Why am I still trying to pick these games? I'm afraid to even look at my record - I'm sure it's something like .250. I mean, my success rate is so bad, if I were an MLS team, I'd still be eligible for a playoff spot.
THE BRIAN McBRIDE BOWL
Toronto could be the first team officially eliminated from the playoffs, thanks largely to their game against Chicago starting before everyone's else. I think anything less than a win puts them in downtown Browntown. This year started out so promisingly for The Land God Gave To Cain, too. With a win or a tie, Chicago takes the lead for home field advantage in the just kidding, no one cares. Shi'Kahr has been a little inconsistent for my tastes recently, though. They haven't lost in three weeks, but they haven't beaten anyone good since August. I'm pretty much picking McBride to lead Chicago to victory because I'm a B-Mac mark, not because I don't think Toronto will go nuts in this game. Fire, 2-1.
RED PILLS v. CREW
I realize that Parke and Conway aren't the only supplemental picks in MLS, as it were. I just find their cover story vastly, vastly amusing. Hell, for all I know it's true, and random vitamins do metabolize into midichlorians in the human body. I'm sure someone would have noticed if the RBNY locker room looked like Max's Kansas City after a Velvet Underground gig. Right? Speaking of dangerous substances, does Hejduk still pound down six or eight espressos before each game? I'm going to D.A.R.E. to pick New York in this game, mostly because I'm amused that the official MLS site would make veiled snark about Parke's nutritional regimen:
...y'know, I think that issue of MLS magazine is still on the stands. The one I saw at Barnes & Noble last week had an Olympics preview, after all.
Wow - Dylan Butler just summed up the New Jersey franchise here:
That's a very diplomatic way of saying the MetroBulls have stunk up the league since the dawn of time. Anyway, NY 15-0.
WIZARDS v. EARTHQUAKES
The last time these teams met, I gave up on the Wizards and hopped on board the bandwagon, confidently predicting a San Jose win, followed by KC missing the playoffs and San Jose making it. The Quakes DID win that game, too. What the hell happened? On paper, even with the Happy Flea taking up space, the Wizards are still deeper than the Quakes. I'm going to go with current form here, especially if Herculez "The Enforcer" Gomez takes out another DP. KC, 1-0.
DAVE'S NOT HERE, MAN
The Dynamo's schedule is slowly catching up with them - CONCACAF and a makeup game has to take something out of them. (Oh, right. San Jose's also gonna lost to Kansas City because of the extra game this week. Forgot to mention that.) And the Galaxy do tend to make valiant last minute runs, even in seasons when they miss the playoffs. Houston, 7-0.
ROYALS v. BURNINATORS
I dunno how the soccer gods are treating Dallas based on last week - did they deserve no points, one point, or three? Only Abbey Okulaja knows for sure, and he ain't talking. I'd say Cunningham is going to torture Jason Kreis, but he didn't torture John Carver, so who knows. This will probably be another Rio Tinto slugfest - 1-1, and frankly Salt Lake should be happy to get it.
GOATS v. RAPIDS
Wow, a noon kickoff Chivas game? With one of the biggest attendance killers in the league in town? I'm guessing plenty of seats are still available. Los Pids pretty much shafted themselves in this stadium last week, and CUSA is just mowing down bad teams recently. If Kljestan got all his bad passes out of his system in Trinistan, this one won't be pretty at all. CUSA, 3-1.
So, I'm pretty much kicking Toronto, LA, San Jose, and Colorado out of the playoffs. DC will have to make up ground in the last game of the year against either KC or New York, and Salt Lake and Dallas will contest the last spot in the West. Based on my track record, though, you're as likely to see a Galaxy-Toronto MLS Cup. I blame parity.