While Real Salt Lake and the Los Angeles Galaxy took wildly divergent paths to get there, both teams are precisely where many expected them to be at the start of the season.
Tonight at 7 p.m., RSL and L.A. will collide at the Home Depot Center, with the winner advance to the MLS Cup for the second time in three seasons.
"It's a good rivalry," Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando said earlier this week. "I think it all started from MLS Cup. The last four years we've been consistent with our play, and got to where the Galaxy have always been. We're their competition, I think."
Real is in its third conference finals in four seasons, while Los Angeles is hosting the one-off Western Conference final for the third consecutive year.
The two teams split the two-match regular season series, with the Claret-and-Cobalt spanking the Galaxy 4-1 in the season's second match.
In the second, and far more recent meeting, Los Angeles rallied from an 0-1 deficit and edged out the win after RSL scored an own goal in the waning minutes.
Today's match showcases two of the league's most dynamic and exciting sides, although both could be missing critical players after mere days rest since the conference semifinals.
The central defending duo of Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers, who both missed Wednesday's second-leg at Seattle, are still questionable, although L.A. boss Bruce Arena is fully expecting both to play.
"Anyway Salt Lake lines up in the back they have a good group," Arena said on Friday. "Obviously, Olave and Borchers are among the best center backs in the league, and I'll be honest, I expect them to play, and if they don't, I don't expect the level to drop off that much."
The Galaxy have their own injuries to be wary of, including the status of star David Beckham, who is dealing with back spasms after rough collision during Los Angeles' playoff match with New York on Thursday night.
L.A. completed its 17-match regular season home schedule unbeaten, and then knocked off New York, giving it an 18-match unbeaten streak against MLS opponents at the Home Depot Center.