With D.C. United basically firing everybody (except, so far, Ben Olsen and Dave Kasper), our betters in the league set out in the MLS Cup Playoffs tonight, with the Don't-Call-It-A-Wild-Card Round, which pits the fourth and fifth place teams in each conference in a single-game elimination. Here's everything you need to watch the game, and while you're here, you may as well post in our open thread, which we'll keep going for both Knockout games.
Sigi Schmid's side hosts Oscar Pareja's upstarts. The Sounders imploded at the end of the year, going from Supporters' Shield favorites just a month ago down to the knockout round. Colorado, meanwhile, (a season-ending 3-0 loss to the
Fighting Camilos Vancouver Whitecaps notwithstanding) is playing some of the prettiest and most effective soccer in the league. But the Rapids are young, and they're going into the stadium with the brightest lights and biggest crowds to play on the biggest stage. My money says they get over-awed.
Match Info: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 10:30 pm EDT on NBCSN
Prediction: Seattle somehow manages to flip the script and get the home result - maybe in extra time - and move on to face their arch rivals, the Portland Timbers in the next round.
The Dynamo always manage to find a way into the playoffs, missing out on the second season just once in their history. The Impact did everything in their power to miss the show, though, even losing to Toronto FC on the last day of the season. Considering their otherworldly early season form, the drop is bad news for the Impact. Luckily for them, they have lots of experience on the roster - unluckily most of it is tied up in geriatric legs. Also unfortunately for the Francophones, Dominick Kinnear is among the best in MLS at managing the playoffs. The Dynamo don't mess around at this point in the year, and anything but a Houston pick here would be irresponsible.
Match Info: Thursday, Oct. 31, 8:30 pm on NBCSN
Prediction: Houston in a walk, setting up a match with this year's [/shudder] Supporters' Shield-winning [/tear] New York Red Bulls [/twitch].
Give us your predictions, and your live reactions, for each game down in the comments.
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