MLS 2012, Week 28 preview and matches: Spoiler season, when even the bad teams matter

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There are a lot of bad teams in MLS, but they can play spoiler and make themselves relevant for a week

It's spoiler season. While everyone focuses on the teams actually in contention for the playoff spot, there are the teams written off months ago hanging around and hoping to remind the league that they do exist.

The Timbers? Yeah, they're still playing games!

Toronto? Unfortunately, yes!

The Revolution? They are contractually obligated to keep playing no matter how few fans show up!

Chivas USA? We have confirmed that they are indeed still a team.

You have have forgotten about these teams and you may have thought you were better off for it, but one win over a potential playoff team could change the entire race and provide enough humor to last you a week.

Or not. After all, they ravaged our eyes and dropped to the bottom of the table for a reason.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Chicago Fire

Friday, 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Kansas City dropped the "Wizards" to pick up Sporting and Chicago picked it up. That is the only way to explain how the Fire are a win over Sporting away from the top spot in the East with a derptastic goalkeeper and AARP eligible central midfield. Professor McGonagall is so proud.

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

New York Red Bulls vs. Toronto FC

Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Once upon a time, the Red Bulls were one of the worst teams in MLS history and managed to beat TFC on the final match day to keep them out of the playoffs. This wouldn't be quite as dramatic, but it would be almost as hilarious.

Pick: New York, 3-1.

Columbus Crew vs. Philadelphia Union

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

It wasn't too long ago that the Crew were MLS's new darling, playing beautiful soccer and rocketing up the table. Now they're plummeting and out of a playoff spot so the league has given them one of the best gifts possible -- the Union.

Pick: Columbus, 2-0.

Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution

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

Like the Crew, the Dynamo has been in the tank for a few weeks now. Luckily for them, they can cling to BBVA Compass Stadium, where they are still undefeated. Well that and their run closing schedule. They play the Revs, Impact, Union and Rapids to close the season, making them the most important team in MLS's non-existent relegation battle.

Pick: Houston, 2-1.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders

Saturday, 9:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Can Vancouver really cough up their playoff spot? They sure are trying their hardest and that effort should be commended. Now if they can also help add another chapter to Steve Zakuani's great comeback story then they would really be saints.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. FC Dallas

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

Dallas has David Ferreira, Brek Shea and Blas Perez, but San Jose is the team running away with the Supporters' Shield because totally. Wondo, Wondo, Wondo, Wondo rockin' everywhere.

Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake

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

Chivas spent the week in really intensive training. First, they all walked out on the field and identified where the goal is. Then, they were taught the concept of kicking the round white ball between the white sticks at the end of the field. It was a lesson that took all week.

Pick: Salt Lake, 1-0.

Portland Timbers vs. D.C. United

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

D.C. has found a groove in the absence of Dwayne De Rosario. Maybe if Portland would just lose...they don't have a good player to lose and defy logic.

Pick: D.C., 1-0.

Colorado Rapids vs. LA Galaxy

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

Bruce Arena is spoiled for options. Oscar Pareja wishes he had just one option other than resign.

Pick: LA, 2-0.

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