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Previewing The Playoffs: Conference Finals Edition

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KANSAS CITY, KS - AUGUST 03:  Teal Bunbury #9 of Sporting Kansas City chases Nat Borchers #6 of Real Salt Lake and the ball during the game on August 3, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, KS - AUGUST 03: Teal Bunbury #9 of Sporting Kansas City chases Nat Borchers #6 of Real Salt Lake and the ball during the game on August 3, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Today's conference finals see a battered Real Salt Lake team visit the unbeaten at home Los Angeles Galaxy while the stalwart Houston Dynamo will have to see off the dynamic attack of Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Park. In each of the last two years the winner of the MLS Cup has been the lowest ranked team in the playoffs. This year, with the new playoff format, all of the wildcard teams have been eliminated and only seeded teams remain.

Houston Dynamo at Sporting Kansas City

2:30 pm, Fox Soccer Channel

The Dynamo were not a popular pick to advance against the Philadelphia Union, but the hottest team in Major League Soccer coming into the playoffs stayed on form and ground out two hard fought games to advance into the conference finals. While the Dynamo looked challenged every step of the way against the Union, Sporting blew past the Colorado Rapids displaying the rapier attack and stingy defense that earned them the first place berth in the eastern conference. With Mexican international Omar Bravo set to return from injury, either as a starter or a substitute, the Sporting Kansas City attack will get a further boost in today's match.

Predictions: Sporting Kansas City 2 - Houston Dynamo 0 with goals by Teal Bunbury and Chance Myers.

Real Salt Lake at Los Angeles Galaxy

6:00 pm, ESPN

Real Salt Lake missed their usual centerback pairing of Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers against the Seattle Sounders. Without the two holding down the back RSL had difficulty passing the ball out of the back and linking up with their midfield to create possession. One or both might return, but it will be a game time decision according to manager Jason Kreis. Los Angeles, on the other hand, have a healthy squad that have looked destined to win the cup for much of the year. The Galaxy will want to continue that look as the host RSL at the Home Depot Center, where LA were undefeated this season.

Predictions: Los Angeles Galaxy 1 - Real Salt Lake 0 with the lone goal by Robbie Keane.

Tune in and drop by this thread to chat about the games with your fellow Timbers fans.