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The Path to the Playoffs: Eight Games to Go, Sunday Edition

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Today's matches are both rivalries, one pitting two talented teams from the east against each other, while the other sees the Western Conference's worst take on one of its best.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With only eight 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 today's matches and how they will affect the Timbers' run in to the playoffs.

New York Red Bulls at D.C. United

Sunday, 8/31 at 11:30 AM PT on NBCSN

Root for: D.C. United

Why? Following Sporting Kansas City's stumble yesterday, losing 3-0 to the New England Revolution, United look like the horse to back in the east as the main challenger to the Seattle Sounders' Supporters' Shield ambitions. Plus, D.C. visit the West Coast to play the Whitecaps next weekend and it would be great for an in-form United to give Vancouver a kick while they are down.

LA Galaxy at Chivas USA

Sunday, 8/31 at 5:00 PM PT on Univision Deportes

Root for: Chivas USA

Why? Beyond the soft spot that I have always had for Chivas USA, there is just too much that the Goats can do to influence the remainder of the Timbers' season. The Galaxy may look like they are in form to take down Seattle at the top of the West, but Chivas could soften up Toronto FC the week before they face the Timbers, they have two match against both Seattle and Real Salt Lake, and they have an all-important match against the Colorado Rapids that is yet another chance to help the Timbers into the playoffs.

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.