knocked off Nashville SC in the first round of the playoffs. 

The two rivals meet on Thursday night at Banc of California Stadium. 

It was Javier Hernandez who scored the lone goal for the Galaxy in the first playoff match, and coach Greg Vanney will need more from his MVP finalist to knock off LAFC.

It will be quite hard to knock off LAFC at home but after going undefeated in their last five matches, the Galaxy’s side could be the best-suited team to pull off an upset.

We however are expecting LAFC to make it through to the finals.

2: Austin FC -101 vs. Dallas FC +260 Draw at +270 – Oct. 23th

For just the second time ever, and first, in 15 years, the MLS playoffs will witness a Texan derby.

Back then, FC Dallas was beaten by Houston Dynamo after extra time; the Cowboys will be hoping for a different outcome this time.

This year, Dallas began its post-season campaign by welcoming Minnesota United to Frisco on Monday night.

The Loons broke the deadlock at Toyota Stadium, only for Facundo Quignon’s header to force extra time and then penalties.

All five of Dallas’ spot-kicks were converted, meaning Alan Velasco’s audacious Panenka saw them sneak through spectacularly.

Austin FC, meanwhile, is making its post-season debut, in what is just its second-ever season.

Their offensive output and strong defense should be able to handle whatever Dallas puts on the table, but this should be the most interesting semi-final match out of the four.

Our pick is on Austin FC.

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