It took all 210 games of the regular season, but the eight-team field for the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs is finally set. In the end, D.C. United’s 1-0 loss at Columbus in the final game of the regular season meant New York backed into the playoffs despite losing to Chicago on Thursday evening.
The match-ups are now set:
Conference Semifinals, Game 1:
- Chicago Fire at New England Revolution – Thurs. Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2/Deportes
- Houston Dynamo at New York Red Bulls – Sat. Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. ET on MSG/Ch. 43/Direct Kick/MLS Live TV
- Chivas USA at Real Salt Lake – Sat. Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Sports en Espanol
- Columbus Crew at Kansas City Wizards – Sat. Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. ET on HDNet/ONN/Metro Sports/TWC-5/Direct Kick/MLS Live TV
Conference Semifinals, Game 2:
- New England Revolution at Chicago Fire – Thurs. Nov. 6 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2/Deportes
- Kansas City Wizards at Columbus Crew – Sat. Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET on HDNet/ ONN/Metro Sports/TWC-5/Direct Kick/MLS Live TV
- Real Salt Lake at Chivas USA – Sat. Nov. 8 at 10:30 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Sports en Espanol
- New York Red Bulls at Houston Dynamo – Sun. Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. ET on TeleFutura/MSG Plus/Ch. 55
ESPN2 and Fox Soccer Channel followed the pattern they started last year and chose the match-ups they wanted in their entirety – both games – so they could fully tell the playoff story.
With ESPN2 selecting our series against Chicago – quite possibly the best playoff rivalry in the league given it’s history – and Fox Soccer taking the Real Salt Lake-Chivas USA series, the soccer-only network has another great series with a first-time playoff participant. It should make for great two weeks of soccer action on national TV.
A few other notes about the playoffs:
For the second time in as many years, the Eastern Conference placed five teams in the playoffs to the West’s three. Last year, KC advanced to the Western Conference Championship game, falling to eventual MLS Cup champion Houston.
ESPN2 will be televising live pregame shows for both of the Revs-Fire matchups, while Fox Soccer Channel will continue with its usual 30-minute pre- and post-game shows.
If you’re coming to the Revs’ game on Thursday at Gillette Stadium, please note that kickoff will be at 8 p.m. If you see 7:30 p.m. floating around out there as a start time, that’s for ESPN2′s pregame show. Kickoff will actually be just after the top of the hour.
For the full 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs – and the league’s full release – click here.
Finally, who do you think will win each of the series? Click on the polls below and let us know.