MLS 2012, Week 31 preview and fixtures: Where has all the drama gone?

Otto Greule Jr

All of the run playoff-related races have been determined, zapping the final weekend of the MLS season of its drama.

It's the final weekend of the regular season and it is going to get testy! The Supporters' Shield is on the line, and so are the final playoff spots. Can't you just smell the drama?

Oh, wait. None of that is up for grabs.

The Earthquakes are the Supporters' Shield winners, Sporting have clinched first in the East and the playoff field is set. There really isn't anything left to decide, except for seeding, which is super nerdy to care about. Are you that nerdy? Probably.

Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls

Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET, NBC

There was once a time when things were looking up for the Union, kind of. Peter Nowak was done torpedoing the team and John Hackworth won a match, making him soccer Jesus. Then he won another. It was crazy. Eventually, things returned to normal, but Hackworth could remind Philly fans that there was actually one time this season when they weren't a laughingstock with a win over their rivals. Rise, soccer Jesus.

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution

Saturday, 2:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

The Revolution are going to finish the season with fewer points than the Impact. They have fewer fans, too. They also play on turf in a stadium ill-suited for soccer, while Montreal has it's own grass field, beautiful home. Who's the expansion team again?

Pick: Montreal, 2-0.

Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United

Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

The highest scorer on the field will be Chris Pontius, Patrick Nyarko will be the leading assist man, D.C. will be thriving without Dwayne De Rosario, Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson's derping aren't the foremost concerns for either team and both are in the East's top three. Yeah, this is totally what we expected at the beginning of the season.

Pick: Chicago, 2-1.

Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Saturday, 6:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

The Timbers already won the Cascadia Cup, what else could they possibly want? A good team? Yeah, just look across the field and they can see what that looks like.

Chris Wondolowski is going for the MLS single-season goal scoring record in this contest. If he does break it, the Portland fans have an entire season's worth of cheers to give to him.

Pick: San Jose, 2-0.

Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Saturday, 9:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

The Whitecaps can't be as bad as they have looked of late. They just can't be. That's just, nope, they're not that bad...they're probably that bad.

At least Vancouver made the playoffs *coughTimbersImpact&TFCcough*.

Pick: Salt Lake, 2-0.

Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo

Saturday, 9:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

The Dynamo have not won away from BBVA Compass Stadium in the league since July 28. If they can't do it against the Rapids, they might as well throw in their playoff towel now. Or not. Always believe in Dominic Kinnear. Always.

Pick: Houston, 2-1.

Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC

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

Happiest days in Toronto FC history: 1) Their first match 2) Advancing to the Champions League semifinals 3) The end of this season.

Pick: Columbus, 3-0.

FC Dallas vs. Chivas USA

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

You could watch this match so you can further wonder how a team as Dallas didn't make the playoffs. You can watch this match to see just how badly Chivas wasted what isn't an untalented team this season You can not watch this match because you don't hate yourself.

Pick: Dallas, 3-0.

LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders

Sunday, 9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Sounders are playing for second place in the West and possible home field in MLS Cup, if they make it. The Galaxy are playing not to get anyone else hurt, and to please the unpleasable Bruce Arena. Spoiler: He won't be pleased.

Pick: Is it the playoffs yet?

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