Today is a very bittersweet day. On one hand it's MLS Cup, the biggest annual showcase of soccer in the United States. On the other it's the last MLS match we'll get to watch for the next four months. That's kinda lame and unfair, but I guess these guys have to rest some time.
Columbus Crew SC host the Portland Timbers (4 p.m. ET, ESPN) to see who will hoist the cup as the last team remaining in the MLS Cup playoffs. Here are five reasons why you should stop everything you are doing and watch it:
1. Darlington Nagbe
If you're a USMNT supporter like I am you better be excited about Darlington Nagbe. He's only two caps into his national team career and already he's vaulted himself into the "Best USMNT Midfielder" conversation. Portland were a pretty poor team for half of the MLS season. Their turnaround began when their manager, Caleb Porter, made a tactical switch that involved moving Nagbe to the middle of the field. Ever since he's become an integral part in their run to MLS Cup. If Portland wins today he'll likely be a big factor why.
2. Wil Trapp
Another midfielder to keep an eye on is Wil Trapp. He's one of the most exciting young American prospects right now on the verge of breaking into the senior national team. The technical quality he possesses is something that not many American players have. He's a true midfield general, and along with his midfield partner, Tony Tchani, have the ability to control any match they play in. The midfield batter will be really intriguing to watch.
3. The NFL is terrible
Turn off that dumb NFL game. Cam Newton has already wrapped up the NFL season, there's no reason whatsoever to keep watching. Referees are terrible and constantly ruin games. What even is a catch anymore? Come watch the MLS Cup and enjoy yourself instead of wondering what the hell is going on in a league that doesn't care about you and only wants your money.
4. Historical Knowledge
Let's face facts. When Atlanta United enters the league in 2017 they're probably going to win MLS Cup for the next 5 or 6 years. It'll be important to know who won the cup in previous years when we're all bragging to the other supporters about our supreme dominance.
5. Scouting for the future
MLS is a league of evolution. It is constantly changing the rules, especially the roster rules, are always being tweaked and changed. There's a decent chance a future Atlanta United player will be on the roster of one of these teams. So, tune into the final and start dreaming about which of these players you'd like to see wearing the black, red, and gold come 2017.