Juan Pablo Angel of the New York Red Bulls
There will be a new Major League Soccer champion this year. Two-time defending MLS Cup winner Houston Dynamo got bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the scrappy New York Red Bulls, a team that barely qualified for postseason play. In fact, due to their low seed the Red Bulls are playing as a wild card in the Western Conference bracket. MLS's New York franchise has never won a league title and this is their first appearance in the second round of the playoffs since 2000. With Colombian striker Juan Pablo Angel — MLS's fourth leading scorer this season — guiding the attack, New York faces Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference finals on Saturday, Nov. 15 (9:30 pm/ET, Fox Soccer Channel).
On the other side of the draw, the Columbus Crew host the Chicago Fire for the Eastern Conference Championship on Thursday, Nov. 13 (7:30 pm/ET, ESPN2). The conference champs will play in MLS Cup 2008 on Sunday, Nov. 23 (3:30 pm/ET, ABC).