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MLS Playoff Preview: RSL vs. NYRB Edition

Tonight we’ll find out who is the “Best in the West” (sort of). Technically, RSL already has that title, as it has survived longer than any other Western Conference squad. NYRB luckily jumped into the West via the ridiculous MLS playoff rules, so now they will go after the Western Conference Championship, even though their city sits east of the Mississippi River.

Despite the geographic irregularities, tonight’s game has all the makings of a classic. Two underdog teams that qualified for the playoffs in the regular season’s final game will face off for the right to take on Columbus in the MLS Cup Final. As I mentioned earlier this week, I like RSL over NYRB 2-1.

Here’s how I think it will go down though.

I see Morales having a fantastic day. He’s a fan favorite, and his recent deal should provide him with the motivation to move Real Salt Lake into the Cup Finals. I think he notches the first goal, unassisted, early in the game.

I think the Red Bulls have fight in them though, so they level the game on an Angel strike just before half time, assisted by Dane Richards. I think the Red Bulls then take control of the game of the game in the second half, and narrowly miss a few golden opportunities set up by Dave Van den Bergh.

Ultimately though, Movsisyan will continue to play the role of spoiler and will score a late goal on a miraculous assist by Morales. This guy Movsisyan has quite a nose for the net, especially when it matters most. I am betting he will be the hero, though Morales will be the Man of the Match.

Sure, this is an extremely speculative prediction, but it’s just what I think will happen. We’ll have to wait until tonight to see how foolish I may be. NYRB has been playing with great heart lately and Osorio has a lot to prove, so I hate to bet against the Red Bulls. But, I think RSL is just too tough at home, and Kreis will get his team into the MLS Cup Final.