After reading an article through Yahoo!, I had to take a step back and digest the information being thrown at me. It was stated that Real Salt Lake was the "dark horse" of the tournament and insinuated that the Timbers were the favorites. Now, despite our run of form lately, I personally don't feel like a favorite. Look at the competition:
Real Salt Lake: The only team in the Western Conference we were unable to get 3 points against. If that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will.
Los Angeles Galaxy: Yes, we dominated them in the regular season. But this isn't the regular season any more, and they are the 2 time defending champions. Does that scare you? Because I'm about to have to take a break to go change my underwear.
Colorado Rapids: Another team that we handled very well over the course of the year. But I attribute that less to our prowess, and more to their struggles early in the season. This is a team that started to figure out how to play as the season went on. Nevermind that 3-0 defeat at the hands of Vancouver (Colorado was pretty much already assured of playing in the play-in game... its hard to get up for a game like that), this is a team that developed an identity and has a lot of talented players. If they advance past the play-in game, then they will be a young, talented team that is brimming with confidence. Queue the spooky noises, I'm getting scared.
Seattle Sounders: A darby in the playoffs?! That can never go wrong! Yes, they limped into the playoffs. Yes, they are the most garbage team in the entirety of MLS. No, I would never root for them to win. While the team as a whole struggled down the stretch, you still have to accept that this is a team that has Obafemi Martens, Clint Dempsey, and Eddie Johnson. Steve Zakuani can't even make it off the bench of this team half the time, and he is a pretty solid player. And while they aren't that loud, it can be uncomfortable to have 60,000 people glancing at you occasionally in between their conversations about tiddlywinks and curling. If anything, it raises the temperature in the stadium, from all the body heat. That right there is an inherent home-field advantage.
Halloween is coming up, and I think I've decided that I'm going to dress up as the scariest thing out there. I'm going to dress up as the Western Conference bracket. That'll get some screams.