Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


Everything You Need To Know About The 2016 MLS Cup Conference Finals

It's been 15 grueling, agonizingly long days since we last saw the MLS Playoffs. The international break served as a welcome rest for some teams, while it was a frustrating gap for others — especially the fans. Tonight, the Conference Finals kick off. Here is a breakdown of each match and what you need to know. 

2016 MLS Eastern Conference Finals

Toronto FC

Toronto had never won a playoff game before this year. Now they are regarded as the favorites to lift the 2016 MLS Cup. Winners of four straight matches, they crushed NYCFC with an aggregate 7-0 victory. However, they’ve run into issues against the Impact in the past.

Strangely, Montreal actually concede slightly more goals at home than on the road — Toronto will be keen to return to BMO Field without any sort of defecit. It’ll have a lot to do with how Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley bounce back from USMNT turmoil that's ultimately cost Jurgen Klinsmann his job. 

Montreal Impact

Toronto has only beaten the Impact once in their last five match-ups, including a brutal 3-0 playoff elimination match last season. So while Toronto is the hottest team, Montreal still holds a mental advantage. Winners of three straight, the Impact are moving leg one from their normal stadium over to the Olympic Stadium, capacity 66,308.

The house will be packed and loud in a closed arena setting. Even recently disgruntled Didier Drogba returned to close out the last match, and we all know how much he loves these big games. 

TV Info  

Tuesday, 11/22: 8:00 pm EST, ESPN (USa), MLS Live, TSN1 (Canada)

Key Players To Watch

Ignacio Piatti: Montreal's main man, and unlucky to not have had more MVP buzz. His goals saw the Impact advance past the Supporters' Shield winners, NY Red Bulls. With 17 goals and six assists in the regular season, he will have to be on form again for the Impact to challenge Toronto. 

Sebastian Giovinco: No other choice. He had 17 goals in the regular season, to go along with 15 assists.  It's a crime against soccer that he was excluded from the MVP finalist list. He put away a hat trick against NYCFC in his last match and probably would have preferred to play Montreal immediately.


Toronto is hot and everyone will be favoring them. A two-week cooling-off period and the US stars suffering big CONCACAF losses ultimately slow them down in front of a massive Montreal crowd. Impact 2-1 in the first leg. 

Western Conference Finals

Colorado Rapids

They have been winning ugly all year and repeated that in last round's victory over the LA Galaxy. With Tim Howard now out for the rest of the season and question marks concerning their top offensive power (Gashi), does Colorado have enough to maintain their style? Expect a very conservative approach from the Rapids on Tuesday, who will be happy with a 0-0 snooze-fest to open things on the road. 

Seattle Sounders

The tale of two seasons. If the Sounders go on to win their first MLS Cup in 2016, the movie script is already written. Again, injuries will dictate style as Jordan Morris (12 goals) and Roman Torres, the enforcer of the backline, are racing to be fit. Had this match been Sunday, as originally planned, Seattle would have had 50-60,000 fans. Still, a 30-40,000 army in rave green filling CenturyLink will prove quite the atmosphere. 

TV Info

Tuesday, 11/22: 10:00 pm EST, FS1 (USA), MLS Live, TSN1 (Canada)

Key Players To Watch

Jermaine Jones: With Howard out, Jones is the senior leadership. A rough international break in which the USA were embarrassed twice in World Cup play is certainly hanging over Jones. How he bounces back and can counter Loderio will be the decisive match-up. 

Nico Loderio: The difference. Without him Seattle aren’t even in the playoffs. Just took home the MLS Newcomer of the Year award. Four goals and eight assists are numbers that do not do the Uruguayan international justice. 


Morris and Torres will play, because the game means too much. It's Seattle’s biggest match to date, with a long shot of hosting MLS Cup still out there. The Rapids stay back on the defense, but the Sounders eventually break them down and grab a second goal late. Seattle with a huge 2-0 victory in leg one. 

Videos you might like