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Who to root for in the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs

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Sounders obviously, but who else do you want to see win?

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Now that the 2021 MLS Cup Playoff seedings and schedule are set there are some intriguing matchups and decent TV to watch. As Seattle Sounders fans we will of course root for Seattle.

There are other interesting stories to follow and reasons to tune into Univision, FOX, ABC, and ESPN throughout the rest of November and early December — and not just to boost the ratings while you vacuum.

Let’s get the Eastern Conference out of the way quickly — anyone but New England Revolution. Winning an MLS Cup at home again is the ultimate goal. Bruce Arena losing is an added benefit.

Western Conference 1st Round

(4) Portland Timbers vs. (5) Minnesota United FC

Sunday November 21, 2:30 PM PT, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Reasons to root for Minnesota: Ozzie Alonso. Their fans’ home bar is the Black Hart, the LGBTQ+/drag/soccer bar with Megan Rapinoe painted on the side. Who wants to see another Portland v. Seattle game? That’s tired.

Reasons to root for Portland: Diego Valeri is a really, really good dude. In MLS, Seattle has yet to beat the Timbers in the playoffs — that will need to happen some year. 2021 would be as good a year as any.

(3) Sporting Kansas City vs. (6) Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Saturday November 20, 2 PM PT, UniMás/TUDN/MLSsoccer.com & App

Reasons to root for Vancouver: Andy Rose. Vanni Sartini is a miracle worker who deserves love. Canada is nifty, and the city of Vancouver is fun. Plus those fans didn’t get to see soccer played in their home stadium for a year and a half.

Reasons to root for Kansas City: This page intentionally left blank.

(2) Seattle Sounders FC vs. (7) Real Salt Lake

Tuesday November 23, 7:30 PM PT, FS1/FOX Deportes

Reasons to root for Seattle: To review — this is Sounder at Heart, go ‘ders.

Reasons to root for Salt Lake: They gave us Lagerwey-Waibel-Juarez.

Less Quick Eastern Conference Round One

(4) New York City FC vs. (5) Atlanta United

Sunday November 21, Noon PT, ABC/ESPN Deportes

Reasons to root for Atlanta: Gonzalo Pineda.

Reasons to root for New York: The poor field layout at Yankee Stadium.

(3) Nashville SC vs. (6) Orlando City SC

Tuesday November 23, 5 PM PT, FS1/FOX Deportes

Reasons to root for Orlando: Nani still does amazing things with a soccer ball.

Reasons to root for Nashville: Nashvegas will be in the West next year, so there would be some comedy if they win the East.

(2) Philadelphia Union vs. (7) New York Red Bulls

Saturday November 20, 11:30 AM PT, Univision/TUDN/MLSsoccer.com & App,

Reasons to root for New Jersey: My family is from north Jersey, so there’s a soft spot for the suburb that’s basically the size of the Seattle metro area.

Reasons to root for Philly: They have the best chance of beating New England. They also have a mascot that’s completely bizarre.

These are the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs. Watch with us.