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Looking at the teams heading into the playoffs – MLS Cup 2022

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The MLS Playoffs are arguably the most completely unpredictable soccer event on the planet. Clubs convene each year after enduring a grueling regular season, so we should have a very solid idea of where teams stand by that point. And every year, everything quickly devolves into pure anarchy as contenders disappear like flies in matches that spiral out of control. The unpredictable nature of soccer in this region of the world is one of its best qualities. There is something unique about what happens in Major League Soccer (MLS), where nothing counts but which team can get hot at the right time, as large clubs continue to rule in Europe.

There can only ever be one expectation when assembling a roster like LAFC’s. For an MLS team, there is a sickening amount of quality, and LAFC, as predicted, marched straight to the Supporters’ Shield. However, none of those players are in this tournament for that trophy, therefore they are only allowed to advance one-tier.

Philadelphia Union
The Union has created something truly unique. The Union has built a pipeline that seems to never end, with cultivating young talent serving as the foundation of its identity. Young stars emerge, shine, and then fade away to be replaced by others who seem to be even better than they were.

Austin FC
What a transformation Austin FC made in just one year, going from MLS Cup contender to challenger for the wooden spoon. While Sebastian Driussi, one of the top players in MLS, deserves a lot of the credit, this is a team that is prepared for the big game.

CF Montreal
Not the team that many people anticipated would finish second in the East. To make this a season to remember, they have a very real possibility of continuing here. Montreal has a deep club with much MLS experience, but they don’t have the star power that many of the teams in this tier do.

FC Dallas
FC Dallas will be hoping that their American stars can motivate them. Since Clint Dempsey and Will Bruin in 2017, Jesus Ferreira and Paul Arriola are the only American teammates to have 10 goals each in an MLS season. And the two USMNT World Cup contenders will probably decide how far FC Dallas can advance.

Many recognizable figures are back for the reigning champions, but the one that’s not there will draw the most attention. All of the goals Taty Castellanos contributed to this NYCFC team are now gone. It will be difficult to replace the Argentine, who was among the finest goal-scorers in MLS before going on loan to Girona.

LA Galaxy
The Galaxy has the talent to compete, but can they defend a strong squad and score goals from anyone besides Chicharito? The only Galaxy player who has consistently been able to score goals is the Mexican sensation. That’s excellent in some ways because that is his job.

New York Red Bulls
We are familiar with the Red Bulls and their style of play: youthful, aggressive Red Bull soccer. We also know what they are not, and these shortcomings will likely be their downfall. They still lack a legitimate starting No. 9 player. Their finest player, Luquinhas, has had difficulty. Additionally, the club is quite young overall, which is never a good thing in the playoffs.

Nashville SC
Nashville is not the fifth-best club in the Western Conference, despite the adage that you are what your record indicates. A player who won the Golden Boot and is a strong candidate for the MVP award is the captain of this playoff-tested squad. What more would you require? The reply is a meager one. Nashville will have a chance against anyone with Hany Mukhtar on the pitch simply because the German star can completely control a match.

FC Cincinnati
Only the Union, LAFC, and Austin FC score more goals than Cincinnati, who scores in large groups. Consequently, why won’t they be in the same tier? their protection.
The attack led by Luciano Acosta, Brandon Vazquez, and Brenner has the firepower to compete with the majority. One of the top playmakers in the league, in particular, Acosta, has the power to completely change the course of a game.

Minnesota United
One positive for Minnesota is that they have a player who can wreak havoc in a postseason setting. In 2020, Emanuel Reynoso accomplished it by contributing seven assists in just three games. But that level of productivity just cannot support life and death.

Inter Miami
The most effective attacker in the league is Gonzalo Higuain.
Additionally, he might be having the soccer gods look down on his farewell match. But for this to happen, there will need to be a lot more grins and goals from Higuain.

Real Salt Lake
RSL is back in the playoffs right now. According to the eye test, they have no business being here. It would be clear with a short glance at their roster. Again, however, here we are. RSL’s lack of firepower will be an issue in Round 1 versus Austin’s abundance. It would be unexpected if RSL made it through the weekend.

Orlando City
They have already achieved success this season, surviving a testing and upset-filled tournament to claim one prize. Can they repeat it? Most likely not. They appeared to have given everything they had to win the U.S. Open Cup, but they were able to secure their berth by taking advantage of a Columbus Crew collapse. But now that they’re here, perhaps that Open Cup run will benefit a team that has already endured several significant one-off matches this season.

For more updates on the MLS Cup and match highlights, keep watching this space.

Salman Shaikh
Salman Shaikhhttps://beyond100yards.com/
You can find me in the newspaper, on TV and radio, and online. I love writing about football news and sharing it with others.