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Around MLS: Week 28

FRISCO, TX - SEPTEMBER 15:  Julian de Guzman #12 of FC Dallas celebrates the game winning goal with teammates against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on September 15, 2012 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
FRISCO, TX - SEPTEMBER 15: Julian de Guzman #12 of FC Dallas celebrates the game winning goal with teammates against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on September 15, 2012 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
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If that isn't the one of the most invigorating win you've ever experienced, I don't know what is.

In recent memory only the New England Revolution home game of 2010 comes close. What adds to the feel-good fuzzies is that Julian De Guzman has helped in so many ways that are invisible in the box score, yet had close to zero hard stats to show for it. A game winning goal in a critical late-season match ought to add a notch to his belt, don't you think?

In other areas, the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers settled for a draw in an atmosphere that could easily be mistaken for somewhere in Bavaria or South America. I cannot stand the soccer elitism that the Northwest exudes, but I'll be damned if I can find a better place to show off one of our sport's most unique aspects: the atmosphere.

Montero's great goal aside, the game bogged down in the middle, with few to no shots on goal for either team through the first half and much of the second. It ended in a one-all draw, and at the moment that's good enough for Portland to be at the top of the Cascadia Cup standings. If the Timbers were to win the Cascadia Cup I'm sure Seattle would brush it off and (rightly) point to the MLS standings, but I'm not certain I'd believe it didn't matter to them.

Toronto has officially kicked the playoff bucket and landed face-first in what surely are Canadian soccer feces. I'm don't know how the fans keep turning up in Toronto, but they ought to be commended. If only fans in Colorado, New England and perhaps Columbus turned out with such regularity our league would be that much stronger.

Steve Davis of Pro Soccer Talk has a bit up about how perhaps Paul Mariner is being a bit harsh on his players, and I tend to agree. What exactly are the top brass at TFC expecting when you trot out a group of barely-old-enough kids, FCD cast-offs (it's a harsh term, but an accurate one) and offload both DeRo and De Guzman? A sane manager cannot expect a team built exclusively around two players to have much success. Winning aside, fans of struggling teams should look at Toronto as a model of loyalty and dedication.

Well, perhaps that's a bit of a tall order for the Colorado Rapids and the New England Revolution considering that their team has barely been adequate for some time now, but it doesn't make much sense for the Crew. They have an MLS cup, a supporter's shield and have had success in the USOC. They're not the best team in the league but they put out a decent product and have nice grounds. And now out of absolutely nowhere, they're also challenging for a playoff spot after being irrelevant for most of the year.

Speaking of the Crew, their loss to New York won't help their case for playoffs in the East, but DC United lost Dwayne De Rosario to a season-ending injury. With the Crew just two points behind, I think they will be able to overtake DC for the playoffs. DC just isn't the same team without the talismanic Canuck terrorizing midfielders and defenders alike. It's a bit harsh on DC, who have done wonders with their team considering where they were two years ago, but this is a cruel league.

Nobody cares about that at the moment though, because Thierry Henry scored a quite spectacular Olímpico! If you haven't seen it, get off your butt and go to the MLS website and take a look.

The Los Angeles Galaxy don't look dead in the water anymore do they? They beat the Rapids 2-0 (but really, who hasn't beaten the Rapids lately? Portland I guess...) and are probably the best team in the west besides San Jose. It is terrible for Quakes fans to think about, but if LA knock them out in the playoffs it will be hilarious and cruel all at once, especially considering how awful the Galaxy were the first half of the season. Robbie Keane has really come through for them lately.

I don't know if any of you have noticed, but apparently the Chicago Fire are ballin'. They are stepping on Sporting Kansas City's heels, just one measly point behind them in the standings. This comes with the caveat about how bad the East is and all, but that is still a remarkeable run from a Fire team that had looked thoroughly mediocre the past two seasons. It's not as if Chicago got hot at the right time either, as their climb up the standings has been slow but steady.

It's good to see the Windy City's supporters get some vindication for their loyalty, and the same sentiment goes for San Jose, who beat Chivas. It would be boring to tell you about it. Did you really expect a Quakes v. Chivas matchup at this point to end in anything other than a San Jose win?

What are your thoughts on the East? I keep thinking I know who's going to win and then all of a sudden something crazy happens.

Go and pray to God, Buddha, Allah, The Dalai Lama, a Shinto Kami, whoever! Vancouver needs to have a collapse of Red Sox proportions! DOWN WITH CANADA! (more specifically, down with British Columbia!)

Oh, and also there's this thing called the UEFA Champion's League (group stage) starting today. I don't know if you've heard of it but it's kind of a thing overseas. My money is on...

...I have no idea who my money is on because Barcelona don't convince me anymore and City choke in the CL so I ask you. Who has the best chance at winning the CL this year? Celtic?