MLS Playoffs: Eastern Conference Championship Is Must-See Series


The 2014 MLS Playoffs shed new light on the phrase “expect the unexpected.” With the both the Western and Eastern Conference championship series set, it is truly difficult to predict a clear favorite. Out of the two remaining playoff match-ups, the New York Red Bulls against the New England Revolution is must-see action.

Forget everything about the hype and excitement that the Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy series brings to the table. Every fan of MLS predicted a Sounders vs. Galaxy Western Conference championship. In the east however, the prediction was not so simple.

DC United appeared the best team going into the playoffs, while the Revolution made a strong push towards seasons end. The Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City also presented interesting options for an Eastern Conference representative. Let’s not be to quick to also remember the hard-fighting Columbus Crew. A team almost void of star-power, yet still capable of causing any opponent consistent chaos.

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The Revolution and Red Bulls are better than the Sounders and Galaxy. Yes, that is a bold statement, but it is true. Arguments for which conference is better are always swirling around. In 2014, the Eastern Conference won that debate. MLS is a league of many teams, not just the Sounders and Galaxy. FC Dallas had the best chance to pull an upset and failed. The same goes for Real Salt Lake. Meanwhile, goals galore flew out of the Eastern Conference. Does that fact mean the West has better defenses? Not necessarily.

Casual fans of the league know of only the Sounders and Galaxy because of their “star-power” and big spending. News flash, teams of that standing do not always win championships. Yes, having incredibly talented players on a team does make them more of a favorite to win a championship, but money does not always guarantee success.

New England has talent and never had to break the bank to find their success on the field. Jermaine Jones, Lee Nguyen and Bobby Shuttleworth make-up just a few of the many talented players on the Revolution roster. At best, MLS Experts predicted New England either missing the 2014 MLS Playoffs or getting knocked-out in round one. Instead, the Revolution piled seven goals against Columbus and now seem the clear favorite to represent the East at the 2014 MLS Playoffs Championship.

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  • New York is slightly different, their club did not experience instant success just because of having players like Bradley Wright-Phillips, Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry. Up until a few weeks before the regular season ended, it almost looked as if the Red Bulls would miss the playoffs all together. Given their success since the MLS Playoffs began, it is almost impossible to think of that fact.

    No matter which team your loyalty resides with, the Eastern Conference championship provides the best action and best drama for the remaining stretch. No matter which team advances from the East, there will be an incredible amount fire-power raining down on which ever club barely makes it out of the Western Conference.

    Sporting KC upset RSL last season in the MLS Playoffs and the same thing will happen again in 2014. The 2014 MLS Playoffs championship is coming from the Eastern Conference.