Of Toronto FC, LA Galaxy, Montreal Impact and Seattle Sounders, which first-round MLS playoff winner could make the most noise?
Toronto. The Reds are finally back to full strength with the return of MVP candidate Sebastian Giovinco. Now that the defense has improved, Toronto can finally start being the team in real life that it has had on paper.
The best defense in the conference plus la Formica Atomica is a recipe for overdue success. Toronto FC, easily. They’re balanced, hungry and have Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley firing on all cylinders.
I'd agree that it's Toronto, but there's always something menacing about the Galaxy, provided they have Robbie Keane at full strength. Never doubt a Bruce Arena team, especially one that could be ushering in a new era sooner than later.
Call me crazy, but I think it’s the Seattle Sounders. Toronto FC has more talent throughout its squad and the Galaxy have more playoff experience on the field and on the bench, but Seattle is just on the sort of roll right now where everything seems to be bouncing its way. Nelson Valdez has finally escaped from his one-year(!) goal drought, Nicolas Lodeiro continues to impress on the attack, and the Roman Torres-Chad Marshall central defensive partnership is huge, both literally and figuratively. More than all of that, though, the Sounders are working hard, and working for each other, to a degree I haven’t seen from any other team in the first round so far. If they can maintain that, Dallas has reason to be worried.
There are four possible answers to this question, but one answer is a lot more valid than the rest. It’s the Galaxy. They're still the Galaxy. Bruce is still Bruce. He's done it five times before, and 19 of his 28 players have won first-division titles in MLS or elsewhere. A 20th has won the UEFA Champions League. Don't bet against LA.