MLS is Back Tournament: Quarter-Final Matchups Set
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Thursday, July 30, 2020
After an eventful round of 16, the quarter-final matchups in the MLS is Back Tournament are now set.
There have been many surprises in the tournament thus far; teams like Atlanta United, LA Galaxy, and Toronto FC, who had been favoured to win the tournament or at the very least advance to the final four, were eliminated early and teams like Orlando City SC and Minnesota United, who had not been viewed as contenders, are now in a position where they can make a strong push to the finals.
New York City FC was quite the surprise; they were one of the third-place teams who advanced to the round of 16 with a record of 1-2 and a goal differential of -2. They were matched up with Group C winners Toronto FC and were being looked at as an underdog.
Toronto seemed to have New York’s number when it came to playoff play; Toronto eliminated New York on their way to the MLS Cup Finals last season and looked to do the same in this MLS is Back Tournament. NYCFC looked like a completely different team than what fans had seen so far and outplayed Toronto in all aspects of the game on route to a 3-1 win.
Of all the teams remaining, LAFC should be the favourite as they have really clicked offensively and with the absence of star player Carlos Vela, still possess the quality and skill to cause problems for every team’s backline. The addition of Bradley Wright-Phillips off the bench could be the difference maker for LAFC going forward and a strategy coach Bob Bradley uses if he notices his attackers slowing down or if his team needs a spark off the bench.
The quarter-final matchups are as followed:
Philadelphia Union vs Sporting KC
New York City FC vs Portland Timbers
Orlando City SC vs LAFC
San Jose Earthquakes vs Minnesota United FC
Photo Credit: MLS (@MLS)