The Path to the Playoffs: Almost There

Apparently this is what happened the last time LA and Chivas faced off. - USA TODAY Sports

Let's take another look at this weekend's matches and which results would most help the Timbers along the way.

At practice yesterday Caleb Porter talked about his inability to be happy with his achievements. If the Timbers qualify for the playoffs, he wants them to get a bye. If they get a bye, he wants them to win the Western Conference. If they win the Western Conference, he wants them to win the Supporter's Shield. That none of those goals are outside the realm of possibility speaks volumes about how far this team has come since 2012.

Now, let's take a look at this weekend's games and just who I think you should be rooting for in them.

New England Revolution at New York Red Bulls

Saturday, 4:00 pm, MLS Live

Root For: New England

Why? In New York's last five games they have won four and tied one. A win for the Revolution would derail their potential run at the Supporter's Shield and would certainly help dissipate some of the ridiculous momentum that the Red Bulls have built up heading into the playoffs. Plus, for no good reason I would rather have New England edge into a playoff spot than the Columbus Crew.

Toronto FC at Philadelphia Union

Saturday, 4:30 pm, MLS Live

Root For: Toronto

Why? In the battle of two teams who are both unlikely to materially influence the Timbers' playoff race, root for the team with Bright Dike, especially if it means he scores more goals like this.

Sporting Kansas City at Columbus Crew

Saturday, 4:30 pm, MLS Live

Root For: Columbus

Why? Despite my previously mentioned distaste for Columbus, SKC have a shot at the Supporter's Shield and therefore must be stopped. They won't have any direct impact on the Timbers' playoff race, but any chance at the Shield is a good chance.

FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake

Saturday, 6:00 pm, MLS Live

Root For: Dallas

Why? RSL is ahead of the Timbers. By two points. Dallas could still make a move up the standings but they are currently nine points behind Portland and not looking like a good bet to make that ground up.

Seattle Sounders at Colorado Rapids

Saturday, 7:00 pm, NBC Sportsnet

Root For: Colorado

Why? There are so many reasons to root against Seattle here. They are Seattle. Playoff positioning. Supporter's Shield potential. Games in hand. Clint Dempsey. Seattle. Kasey Keller.

Chivas USA at LA Galaxy

Sunday, 2:00 pm, UniMas

Root For: Chivas USA

Why? Steve Purdy got his face broken by Steven Lenhart last week thanks to yet another wild elbow from the San Jose Earthquakes goon. Afterward, Dan Kennedy said that he would like to have Lenhart on his team. I now have no goodwill left for Chivas, but the Galaxy are still close enough to the Timbers in the standings that I am willing to put that aside and root for a man that would welcome the most loathed person in MLS onto his team.

Disagree with the my picks? Let me know in the comments. Plus, if you are going to be watching any of these games, feel free to discuss them here.

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