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Super Sciency MLS Cup Prediction

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You know those articles that use fancy numbers to predict things? This isn’t one of those articles.

Awesome Watercolor of Gizmo
Gizmo. He’s not as harmless as he seems.
MLS Watercolorist | @mlswatercolors

People like to say that the MLS Cup Playoffs are a crapshoot, where skill doesn't matter and luck reigns supreme. Those people have probably never won an MLS Cup, because now that the Seattle Sounders have, let me tell you, only the greatest team who ever existed is capable of winning the MLS Cup (until someone other than Seattle does, that is).

Some "experts" have attempted to predict the result of these playoffs, using made-up words like math or recent form. Hogwash. There's only two ways of accurately telling the future: 1) a good set of bones and a strong throwin' arm, or 2) deductive logic. The only bones I got are the solid set making up this super spooky skeleton inside of me and I don't feel like pulling any of those out to throw, so I guess we're going to have to predict the MLS Cup using deductive logic.

It's important to remember that this method accurately determined the winner of last season's MLS Cup.

But first, the players...

The Eastern Conference boasts the lion's share of quality team this year for the first time since 1995. They are seeded thusly.

1. Toronto FC

2. New York City FC

3. Chicago Fire

4. Atlanta United

5. Columbus Crew SC

6. New York Red Bulls

The Western Conference is made up of six stooges who can't seem to stop bonking heads together.

1. Portland Timbers

2. Seattle Sounders

3. Vancouver Whitecaps

4. Houston Dynamo

5. Sporting Kansas City

6. San Jose Earthquakes

Now that we know the players, we have to break down all the statistics, all the data, and all the results into an easily digestible form, something to where our minds can easily conceptualize their persona. Once we do this for all 12 teams, we'll be left with a clear identity. Using these identities, it should be pretty straight forward to determine who would win in a head-to-head matchup.

The Personas

The personas I've decided to use for this iteration of the MLS Cup Playoffs takes inspiration from the 1984 Christmas classic motion picture Gremlins and the 1990 corporate satire of Gremlins 2.

Eastern Conference

Toronto - Mr. Brain

It's quite obvious to see that Toronto really is the cream of the crop. Compared to all others, they're a cut above the rest. There doesn't seem to be any obvious weakness either. If left unchecked, who knows the heights that they may reach.

NYCFC - Mohawk

At first blush, NYCFC looks scary. But beyond the veil they look average, maybe even below average. Take away their one strength, what are they left with? That's easy: no strength.

Chicago - Vegetable Gremlin

Long thought to be in a vegetative state, Chicago seemingly woke up enough to be vaguely relevant. Something something Bastian Schweinsteiger something something old.

Atlanta - Greta

Otherwise known as: the sexy pick. Pucker up, buttercup, because Atlanta is coming to steal (and break) some hearts.

Columbus - Daffy

What is going on with you crazy kids these days? Sort your life out, mates.

NYRB - Haskins

Are you still a thing? I thought you'd expired by now. Nothing a quick reheat won't fix...

Western Conference

Portland - Bat Gremlin

What happens if Portland becomes the "it" team? Will the fans stop caring? That's really just a played out joke on Portland and hipsters and feral cats and what happens when you combine all those things? Will the sum be better than its parts? Will it still be cool or will it fall under its own weight?

Oh yeah, uh, high-flying offense! There, that makes the relationship relevant now.

Seattle - Gizmo

Seattle invented soccer in America, so what better persona than the mogwai from which all gremlins spawned? You're welcome, America.

Vancouver - Stripe

Is an antagonist still an antagonist if they're neutered and powerless? If not, then they're just some literary foil, a speed bump along the way, to be easily discarded once you turn the page.

Houston - Blender Gremlin

Welcome back to the playoffs! Sorry you're missing your most important defender. Good luck in the playoffs.

SKC - Christmas Tree Gremlin

Ugh. SKC, why do you always have to ruin a good thing? You're the worst, SKC. Seriously. The worst. I'd rather watch every match played in the lowest quality league in the world than have to endure watching your games week in and week out. Ruiners. You ruin things. You revel in ruining things. Worst team in the league. Enjoy the playoffs. Ruiners.

San Jose - Flasher Gremlin

Okay, yeah, nobody wants to see that.

The Matchups

Knockout Round:

Vegetable Gremlin vs. Haskins

Haskins loves to eat. Vegetable Gremlin is literally a Gremlin that genetically modified itself to be part vegetable. Awesome plan!

Winner: Haskins gonna explode all up on this one

Greta vs. Daffy

Sex appeal versus chaos. There seems to at least be a semblance of intelligence behind Greta and her decisions. Daffy? Yeah, no. No.

Winner: Greta gonna get her way!

Stripe vs. Flasher Gremlin

Malicious sadism pitted up against salacious fetishism. Hmm. While the Flasher Gremlin is busy exposing itself, Stripe will take advantage.

Winner: Stripe isn't gonna take advantage in that way. Gross.

Blender Gremlin vs. Christmas Tree Gremlin

What's a Christmas Tree gonna do, fall on a Blender? What's a Blender gonna do, grind up a Christmas tree into pulp? Oh, yeah, it probably would.

Winner: Blender Gremlin would totally pulp up to max gains.

Conference Semifinals

Mr. Brain vs. Haskins

Listen, Mr. Brain is too smart to be defeated by a Gremlin who takes naps in closed microwaves. I mean, c'mon.

Winner: Mr. Brain ain't no fool.

Mohawk vs. Greta

What if Mohawk isn't really that strong? Can they resist the allure, the ever-present siren's call? Can Greta overcome the raw power of Mohawk and get her way?

Winner: Greta gets. Mohawk got got.

Bat Gremlin vs. Blender Gremlin

Can a blender take out a flying thing? It's grounded, flying thing can just fly around. But it can't fly forever...hmm...

Winner: Bat Gremlin can fly enough.

Gizmo vs. Stripe

The Creator will deconstruct Stripe into the barest form.

Winner: Gizmo gonna punk'd this fool.

Conference Finals

Mr. Brain vs. Greta

Can Greta seduce the mind of the greatest Gremlin mind? Can Mr. Brain resist the temptation? Am I thinking too much about the mating rituals of Gremlins. What has my life become?

Winner: Mr. Brain likes to party party.

Bat Gremlin vs. Gizmo

Listen, if all you got going for you is that you got wings, great. Kudos. Well done you. Gizmo ain't got time for that. Did you see that arrow he launched? It melts dudes. Yeah. Have fun flying with melted wings. Idiot.

Winner: Gizmo RAN RIGHT BY HIM

MLS Cup Finals

Mr. Brain vs. Gizmo

Listen up, Mr. Brain is legit. Don't under estimate him. But Gizmo, man, he's a child of destiny, born from the stars. We don't deserve his greatness, but we'll take it, I mean why wouldn't we? Mr. Brain? He's just a flash in the pan, a momentary blip on the horizon.

Winner: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner for Gizmo.

The Ultimate Champion

Gizmo (and by extension the Seattle Sounders)

Final Bracket