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Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs: Conference Final dates, times & watch info

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The following was published on MLSsoccer.com — Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs: Conference Final dates, times & watch info

And then there were four.

The Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs have reached the Conference Final stage; both Eastern and Western matchups are scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 2.

After winning their Conference Semifinal clashes last weekend, teams stay chasing an MLS Cup presented by Audi spot for the Dec. 9 championship match.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

FC Cincinnati (1) vs. Columbus Crew (3)

Hell is Real! Whoever wins this Ohio rivalry bout will host MLS Cup, raising the stakes for a series that’s ripe with star power and quality.

Cincinnati, after winning the Supporters’ Shield, are led by playmaker¬†Luciano Acosta¬†and the strike duo of¬†Brandon Vazquez¬†and¬†Aaron Boupendza. But will they get d-mid¬†Obinna Nwobodo¬†(injury) and center back¬†Matt Miazga¬†(suspension) back in the fold? So far, Pat Noonan’s group has knocked off the¬†New York Red Bulls¬†(Round One) and¬†Philadelphia Union¬†(Conference Semifinal).

The Cucho Hernández show has fueled Columbus, who have gotten 4g/1a in four playoff games from the Colombian international. Their possession-heavy style, instilled by head coach Wilfried Nancy, also leans heavily on Aidan Morris and Darlington Nagbe in midfield. The Crew are coming off a road win over Orlando City SC (Conference Semifinal), having outlasted Atlanta United (Round One) in their first playoff test.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

LAFC (3) vs. Houston Dynamo FC (4)

Whoever wins this Conference Final heads to Ohio, but that matters little to LAFC and Houston since the championship match is within reach.

The Black & Gold are looking to become the first MLS Cup repeat winner since the LA Galaxy in 2011-12. And they derive ample confidence from Dénis Bouanga, the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi winner, now sitting on 37 goals across all competitions this year. To advance, LAFC have beaten Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Round One) and Seattle Sounders FC (Conference Semifinal).

The Dynamo enter as the underdog, but Ben Olsen’s new-look team has already proven they’re a trophy candidate by raising the¬†US Open Cup title¬†in late September over¬†Inter Miami CF. Central midfielders¬†H√©ctor Herrera¬†and¬†Coco Carrasquilla¬†are their stars, helping inspire postseason triumphs over¬†Real Salt Lake¬†(Round One) and¬†Sporting Kansas City¬†(Conference Semifinal).

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