MLS Week 26 - most interesting game of the week postponed

Well, unless you're Canadian or Plainsian or a 2005 expansion partisan. Still, the Houston-San Jose game was the immediate return leg of the home and home between the two best teams in the West right now, and had the Quakes won on the road, they'd have been in the driver's seat for a playoff spot. The Quakes have to be frustrated at the postponement - yeah, they get a week to heal up and rest, but who the hell needs a week's rest when you're the hottest team in the league? This only plays out as an advantage if by October 15 Houston has nothing left to play for - it's not realistic to think the Quakes stay this good for that long. The game in hand will be nice, but it will be on the road to the defending champs. San Jose was way better off playing tomorrow.

TNFtermath - okay, why aren't I reading how the Crew clinched a playoff spot? Unless MLS is still considering Greg Lalas' suggestion to dock them points for having a racist fan. The Crew hold the tiebreaker over Kansas City, so if the Crew lose all their remaining games, they'll still finish fifth. Which would get them in the West bracket, since Chivas USA, Colorado, San Jose and Salt Lake would each have to win all of their remaining games to pass the Crew, and oops, they all play each other between now and November. So what's the issue? Print out the playoff tickets, already.

WIZARDS v. MUGGLES
This should be an elimination game...if there was such a thing in MLS anymore. There might be something to the theory that Toronto was never any good at all. They've only beaten one team since May - the Rapids. They had that nice home run to start the season, but look at who they beat back in April and May - Salt Lake, Kansas City, DC United, the Galaxy. Given that DC was horrible to start the year, it doesn't look as if the Tories have beaten a single good team all year. Doesn't matter this week, since the Wizards aren't good, but it shows how overrated and easily impressed we were at what boiled down to Toronto playing scheduleball. If one of these teams manages three points, then there's still some suspense left in the East, but this has ugly tie written all over it. What do you know, Kevin Hartman found a publisher for "Boots Saves the Day." 1-1.

RAPIDS v. REVOLUTION
Wow, the Rapids now have a great chance of making the playoffs. That's what a one-game winning streak gets you in the West. The Raps really, really could use a victory for all sorts of reasons, not least of which the confidence of beating yet another Eastern Conference contender before October's series of matches against Western cupcakes. New England needs all three points to make next week's game against Columbus remotely interesting, and New England has been killing time until November for about three months now. If the Rapids do make the playoffs, Cory Gibbs should get some Best XI consideration...if not MVP votes. Rapids, 2-1.

COPA DEL 2005
Is Real Salt Lake at home? If Y, then RSL+3. I actually really like the Sasha Victorine pickup by CUSA - they need a versatile guy who can fill at least one of their many, many holes. But Salt Lake are deeper, tougher, less injured, and playing at home. Can't think of a reason not to pick them. The Rice-Eccles swan song for MLS, and not one second too soon. Royals, 2-0. Over/under on total fouls is 35.

GALAXY v. UNITED
Boy, I sure drank the Kool-Aid on all those new players DC United added. How badly? This was my MLS Cup matchup prediction. HAW HAW HAW! I was all set to slam DC United for starting scrubs against Saprissa, until I compared that lineup with the one they had Saturday. No Gallardo, a crowded United schedule, and an iffy Louis Crayton leave very few excuses for Los Angeles. In theory, the Galaxy had all week to prepare for a team that Arena knows well - but he was doing Kansas City games all year as an announcer, and Onalfo still strafed him last week. Landon Donovan owns DC United, though, and while picking the Galaxy to win anything except the attendance title is stupid to the max, I think LA lives one more week. Then again, I've had lots of Kool-Aid. I don't know if my daughter's going to be a Galaxy fan, by the way. See, in six months, she'll be able to hold her head up. LA, 3-2.

THE BRIMSTONE CUP
I realize paying attention to intramural rivalry cups is beneath us, even this comparatively authentic one, but this is an odd duck right here. Even recent godawful Dallas teams have somehow managed to beat Chicago. It's one of the most bizarre one-sided rivalries in the league. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance, and on paper the Fire go through Dallas like cheap beer through a freshman. You know what, I'm just going to ignore recent history, play the law of averages, and pick the better team to win at home. Fire, 2-0.