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D.C. United fans’ guide to MLS Week 28: what to watch and who to root for, plus an open thread

From Seattle to New York, Colorado to Toronto, we tell you what results this weekend will most help the Black-and-Red’s playoff push

MLS: Toronto FC at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Olsen may have said it best in the run-up to D.C. United’s 2-2 road draw against the Chicago Fire on Friday — there’s not really any point to gaming out the final six weeks of the Major League Soccer season at this point. United need to get wins, and it would help if some friendly results went their way elsewhere in the league, but it’s too early to start attaching real numbers to events.

That won’t stop us of course, and to that end, let’s watch some MLS together and root for Whatever Helps D.C. United The Most (WHDCUTM, rolls right off the tongue). Saturday involves 7 12 hours of continuous soccer on MLS Live, and there are two Sunday games on national broadcast television, each with easily identifiable rooting interests for fans of the Black-and-Red.

So let’s get to the action. Join us for all or part of the festivities in the comments.

Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Saturday, 4pm

Where to watch: MLS Live

Who you should root for: Push

Why: If D.C. United’s checkered past with the Sounders hasn’t already made Seattle the Metros of the West in your mind, there’s really no wrong answer here. The recent arrival of Nicolas Lodeiro at Century Link Field has made the Rave Green fun to watch (garish colors aside) in recent weeks, and Vancouver has finally remembered how to play soccer since September started. Both are below the red line, and three points for either would add some chaos to the Western Conference playoff race, never a bad thing if your team is in the East.

Portland Timbers FC vs. Philadelphia Union - Saturday, 6pm

Where to watch: MLS Live

Who you should root for: P-T! *clap*clap* F-C!

Why: The Union are ahead of D.C. in the east, though not so far that a collapse along with actual back-to-back wins at some point for United could turn the tables. (What? I’m an optimist!) Unless you care about the relative stature of MLS’s two conferences, root for West over East as a general rule.

New York City FC vs. FC Dallas - Saturday, 7pm

Where to watch: MLS Live

Who you should root for: The 2016 U.S. Open Cup champion FC Dallas

Why: United still have one more meeting with the Pigeons this year, and it would be awfully nice to have them in as low a mental place as they can be. Let’s root not just for a win by the visitors, but some good old-fashioned Yankee Stadium clubhouse strife for NYCFC.

Orlando City SC vs. Columbus Crew SC - Saturday, 7:30pm

Where to watch: MLS Live

Who you should root for: The Crew

Why: Orlando City would move ahead of United for the final playoff spot with a win or a draw at the Citrus Bowl Camping World Stadium. Sitting tied with the purple Lions is better than falling behind them, even with two head-to-head matchups remaining in the final five weeks of the season.

Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution - Saturday, 7:30pm

Where to watch: MLS Live

Who you should root for: Draw? Let’s say draw. Okay, fine, twist my arm. Montreal.

Why: L’Impact are in danger of a real collapse that could see them fall out of fifth place and into the melee for sixth with this Revolution side, Orlando and D.C. United. That would be good. New England leapfrogging United and pushing Los Capitalinos as far down as seventh place would be the opposite of that.

Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes - Saturday, 9pm

Where to watch: MLS Live

Who you should root for: Late dinner

Why: This will probably be the least watchable game of the bunch, and it has no bearing whatsoever on United’s playoff hunt. If you’re going to take a break to grab some barbecue or bratwurst, this would be the game to do it. And for those of you purists who will watch every second, decide whether you want to see your least favorite flavor of Bennyball, taken to the extreme, working in the Western Conference — if that sounds like your kind of whiskey, then root for the Rapids; if not, the Quakes.

Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo - Saturday, 9:30pm

Where to watch: MLS Live

Who you should root for: Blood. Or Joe Willis.

Why: This is another West-vs-West matchup, and so it won’t technically matter to United fans. One thing to expect at Rio Tinto Stadium is a lot of chances for RSL. So, if you’re looking for a rooting interest, there are two options: the bloodbath that would be a Claret-and-Cobalt rout, or a standing-on-his-head otherworldly display by ex-DCer Angry Joe Willis.

Sporting Kansas City vs. LA Galaxy - Sunday, 2pm

Where to watch: Fox, the broadcast television network. That’s WTTG, channel 5 in the DC area.

Who you should root for: Sporks

Why: Anything that interrupts the Galaxy’s “Race for Seis” and causes angst at the StubHub Center, I am for. That includes rooting for Peter Vermes.

Toronto FC vs. Scum of the Earth New York Red Bulls - Sunday 5pm

Where to watch: Also Fox!

Who you should root for: TFC

Why: You see the strikethrough text in the heading right? One should only ever root for the Red Bulls as a last resort, and even then, only under close supervision from a physician and after a chat with an end-of-life counselor. Even if it means making Toronto’s path to their first ever MLS trophy (the Supporters’ Shield, in this case) a little easier, they are the only correct rooting interest in this game.

Now, let’s watch some soccer! Join us in the comments with bantz, snark and taeks on the rest of the league.