Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs! Are you kidding me? Not only did TFC not make it, but it's got a distasteful Montreal flavour to it as well. Goddamnit Chicago!
But, there's no need to ignore the elephant in the room, so yes let's talk about playoffs. TFC are a poor team, and their games are often low on entertainment, but there's some actually good teams in this league and there should be some good games and plenty of drama. With the wild card games, the two legs of the conference semi finals and the first leg of the conference finals all to be played between now and November 10th, it's going to be a great 12 days, before it all fizzles out with a two week break to the 2nd leg and then another two week break to the final.
Anyway, this isn't going to be any grand detailed preview, more just putting a post up as a place where we can all talk playoffs. I'll predict Houston to win the East, mainly for the sake of pettiness but also because a) Montreal have been crap recently and b) It's Houston in the playoffs, who knows why but that usually means they win. In the West, I'd love to see Colorado win, but think Seattle will somehow find a way to turn their form around and get a win, despite the Rapids winning 5-1 the last time these teams played.
Always good to have a rooting interest for this sort of thing and With TFC continuing their grand tradition of never making the playoffs, you'll need to pick a different team to cheer for. If you need help with that decision, and it's uninformed opinions, partisan sentimentality, bitterness and petty prejudices you want to base your decision on, then you've come to the right place, a segment I like to call;
Weeeeeeeee love you, but we hate you! and you! and especially you!
Houston Dynamo: They're a dull team really, there's not really all that much that makes me love them, other than I suppose a grudging respect for Dominic Kinnear, Brad Davis and all the other Dynamo players that have been around for ages. Stability is their name, you'd hope TFC might eventually learn from their success. Not much to hate really either, aside from that whole abandoning San Jose thing, but there's been too much recent success, hopefully someone else can come out of the East this time.
Montreal Impact: Nothing to like, plenty to hate, pretty simple really.
Verdict: Fuck those guys. Le Booooooooooooooo
New England Revolution: I like New England, they've had some tough years bit come out of it with some good young players, a great veteran signing in Goncalves and a rookie coach they kept faith with. He's got terrible hair but I do quite like Diego Fagundez. Their fans have to put up with playing at Gillette Stadium so that deserves reward and even back in the day when they were good they never actually managed to win it. One the other hand, the old guys with the muskets when they score is pretty, pretty dumb.
Verdict: Support the fort, I hope they make the final.
New York Red Bulls: The emotion and joy when they finally won a trophy was endearing, and I do like Johnny Steele, but the big name players and the obnoxious corporate naming thing mean I can never get behind them.
Sporting Kansas City: Not much to recommend these guys at all really. Jacob Peterson and Teal Bunbury are more than enough to outweigh the panto villain goodness of Aurelien Collin.
Colorado Rapids: One of the feel good stories of the season is their turnaround after finally shedding their Gary Smith/Conor Casey identity. Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers is another good story, but whatever, we got allocation money instead, suck it! Clint Irwin used to play in the CSL, that's awesome. Nathan Sturgis seems to have become a dangerous-ish nattacking midfielder with them, which is odd. On the other hand, their fans got a good year, and also got that epic USA snow game, so they don't need any more fun.
Verdict: I hope they win it all.
LA Galaxy: Won it twice in a row, Landycakes, Robbie Keane, there's a lot not to like. More than anything I want to see an angry and petulant Robbie Keane, I love it when that guy shows up.
Verdict: Fuck those guys, boooo
Portland Timbers: Portland's resurgence is a good story. Will Johnson, Ryan Johnson, Milos Kocic, I'd be happy for all of those guys to win anything. Let's not forget Max Urruti, still can't make up my mind if I want him to flame out or light it up. Futty Danso and Darlington Nagbe are great names. The fans are clearly deserving and they don't seem anywhere near as smug as Seattle, so that wouldn't bother me.
Verdict: As much as Timber Joey is a really dumb idea, I hope he gets to fire up that chainsaw a few times and they win some games.
Real Salt Lake: The power of Kreis compels you to grudgingly like what RSL have done despite losing Will Johnson, Jamison Olave and Fabian Espindola over the off season. Joao Plata doing well would be just as simultaneously funny/depressing as Urruti. Despite all that though, I can't really bring myself to like them
Seattle Sounders Their late season implosion has been hilarious to watch, almost as hilarious as Clint Dempsey's almost complete lack of impact so far, though it is a bit of a worrying omen for TFC's upcoming DP plans. I quite liked Seattle after I went to see a game there in 2010, but that feel good factor has quickly worn off due to their insufferable fans.
So here's who I'll be cheering for, or probably more relevantly, booing against.
3 New England
4 Salt Lake
6 Kansas City
7 New York
Anyway, this can be a place for general discussion, general game thread-esque commenting on the wild card games, we'll probably have something else up for the weekend games. Who do you want to win/think will win?