Before we head up to the city with our friends tomorrow, three games will be played that will determine the shape of the rest of the playoffs. Over the next two days, the Conference Semifinals of the MLS Playoffs will be wrapped up, and we Will see the competition for the MLS Cup winnowed down to three other teams if the Portland Timbers can hold their lead over the Seattle Sounders. so, which teams should we be hoping advance to the next round?
Wednesday, 5:00 pm, Univision Deportes
First Leg: 2-2
Root For: Houston
Why? This is one of those picks that I just feel bad about making. I would much rather watch the Red Bulls play another two games than the Dynamo, but with the expulsion of Jamison Olave in the first leg an upset by Houston is suddenly a possibility. I now find find myself rooting for a team I (only kinda) dislike in favor of a possible Timbers' home berth in the MLS Cup Final.
Wednesday, 6:00 pm, MLS Live
First Leg: 2-1 New England
Root For: New England
Why? Not only do I want the Revs to win, I want them to win convincingly. I want them to be as mentally prepared as possible to knock out whomever they face in the Eastern Conference Final this weekend. The Revs are a team I should be rooting against. Boston sports teams are the worst, but the evolution of the Revs' attack this season has won me over. With talents like Kelyn Rowe and Diego Fagundez driving their offensive efforts, New England are a hard team not to like.
Thursday, 6:00 pm, ESPN2
First Leg: 1-0 LA
Root For: Salt Lake, but only by a goal.
Why? The Galaxy are theoretically and historically the better match up for the Timbers for the LA Galaxy. Don't let that prevent you from rooting against them, even if it is only a little bit. We want the Galaxy to go through, sure, but we want it to be a harrowing, exhausting experience that leaves them hollow shells of the players that they once were. Ideally this wraps up with a shanked RSL penalty kick that leaves the Galaxy questioning if they even deserve to be in the playoffs.
Disagree with the my picks? Let me know in the comments. Plus, if you are going to be watching the game, feel free to discuss it here.