Pardon me if I make this quick. You guys will need to watch without me once again this weekend, as life has been showing a wonderful knack for getting in the way. A shame, since we've got a great slate of matches (and there should be a result or two that make Sounders fans happy). You guys don't care what I have to say anyway. Let's get to the games already!
Montreal Impact-DC United (TSN2)
Yet again, this is simply a warm-up match for DC United. They have one thing to play for in 2013; The US Open Cup. They have nothing to gain by simply beating the Impact, particularly an Impact team reduced to playing within five feet of an oxygen mask. I don't even want to predict this one, because it could easily go either way. Coin flip says...
Columbus Crew-Toronto FC
Toronto is playing better. You all saw it, right? I'm not just crazy? They could have easily made the Sounders their third notch on the bedpost. The Columbus Crew may be meeting the Reds at just the wrong time.
New England Revolution-Chicago Fire (Free Stream of the Week)
Both teams are just below that important red line that separates the wills from the won'ts of the MLS Playoffs. Looking at the competition above them, both clubs may find themselves on the outside looking in. It isn't all about this year for either team though, with potential to be contenders next year and in the future. And hey, if they sneak in this 2013 postseason, that'll be icing on the cake.
New York Red Bulls-Philadelphia Union (NBCSN)
If someone wins this match, they'll be kings in the East for a day. One of the geographically tightest rivalries in MLS is playing for all the marbles, as they attempt to jump over Kansas City (who play Sunday) and do their best to hold onto the top playoff spot. Most likely though, they'll just tie and let everyone down.
Colorado Rapids-Vancouver Whitecaps (Game of the Week)
MLSsoccer.com went unanimously for Colorado, which I don't quite understand. The Whitecaps have earned the same number of points in two fewer games, and the Rapids don't exactly set the world on fire at home. Then again, the Whitecaps aren't exactly Mel Gibsons either. The 'Caps are slowly returning some key players to the pitch, and may become even stronger as the season begins to wind down.
LA Galaxy-Real Salt Lake
It's one of those games that fans around these parts hope gets slammed by the 20-Week Flu, rendering the two teams incapacitated for a good long while. Too long have they been thorns in our collective sides. Luckily, one or both of these clubs is going to drop some valuable pointage. While a Salt Lake loss is technically better for Seattle, I would just as soon see the Galaxy take the loss and drop out of the present playoff picture entirely.
Portland Timbers-FC Dallas (ROOT)
Another key West match has the Timbers hosting an FC Dallas team still looking to regain that early form. The Steer are a perfect showcase for fans who were panicking about Seattle's early form (myself included occasionally). We all would have been ecstatic to be Dallas in week 15. Now, I don't know if there is anyone who would rather be in their position than ours. Still, they have plenty of time to figure things out and get back into the postseason. A win would put them in the playoff picture, and potentially knock Portland out (for the time being).
San Jose Earthquakes-Sporting KC
The Earthquakes fan base may see a KC-inspired rebirth next year when their new grounds break, but for now they are still the Earthquakes fan base (lowering the bar in more ways than one). Look for KC to come into Buckshaw stadium and make it their own. A few of their players may remember what it's like to play in a dinky little building like that.