Doing The Shield Redux Dance!

The Supporters' Shield returns to DC United for the second year running despite the side limping to draws in their last two outings. Far be it from me to think Fernando Clavijo capable of doing anything right in management, but his side did scrape out a dramatic late winner despite going most of the match a man down to Chivas in the Toolbox, where the Goats never lose.

So now we can turn our full attention to the march towards the MLS Cup. We've got four potential opponents on the table for the first round. By all rights, we should face whoever finishes eighth, but the red tape brigade at MLS HQ seems intent on making the playoff pairing process as byzantine as possible. Idiotic playoff structure aside, who would you rather face?
  1. FC Blanco y Osorio - They've not exactly been living up to their en fuego namesake, but neither are they losing too many matches. Of course, they always seem to have our number in the playoffs, which is not particularly auspicious.
  2. The Wiz - Just as they've done the past couple of years, the Wiz are tanking hard when push comes to shove. They're still a potentially dangerous team if (1) they can play on the counter, (2) EJ regains his scoring touch, and (3) Hartman stands on his head. That's an awful lot of "if's".
  3. The Clavi-holes - They'll need some serious results voodoo to get in, but after scoring twice while down a man against Chivas, you've got to wonder if the witchcraft fix is in. Fair warning to all the chickens within a 25-mile radius of Clavijo's manse. Get thee to hiding my fine-feathered friends, lest you become involved in something that might not end well for you!
  4. Lalas' Abomination - They're still a bit of a long shot. I mean, how long can this pile of crap keep getting the wins they need to stay in the hunt? Regardless of how hard Big Red has tried to gut this club, Yallop seems to be going Dr. Frankenstein on the roster and patching together a winning side out of an assortment of mismatched body parts. The big question will be what effect Becks' return would have on the newly confident side.
I'll try setting up a poll in the sidebar to see if we can have a little audience participation. Feel free to post your pick (or long-winded explanation of said pick) in the comments. Of course, the only way we play LA or Colorado is if both manage to qualify at the expense of KC and Chicago. I'm not even going to bother checking the tie-breaker implications, we'll just make the assumption that we might be facing any of the four to keep my internal gyroscope from whirling out of control and slaughtering innocent bystanders. Free the Single Table!

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