The Path to the Playoffs: 32 Games Later

USA TODAY Sports

There are two weeks worth of games to go in the season. Who should we root for?

This weekend has a full slate of games to be played, some with little baring on the Timbers' run-in and other of monumental consequence. Although the Timbers can clinch their own playoff spot with a win today, a series of favorable results this weekend could see them clinch the top spot in the Western Conference or put them in position to win it all.

So, who should Timbers fans be rooting for?

Philadelphia Union at Montreal Impact

Saturday, 11:00 am, MLS Live

Root For: Philadelphia

Why? Neither of these teams can pass the Timbers in the standings, but the Union take on Sporting Kansas City who, with their win last night over DC United, have jumped into first place with 55 points. If the Timbers win out then SKC does not present a problem, but why take the chance?

Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas

Saturday, 11:30 am, NBC

Root For: FC Dallas

Why? To paraphrase SteveinPDX, forget Seattle. Also, Seattle is still within striking distance of the Timbers, so a win here for FCD is not just ACES.

Vancouver Whitecaps at Colorado Rapids

Saturday, 3:00 pm, MLS Live

Root For: Vancouver.

Why? The Whitecaps play the Rapids this week. Next week they play them again. With six points to be split between the two teams, Timbers fans should be hoping that at least one of them goes to Vancouver, preventing the Rapids from being able to catch the Timbers on the table.

Columbus Crew at New England Revolution

Saturday, 4:30 pm, MLS Live

Root For: New England

Why? This is another strange case of back to back games between two teams to close out the season. Neither team can pass the Timbers, so we are left to decide if we want to occasionally inspired play of the Crew or the steady defense of the Revolution in the playoffs. In the end, I just have to go with the young players on the Revs who could be all-stars a year or two down the road.

Toronto FC at Chicago Fire

Saturday, 5:30 pm, MLS Live

Root For: Chicago

Why? As much as it pains me to root against both Bright Dike and Joe Bendik, the Fire have a date with New York next week and I would like them to be in fighting shape to take points off of one of the Timbers' chief rivals for the Supporter's Shield.

New York Red Bulls at Houston Dynamo

Sunday, 1:00 pm, UniMas

Root For: Houston

Why? If the Red Bulls win out, they win the Supporter's Shield. No matter what the Timbers do. Period. A loss here for the Red Bulls opens the door for the Timbers to finish on top of the league, a possibility that nobody (NOBODY) even conceived of seven months ago.

San Jose Earthquakes at LA Galaxy

Sunday, 6:00 pm, ESPN

Root For: I just... I just can't.

Why? Rooting for San Jose makes so much more sense here. Not only are the Galaxy still in striking distance of the Timbers, but they are a post-season juggernaut with one of the all-time great American coaches, plus three of the best players in league. Facing them in the playoffs is a bad idea... But I just don't loath them like I do the San Jose Lenharts.

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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