The Path to the Playoffs: One Month Left

USA TODAY Sports

After this weekend there is only one month left in the regular season. Let's take a look at this weekend's games and what outcomes would be best for the Timbers.

The Timbers win over the Colorado Rapids last Friday may have gone a long way toward securing a playoff spot for the team, but it was far from a confidence inspiring performance. The Timbers play their next match against a fellow playoff competitor when they take on the LA Galaxy tomorrow, but there are plenty of other matches that will affect the race to the playoffs this weekend.

DC United at Toronto FC

Saturday, 10:00 am, MLS Live

Root For: Whoever.

Why? Two of the three teams that are eliminated from playoff contention playing? Sounds great. DC is firmly entrenched in last place, but a win for TFC could put them even with Chivas USA on points (although they would still have one less win). I don't know if this game will be fun to watch or the worst thing ever, but either way it will probably be worth your time at 10:00 am on a rainy Saturday.

Real Salt Lake at Vancouver Whitecaps

Saturday, 4:00 pm, MLS Live

Root For: Vancouver.

Why? This game highlights the two remaining schools of thought concerning the Timbers at this point. The optimists want Vancouver to win so that the Timbers can pass RSL with a win Saturday afternoon. The pessimists want Vancouver to lose to keep them further from challenging the Timbers for a playoff spot next week. I am an optimist.

Houston Dynamo at New England Revolution

Saturday, 4:30 pm, MLS Live

Root For: Houston.

Why? Houston may have a coach capable of getting just about any team to a final, but New England have one of the strongest defenses in the league and a better goal differential than everyone in the Eastern Conference except Sporting Kansas City and the Montreal Impact. If the Timbers get to face a team in the final, wouldn't you rather it was the team they beat 3-0 on the road than the team they tied 0-0 at home?

Montreal Impact at Chicago Fire

Saturday, 5:30 pm, MLS Live

Root For: Chicago.

Why? A loss here will keep the Impact hungry and looking for wins as they try to get back into the race for the Supporters Shield. That hunger could serve the Timbers well in two and a half weeks when the Impact travel to LA and take on the Galaxy.

Columbus Crew at FC Dallas

Sunday, 5:30 pm, MLS Live

Root For: Columbus.

Why? Dallas is still trying to get back into the Western Conference playoff race. A loss here would leave Dallas with only four games to make up a five point deficit, and with the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake as two of their last four match ups, Dallas will need to come up big.

New York Red Bulls at Seattle Sounders

Sunday, 6:00 pm, ESPN

Root For: New York.

Why? The Red Bulls may be leading the league right now with 51 points, but the Sounders have made an annoying habit of picking up points from their games in hand. If the Red Bulls can slow down those pesky Washingtonians then the Timbers will have an even better chance of moving up the ladder.

San Jose Earthquakes at Chivas USA

Sunday, 8:00 pm, UniMas

Root For: Dan Kennedy.

Why? The Earthquakes still have a chance at making the playoffs, but nobody wants that. The sooner the goon squad is no longer out there doing some bashing, the better for everybody. Plus, I can't help but root for the crazy mess that is Chivas USA.

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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