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Live MLS Soccer League: New York vs. Philadelphia Predictions & Tips

Playoff tension will be in the air on Thursday night at Red Bull Arena, as the New York Red Bulls try to lock up a playoff bid when they take on the Philadelphia Union in live MLS soccer action. The live soccer television coverage will be set for ESPN at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

Going into the final fixture of the season, there are still a few teams that can snare the 10th and final playoff bid, and you can bet that there will be a ton of Union fans out there. The Red Bulls hold the final position right now by three points over the Chicago Fire and the Portland Timbers, while as of Tuesday night, DC United was five points back with two games to play.

Portland is essentially eliminated unless it can come up with a tremendous number of goals in its final fixture. It is a -8 on the season in goal differential, while the Fire are at even pegging. It really seems as though DC United has the best chance of the rest of the teams to get into the playoffs, as they can get in with two wins and a New York loss or two wins by at least a combined seven goals and a New York draw.

It would be a collapse of epic proportions if the Red Bulls didn’t get into the playoffs. Not only is their team stacked with talent like Thierry Henry, Luke Rodgers, and the likes, but they also needed just one point in their final two fixtures to ensure a postseason bid (barring two DC United victories by at least seven goals).

However, things for the Union are still up in the air as well. They are slotted into the East No. 2 position right now, and they are tied with Sporting Kansas City atop the table with 48 points and a +9 goal differential. A tiebreaker would give KC the edge should the two teams finish level on points on differential. The Columbus Crew and Houston Dynamo are also in range of the top spot in the East.

A point is good enough to suit the boys from the City of Brotherly Love, as it would ensure that they would not be a Wild Card in the playoffs. Finishing in second or third makes little difference, as there is a home and home duel set between those two teams in the quarterfinals of the MLS playoffs. Finishing first will ensure a quarterfinals date with the Wild Card winner with the most points, as there is no hope of running down the LA Galaxy for the top spot in the league.

However, things could get frighteningly bad with a bad result here for Philadelphia. A loss parlayed with the wrong results could see it down to fourth place in the East, which would set up a game against the Colorado Rapids in all likelihood. Should Colorado claim three points in its final game as well, the Rapids would host the one game playoff to get into the bracket.

Philly won the first fixture of these two teams 1-0 in the City of Brotherly Love. The Union have now picked up at least one point in eight straight fixtures, and that point would ensure safety from the Wild Card playoffs.

New York is still favored by a half goal at even money on the MLS odds, though. The ‘total’ has been set at 2.5, over -105.

Posted in Featured, MLS


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