Sporting Kansas City might have the weekend off, but if you're a fan of high-tension MLS matches (and maybe finding out who KC will play in the playoffs), this is gonna be a pretty darn amazing weekend.
I would go ahead and pre-apologize to your wife/husband/kids/pets/family sometime this afternoon. Unless you're one of those people whose spouse/kids/family are understanding of your soccer addiction. (In that case, I'm jealous.)
There are four nationally-televised MLS matches this weekend (five if you get Galavision). A few of those matches should be of key interest to Sporting fans. (As if a weekend that also featured Manchester United vs. Chelsea and Everton vs. Liverpool on Sunday morning wasn't enough soccer for you!)
We already know the playoff dates for Sporting Kansas City: On the road either Nov. 3 or 4 with the second leg at Livestrong Sporting Park on Nov. 7. But who will it be against?
The MLS playoffs this year will have a play-in game between the teams seeded #4 and #5. The winner of that will face Kansas City.
As of right now, positions #2 through #5 are all wide open. D.C. United and the Chicago Fire occupy spots #2 and #3 (respectively), with the New York Red Bulls and Houston Dynamo in the last two spots.
United and Chicago will face each other (with a loss for either potentially dropping them to the knock-out game) while New York will face Philadelphia and Houston traveling to face the Colorado Rapids.
Houston will need a lot of help to get out of the knockout match, while D.C. has the clearest path to stay clear of it.
For a full breakdown of the playoff scenarios,check out SportingKC.com
Saturday's MLS slate starts out right with the New York vs. Philadelphia at 12:30 p.m. on NBC. (I've long thought it would be great for MLS to have a noon kickoff to try and capitalize on the European soccer fans who watch in the morning.)
After a quick 30 minute break to re-fill on alcohol and chips, you'll want to plop back down on the couch to see what could be a playoff preview between Chicago vs. D.C. United on NBC Sports (kickoff is 3 p.m.).**Warning: Immediately following this match up, San Jose's Chris Wondolowski chases the MLS single-season scoring record against Portland on NBC Sports. I told you this would be a fun weekend spent receiving icy stares from your spouse/kids/pets/family.
The Dynamo-Rapids game will not be on TV unless you've got MLS Live, kickoff is 8 p.m.
Sunday's not too shabby either if you're in for some Western Conference flair: The Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders close out the regular season on ESPN at 8 p.m.
The other games this weekend: Montreal vs. New England (1 p.m. Saturday), Salt Lake vs. Vancouver (8 p.m. Saturday), Columbus vs. Toronto (3 p.m. Sunday) and Dallas vs. Chivas (6 p.m. Sunday).
So, who should you root for in the games that matter to Sporting KC?
For starters, I think Kansas City should hope to avoid Houston whatever it takes. For that to happen, Houston would need to win AND have Chicago lose AND New York lose/draw. That scenario puts Chicago and New York in the play-in game. (Not ideal for KC, admittedly, but those are both teams Sporting has beaten this year. Can't say the same for the Dynamo.)
It shouldn't be too hard convincing Sporting KC fans to root for Chicago and New York to lose, right?