Time management: Ranking the watchability of MLS' 11 Decision Day kickoffs
11. Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City
The Pity-Us Derby (a.k.a, whose fans will be more miserable?)
The two teams are ninth and 10th, respectively, in MLS' Eastern Conference and have no way of bumping themselves above the red line, so really, they're not playing for anything except for ... maybe … pride?
Even pride will be in short supply, because neither the Jim Curtain-led Union nor Jason Kreis' Lions can claim the bottom of the barrel this year.
With Kaka not playing or traveling, there’s really nothing to watch out for in this /sarcasm/ red hot barn burner. /sarcasm/
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10. Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution
Who is watching this? Give them alcohol
Thankfully, this meeting of the league’s two northeasternmost teams will not be Ignacio Piatti’s last for the Impact, as was feared earlier this season before the delightful playmaker signed a contract extension to stay in Montreal. Crafty “Nacho” is worth the price of admission all by himself.
It appears likely to be the swansong for his coach, Mauro Biello, who is reportedly facing the sack at year’s end, with Miami FC boss and former Impact defender Alessandro Nesta pegged as his most likely replacement. New England already made such a move with the dismissal of coach Jay Heaps; perhaps interim gaffer Tommy Soehn holds hopes that another positive result will earn him a longer look for the permanent job.
As the harsh Quebec winter looms, Montreal’s spirited ultras are likely to be in fine voice, even for this dead-rubber match. I nothing else, tune in for the supporter culture at Stade Saputo.
- Montreal makeover: The midseason facelift that energized the Impact
- 5 bold coaching options who would give New England Revolution fans hope
9. Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids
Cool way to close a season … if you’re a Seattle fan
The top spot in the Western Conference is out of reach for the Sounders, but a victory and maybe a draw would vault them into second-place and a first-round bye in the coming playoffs. Colorado has dealt blows to FC Dallas' and Real Salt Lake's playoff hopes the past two weeks, and a win would ensure they'd finish above the LA Galaxy, out of the Western cellar.
Clint Dempsey's Seattle future is uncertain, and he's got 48 MLS regular-season goals with the team, one off Fredy Montero's club record. If this is his last shot at the mark, the situation couldn't be better: Dempsey has six goals in seven games against the Rapids since returning from England.
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8. Houston Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire
Surprising teams vying for playoff positioning
Two of the worst teams in MLS last season booked spots in the playoffs this year, and both have plenty to play for in the final week of the season. The Fire can move up as high as the No. 2 seed and a bye week, but it could drop as far as the 5-seed and lose a home playoff game. Houston, too, has the chance to book a home playoff game.
At the very least, you’ll see two teams with plenty of attacking firepower -- Nemanja Nikolic, David Accam, Alberth Elis, Romell Quioto, Cubo Torres -- going for three points on the final day. Should be some fireworks.
- Amid trying times, Dynamo finds validation in playoff hopes
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