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The Path to the Playoffs: Nine Games to Go, Friday Edition

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Today's match is an eastern conference game with little direct impact on the Timbers, but plenty of ramifications for the league overall.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

With only nine games to go in the season for the Portland Timbers, every game around the league has some bearing on the final standings. Let's look forward to tonight's match and how it will affect the Timbers' run in to the playoffs.

Houston Dynamo at Sporting Kansas City

Friday, 8/29 at 7:30 8:00 PM PT on MLS Live NBCSN

Root for: Sporting Kansas City

Why? Neither of these teams have any direct impact on the remainder of the Timbers' run in to the MLS Playoffs. If either was playing the Colorado Rapids or Vancouver Whitecaps this would be obvious, but since they are not we will have to take a longer-term view of things.

As a result, the team to root for has to be SKC. With the Seattle Sounders still in a strong position to win the Supporters' Shield, thanks in part to the Timbers' 4-2 loss last weekend, anyone who is ACES simply has to root for Kansas City, the team with the best chance of beating Seattle in the end-of-season standings.

Disagree with the prognosis? Let us know in the comments. Plus, if you are going to be watching the game, feel free to discuss them here.