Sebastian Blanco, Graham Zusi - Portland Timbers, Sporting KC - Close up

It's the final four of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.


Unlike college basketball, reaching the Conference Championship isn't typically an objective in itself. So which of the four teams left in the postseason – Atlanta United, New York Red Bulls, Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City – will advance to MLS Cup?


We asked MLSsoccer.com staff to find out who they think will move onto the title game, and why.


Senior Editors Ben Couch and Nicholas Rosano, Senior Host & Producer Andrew Wiebe, National Writer Sam Stejskal, analyst and former MLS player Bobby Warshaw, and contributors Charles Boehm, Tom Bogert, and Alicia Rodriguez all chimed in.


Which team will win each Conference Championship and advance to MLS Cup? 


COUCH: RBNY. It's their year. Samesies for SKC. Cup will be a fight to the destined death, and I'm here for it.


BOGERT:Red Bulls vs. Timbers. RBNY are hoping that 2018 will be the season where #ThatsSoMetro is put to bed while it's a tale of two Diegos in the West as Valeri and Chara look to engineer another upset.


STEJSKAL: I picked the Red Bulls to win MLS Cup in my initial Playoff Bracket. I'm not sticking to that. Give me a healthy Almiron and Atlanta against a Timbers team that has the three best players of their Western Conference Championship series against SKC.


WARSHAW: It's like 54/46 in both conferences – basically a toss up – so I'm gonna skip this one.  


BOEHM: Portland and RBNY are probably my favorite stories of the year. But I got Sporting and Atlanta advancing, thanks to their big attacking players making big plays.


WIEBEAtlanta vs. Timbers. My instinct was to go with NY-SKC. Since my instincts were garbage when it came to the Bracket Challenge, I’m taking the exact opposite.


RODRIGUEZ: I'm picking Sporting to come out of the West, but I'm truly torn on the East. I think Atlanta being willing to change their style in the first leg against NYCFC, and pulling it off, means I expect that again against the Red Bulls, with Atlanta getting revenge for the Supporters' Shield in the playoffs.


ROSANO: Picking the Red Bulls to make (and win) MLS Cup is my lone remaining hope of avoiding a complete bracket failure, and I think they have Atlanta's number. Out of the West, I think Sporting KC's quality all over the field and variety of potential difference-makers will see them prevail.