Welcome to the 2013 MLS Cup playoffs. The playoffs open up tonight with the Seattle Sounders hosting the Colorado Rapids in the Western Conference knockout round game.
Seattle finished with the fourth seed after starting off slow to begin 2013, going red hot for a lot of the summer before crashing in their last few games, costing them a chance at a higher seed and the Supporters Shield. Sounder at Heart previews the match from a Seattle perspective here.
Colorado has maintained a good status in the Western Conference all year, hovering around the third through fifth spots. They settled down with the fifth seed at the end of the year after losing two of their last three matches, including a 3-0 drubbing to Vancouver. You can check out the take from the Rapids' SB Nation blog Burgundy Wave here.
We'll have a match thread up for every day of the playoffs, with one thread up for days with multiple matches. Here's the schedule for the rest of the playoffs that have dates and teams attached to them.
Here's the starting lineup for the Seattle Sounders.
And for the Colorado Rapids
#Rapids lineup vs. Seattle (4-2-3-1): Irwin; O'Neill, Moor, Mera, Klute; Thomas, Sturgis; Harris, Rivero, Brown; Torres
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) October 31, 2013