Now that the Rapids are out, who should Rapids' fans root for? Here's a logical, unbiased guide:
Los Angeles Galaxy
Reasons to root for: Rapids connections include the original Rapids owner (and the reason we have a team in Denver) Phil Anschutz (+10), Assistant Coach Pat Noonan (+3), Goalkeeping Coach Ian Feuer (+7), Technical Director Jovan Kirovski (+0), Colin Clark (+10), and Pablo Mastroeni (+25). Their winning would not be bad for the league overall since it will keep the media interested around the world more than, say, Real Salt Lake would (+5).
Reasons to root against: They've won enough (-40). Would it be spiteful to root against Pablo because he shouldn't have left the Rapids mid season (-10)? Cobi Jones is an awful announcer (-20).
Real Salt Lake
Reasons to root for: Several former Rapids play for Salt Lake, including Colorado native(ish) Nat Borchers (+15), Kyle Beckerman (+10), and Chris Wingert (+5). They have the second best fans in all the Rocky Mountains (+0).
Reasons to root against: Though I find myself disliking San Jose at least as much these days, Salt Lake is our rival (-50). We can't have them winning another one (-50). Just can't (-50).
Reasons to root for: With that crowd, they're fun to watch on TV (+25). It would interfere with the league's love affair with their main rival (+10). Let's keep Darlington Nagbe happy until he's eligible to play for the US (+15).
Reasons to root against: They have an identity as Seattle's scrappy little brother, so they might be confused if they won (-10). They fired John Spencer last year...that's boggin unforgivable (-50).
Reasons to root for: This club does it right, and it would be a good story for MLS if the Cup were won in front of a monster crowd of passionate fans (+20). Plus, what if they start to suck and we discover all those fans are fair-weather after all (note: see Mariners)? We can't have that (+10). All-time great Rapids' player Marcus Hahnemann mans the Seattle nets anytime regular starter Michael Gspurning forgets what sport he's playing (+30).
Reasons to root against: They knocked us out of the playoffs when the game should have been in Denver (-50). The only way they host the final is if Houston or New England wins the East, so might as well save their Cup for a time when they're more likely to play at home (-15).
Reasons to root for: My 4 year old daughter's favorite color is royal blue (which is great when I'm watching Everton or the Rapids in their 3rd jerseys), and the Rev's navy is the closest left (+60).
Reasons to root against: They used to have Joey Franchino and Rusty Pierce--they basically made 4 straight finals because no one else had 11 guys who could still walk (-55). Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots, Celtics...New England has had enough pro sports titles lately and I liked it better when Boston fans were tortured (-30). Would anyone really care if New England made the final, never mind won it (-30)?
Reasons to root for: Rapids' hero Graham Zusi knocked Panama out of World Cup contention, hopefully meaning Gabriel Torres isn't poached by a bigger league as early as next summer (+30). Head coach Peter Vermes is a former Rapids captain and probably as much of a club legend as you can be having played only 3 years for the team (+20). The other Rapids connections are Jacob Peterson (+5) and Assistant Coach Kerry Zavagnin (a former Rapids draft pick who was traded for Vermes before playing a game in Colorado) (+0). This is another club that seems to be doing things right, so it would be another feel good story for MLS (+5). I picked them to win it (+10).
Reasons to root against: They probably would win the final 1-0--just not a thrilling team of late (-15). If they even advance one round, it means we won't have a chance to see New England lose another final (-25).
Reasons to root for: Former Rapids include head coach Dominic Kinnear (+10) and Omar Cummings (+25), as well as owner Phil Anschutz (+10). That's about it really.
Reasons to root against: They've won enough titles (-10), and Coloradans instinctively like to mess with Texas (-40).
Reasons to root for: Former Rapids include head coach Mike Petke (+15), assistant coach Robin Fraser (+20), Kosuke Kimura (+15), Andre Akpan (+5), and future Rapid Thierry Henry (not sure if that was real or a dream...+0). This dysfunctional club winning it would be a great story for the league worldwide (+5), and we'd get to see more strange goal celebrations from Henry (+10). I can easily picture him winning it all and walking to the locker room before the trophy presentation because he just doesn't really care anymore. I'd like to see that (+10).
Reasons to root against: It's New York. No one roots for New York teams except New Yorkers when they're winning (-25). The Supporter's Shield is a trophy (which I honestly doubt the Rapids will ever win, so I shouldn't thumb my nose at it, but I will), so winning it 'breaks their curse.' But it's the Supporter's Shield, and they won it coming from a weaker eastern conference with an unbalanced schedule (-20). MLS Cup would be a momentous win for the franchise, and I would sort of hate to see their misery end (-20). Imagine if New York City FC won the Cup before the Red Bulls. Red Bull cans worldwide might simultaneously explode (-10).
So there you have it, Sporting KC is your team. Or you could just close your eyes, plug your ears, and pretend the Rapids are still making a run to MLS Cup glory (+50).