MLS, Week 27 Preview And Matches: It's A Weird League, Unfortunately Sans Unicorn

CHESTER, PA - APRIL 28: Steven Lenhart #24 of the San Jose Earthquakes celebrates with teammate Joey Gjertsen #17 after Lenhart scored his second and game winning goal during the second half against the Philadelphia Union in a Major League Soccer game on April 28, 2012 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. San Jose defeated the Union 2-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

MLS is a very weird league, but we're coming down the home stretch and, well, things are still weird.

MLS is one of the more unpredictable leagues in the world. That is partly because of the parity created by the league's roster rules and salary cap and partly the result of a spring to fall schedule that puts the transfer window in the middle of the season, which turns things upside down every summer.

But more than anything, the oddities are a reward to MLS's fans. It takes a very special someone to dedicate himself to a league like MLS and in return he gets to see everything unique, odd, eccentric and unpredictable short of a unicorn scoring from midfield, goring Baldomero Toledo and flying off to the Atlantic Ocean to dump Steven Lenhart in the Bermuda Triangle (unfortunately).

Montreal Impact vs. Sporting Kansas City

Saturday, 1:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

The Impact's run at a playoff spot in their expansion season was valiant effort and deserves a round of applause. More impressive is that they haven't played a single scoreless match this season. Huzzah! Or however you say that in French.

Pick: Kansas City, 2-1.

New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls

Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Is it better to have an owner who doesn't care or an owner who tries so hard that the team suffers? Does it even matter when the result is empty seats and no trophies since 2005 (or ever, in New York's case) regardless? The Revs and Red Bulls have more in common than you think.

Pick: New York, 2-0.

Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers

Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Forced to show the Timbers for the fourth time in three weeks, NBC probably wishes it could pull the fiddly bit from the other fiddly bit and just go dark for two hours.

Pick: Blackout.

Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

The Fire's goalkeeper's favorite word is derp, their central midfield has osteoporosis and their leading scorer has six goals and yet here they are in second place. Huh? Exactly.

Pick: Chicago, 2-1.

LA Galaxy vs. Toronto FC

Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

The season started with Toronto eliminating LA from the CONCACAF Champions League. I'm serious! The unicorn sounds more believable, doesn't it?

Pick: LA, 3-0.

Seattle Sounders vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

This is the fourth time that the Western Conference's two best squads square off this season and once again they will not be at full strength. Whichever one of you cursed these two teams and deprived us of these two teams clashing at their best, please step forward so you can be offered as a sacrifice.

A Sounders win will move them within six points of the Quakes with a match in hand and really heat up the race in the West and for the Supporters' Shield. Luckily for them, this match is at CenturyLink Field, where they have not dropped a point since June 20.

Once again, Fredy Montero is at the heart of Seattle's success and he is now up to 16 goals and 10 assists in all competitions this season. If you ask Victor Bernardez about the the Colombian after the match, he probably won't say the word "lazy". Just a hunch.

Pick: Seattle, 2-1.

Philadelphia Union vs. Houston Dynamo

Sunday, 4:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Dominic Kinnear and the Dynamo bested by John Hackworth and the Union in the middle of a fierce playoff race would only be the ninth weirdest thing in MLS this season.

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

D.C. United vs. Chivas USA

Sunday, 7:00 p.m. ET, Galavision

Last year, D.C. was as good before Dwayne De Rosario joined them as they were after trading for him. Then this year they had won just one of six matches when De Rosario got hurt and now they have won their two contests since. This is the 10th weirdest thing in MLS this season.

Pick: D.C., 1-0.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Colorado Rapids

Sunday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

The Whitecaps have lost their last five matches by a combined score of 9-1 and the Rapids have two wins in 15 matches away this year. Something has to give, or so you'd think. This could be the third weirdest thing in MLS this season.

Pick: Vancouver, π-0.

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