Houston Dynamo players celebrate a goal during the second leg of their 2017 MLS Cup soccer playoffs matchup against the Portland Timbers in Portland, Ore. on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)
Last year, the Houston Dynamo finished at the bottom of the Western Conference. This season they're playing for the conference title.
After a bit of a layoff, the Major League Soccer playoffs continue Tuesday when the two-legged conference finals start. In the East, the Columbus Crew host Toronto FC, while the Seattle Sounders visit the Dynamo in the West.
The conference championships could probably best be characterized as an underdog challenge on both sides: The Crew facing the winners of the Supporters Shield and the presumptive favorites, and the Dynamo taking on the defending MLS Cup champions.