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Seattle, LA favorites as semis begin

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP) -- Seattle is trying to make MLS history. Los Angeles would love nothing more than to send Landon Donovan into retirement raising another trophy.

New England is the hottest team in the league entering the playoffs after the addition of midfielder Jermaine Jones. And New York's Bradley Wright-Phillips gets two more games to try to add to his scoring barrage while questions linger about whether this will be Thierry Henry's farewell to the MLS.

The MLS Cup playoffs get started in earnest this weekend with the first of the two-leg, aggregate-score conference semifinals. Seattle enters as the favorite after winning the Supporters' Shield as the best team in the league during the regular season. But only twice in the past decade has the Supporters' Shield winner gone on to win the MLS Cup title.

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