Six key stats for Thursday’s MLS Playoff knockout games

The 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs continue tonight after an incredible opening night on Wednesday. There are two key fixtures to enjoy on Thursday as the conference semifinals will be decided by the end of the night.

Montreal Impact host 401 Derby rivals Toronto FC in the first game before Sporting Kansas City head to the Portland Timbers later on.

Here are six key stats to consider as we head into Thursday’s games:

Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC (23:00 GMT – Match preview & prediction here)

1 – Montreal Impact have not won four straight MLS games since March 2013

Montreal Impact come into tonight’s game as favourites after winning their last three games of the regular season, including a 2-1 win against Toronto on Sunday. However, they have not won four on the bounce in 31 months.

The last time they won four in a row was at the start of the 2013 season in what turned out to be their only other season with playoff football until now. They lost in the knockout round that year and will be hoping to avoid the same fate tonight.

2 – Toronto FC have never lost back-to-back games against Montreal

Another stat that may concern Montreal fans is the fact that Toronto have never lost twice in a row to Montreal. This will be the sixth meeting of 2015 between the Canadian rivals but Toronto will be hoping they can continue to bounce back from defeats to Thursday’s opponents.

3 – Didier Drogba has scored 9 goals in his 5 home starts for Montreal

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Didier Drogba has be nothing short of sensational since arriving at Montreal in the summer. The powerful Ivorian ended the regular season as the team’s top goalscorer with 11 goals despite only playing the same number of games.

He has been particularly prolific at Stade Saputo and has netted nine times in his five home starts coming into the game, including a backheel brace against Toronto on Sunday.

Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City (02:00 GMT – Match preview & prediction here)

4 – Portland haven’t scored against Sporting Kansas City in 393 minutes

Portland come into the game with home-field advantage but need to end a serious goal drought against Sporting KC if they’re to advance to the conference semifinals.

It’s been more than six-and-a-half hours since Portland scored against Kansas City in all competitions and that will be a real concern for Caleb Porter.

5 – Sporting Kansas City are the only Western Conference side to win in Portland this season in MLS

Portland only lost three times at Providence Park during the regular season. They only suffered defeat to one Western Conference side and that was Sporting KC in a 1-0 defeat at the start of October.

That game will still be fairly fresh in the minds of both sets of players and Kansas City certainly have the psychological edge as a result.

6 – The Timbers have scored as many goals in their last two as SKC have in their last ten

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Goalscoring has been a major problem for Portland in this fixture but they will hope that their more recent form can prevail on Thursday night.

The Timbers have found the net nine times in their last two MLS games and look to be in the best form of their season.

Sporting Kansas City have only scored nine in their last ten MLS matches and could struggle if Portland come out firing as they did against LA and Colorado in their final two games of the regular season.

How do you see Thursday night’s MLS games going? Who will advance to the semifinals?


One thought on “Six key stats for Thursday’s MLS Playoff knockout games

  1. Toronto are tied for the worst goals against (58) in the league with 2 teams that didn’t make the playoffs (Chicago & New York City FC). In soccer, and especially in a short tournament like MLS playoffs, a good defence will get you a lot farther than a good offence.

    Drogba with a hattrick and Gio with a brace and it ends 4-3 Montreal winning.

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