MLS Week 20 - You Will Regret the Day You Crossed the Wrong Fish

Separated at birth?

So I was piddling around through Albion Road, trying to decide which FMF team I'm going to be a lifelong supporter of, and I noticed something incredibly uninteresting. Wolves, Botafogo, Hamburg, Peñarol, Norwich City and Pumas all have something in common...something very rare in international soccer, something few (if any) MLS teams have ever managed, but something that is commonplace in NFL football. Result (highlight to reveal): No letter or word in the logo. Also, Hannover 96 and 1860 Munich have numbers in their logo - the numbers that are part of their name - but no letters. Wasn't this dull? Let's talk about games already.

The loser of this game, if there is one (a loser, that is, not a game, although with RFK going the way it has been who can say), goes a long, long way towards screwing itself in the playoff race. DC United had pretty much turned it around before Gallardo went down with injury just in time to make the Superliga an exercise in three-and-outedness. Kansas City is still unbeaten since the the founding of MLS, but tying at home last week wasn't particularly clever, so the Wizards will need at least a point tomorrow to make up for it. The Wizards are so underrated they make Real Salt Lake look like Real...damn, can't think of a famous club with "Real" in the name. Current form for both teams suggests 1-1 after 60 minutes before the power goes out again in RFK. Speaking of DC...I'm convinced that the voice of the Volkswagen in all those ads is the same guy who does Klaus the fish in "American Dad." My goodness, I'm boring today.

Brian McBride!...will not be playing in this game, because of the Olympics. Sacha Kljestan!...also at the Olympics. Cootiemac Blanco! suspended, although by yellow card accumulation. Yeah, I know, a nice guy like Whitey, who'd a thought. But you know who IS gonna be there? ZACH THORNTON! Remember when people were wondering about what would happen to Chivas USA without Brad Guzan? I realize I underrate Bornstein at my peril, and they seem to think Galindo and Razov are back, but the last time I saw Zach Thornton play I just about died laughing. 3-1, Chicago.

I wonder if Houston are looking past Columbus to the Superliga championship. I wonder if they're worried that New England has the week off again to rest, while Columbus will be hoping to use this game to gain ground on them. I think they can relax. Schelotto's dangerous at any time, but on the road, without Robbie Rogers, tells me this is a Houston win. If this pick bites me in the butt, it's because I've forgotten that Houston's league form before the Superliga wasn't that good. I think the Crew actually match up well against Houston, just not tomorrow night. Houston, 2-1.

I can just picture Frank Yallop's smug look after this game, God damn it. The wild card here is whether Landon Donovan decides to torment San Jose yet again, or whether he's saving himself for World Cup qualifying, and I think I know the answer to that. Quakes, 4-0.

FC v. FC
The loser should be forced to pick a nickname already. Dallas will somehow have to figure out a way to soldier on without Juan Toja, whose mullet is on its way to Romania as we speak. Still, they managed to convince Kenny Cooper that loyalty is more important than mere money. Cooper actually doesn't strike me as the type to half-ass it, even if he feels wronged and underpaid...which I have no evidence of at all. Despite what should have been very convincing evidence last week that Dallas doesn't suck any more, I'm going with Toronto. They really, really need a win, after all, and while I don't think any of us are in love with Carver's coaching methods of late, he seems to be able to inspire his team to do decently at home (against American teams, at least). TFC, 1-0.

NEW ENGLAND and SALT LAKE are resting on their first-place laurels. COLORADO is playing Everton, and NEW YORK is saving up their strength for Barcelona.