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DC United season finishes with a whimper, MLS Playoffs set to begin

The big question facing DC United fans is: was the season a success given they won silverware in the form of the US Open Cup, or was the regular season so poor that it has eclipsed the US Open Cup victory?

While that is up for debate and we can discuss more at length, it is exciting to note from a League perspective that the MLS 2013 Playoffs are set to begin tonight. With 10 teams qualifying, it is over half the teams in the League. However, just like in the race for the MLS Supporters Shield in which the New York Red Bulls won on the final weekend of play, there is no clear cut favorite for MLS Cup.

For the MLS Playoffs schedule and TV, here is the press release from MLS:

Schedule for 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs Announced
Seattle Sounders FC host Colorado Rapids tonight;
Houston Dynamo host Montreal Impact on Thursday

NEW YORK (Wednesday, October 30, 2013) – The MLS Cup Playoffs begin tonight, Wednesday, Oct. 30, when the Seattle Sounders FC host the Colorado Rapids in a single-game Knockout Match. On Thursday, Oct. 31, Houston Dynamo host the Montreal Impact in the other Knockout Match.

Each Knockout Round winner will face its respective conference leader – New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference and Portland Timbers in the Western Conference – in a two-leg, aggregate goals Conference Semifinal series. The second- and third-place teams in each conference also will square off in the Conference Semifinals – Sporting Kansas City vs. New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy

The Conference Championships also will be decided by two-leg aggregate goals series, with the winners advancing to MLS Cup 2013 on December 7 at the home venue of the finalist with the better regular season record.

To help media members cover the MLS Cup Playoffs, an array of information is available:

• The MLS Cup Playoffs media guide (CLICK HERE) contains notes and statistical breakdown for all 10 teams.
• The MLS Cup Playoffs logo (CLICK HERE) and the MLS Cup logo (CLICK HERE) are available for download
• A printable playoff bracket with the path each team must take to get to MLS Cup 2013 is available for download (CLICK HERE)

Below is the MLS Cup Playoffs schedule with live national television broadcasts. It is subject to change.

Knockout Round
(Home teams listed first):
• Seattle Sounders FC vs. Colorado Rapids – Wed., Oct. 30, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN; local TV)
• Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact – Thurs., Oct. 31, 8:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN; TSN; RDS/2; local TV)

Eastern Conference Semifinals
First Leg (Home teams listed first):
• New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City – Sat., Nov. 2, 8:00 p.m. ET (NBCSN; RDS2; Local TV)
• Houston Dynamo or Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls– Sun., Nov. 3, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBC; if MTL advances TSN2, RDS2)

Second Leg (Home teams listed first):
• New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo or Montreal Impact– Wed., Nov. 6, 8:00 p.m. ET (UDN; Local TV; if MTL advances TSN2, RDS2 )
• Sporting Kansas City vs. New England Revolution – Wed., Nov. 6, 9:00 p.m. ET (Local TV)

Western Conference Semifinals
First Leg (Home teams listed first):
• Seattle Sounders FC or Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers – Sat., Nov. 2, 10:00 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
• LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake – Sun., Nov. 3, 9:00 p.m. ET (ESPN; TSN2; RDS2)

Second Leg (Home teams listed first):
• Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy – Thurs., Nov. 7, 9:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2; TSN2)
• Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC or Colorado Rapids – Thurs., Nov. 7, 11:00 p.m. ET (NBCSN; UDN; TSN2)

Conference Championships
First Leg (Home teams listed first):
• Eastern Conference – Sat., Nov. 9, 2:30 p.m. ET (NBC; UDN; RDS2; if MTL advances TSN2)
• Western Conference – Sun., Nov. 10, 9:00 p.m. ET (ESPN; RDS2)

Second Leg (Home teams listed first):
• TBD – Sat., Nov. 23, TBD
• TBD – Sun., Nov. 24, TBD

MLS Cup 2013
Saturday, December 7 (hosted by finalist with best regular season record)
 4:00 p.m. ET (ESPN, UniMas, TSN2, RDS) Site TBD

Key to television networks:
NBCSN = NBC Sports Network
RDS & RDS2 = in Canada (French)
TSN & TSN2 = in Canada (English)
UDN = Univision Deportes Network (Spanish)
UniMas (Spanish)

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