The Underdog PlayoffsBy: Kristina | November 15th, 2010
Last week no one predicted that the final would consists of FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids. How did it happen? Well let’s review….
First, let’s begin with The Eastern Conference playoff series debacle. Who would of predicted that the all mighty “powerhouse” RBNY would lose at home to the underdog San Jose? Oh that’s right RBNY didn’t take things as serious. For starters their “superstar” Henry didn’t even play the whole match. He was subbed in the 84th minute even though SJ was leading the 3-2 on goal aggregates. Memo to Don Garber 3 DP’s don’t equal a “superstar MLS Championship Team”.
Next, the beloved Columbus Crew vs. Colorado Rapids. This team had no time to rest for their first matchup against the Rapids. They had traveled from Columbus to T&T for a CCL match, came home for a season finale, and then went to Colorado. All in one week. The game vs. Colorado at CCS was intense. The Crew scored 2 goals and was leading the series. A slight miscommunication between the keeper and Brunner evened the series at 2-2. After a long and hard fought battle it came down to Penalty Kicks. These could be either a soccer player’s worst nightmare or an easy goal. Some love the intense moments and others could care less. I guess it depends on how you view them in your own personal way. Anyhow, back to the game….both keepers from each team were coming up unlucky on the saves of the PKs. Andy Gruenebaum had made a save but it still went it. Then there was Brian Carroll. The most hardworking, bummed shoulder and all took the shot that went high. I as a Crew supporter do not blame Carroll. The team prior to the PKs had so many chances but came up short. In the end Colorado secured the match and advanced.
The outcome turned out to be the Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes in the EASTERN Conference final. That match review a little later.
Now, onto the Western Conference playoff series debacle. The defending MLS Cup champs Real Salt Lake were matched up with the underdogs FC Dallas. In the first game FC Dallas came out on top beating RSL 2-1 and led the series. On the return trip to Salt Lake, Dallas scored first. At this point they led the series 3-1. In the 75th minute RSL scored to make the series 3-2. It wasn’t enough for RSL. The score stood at 1-1 but FC Dallas advanced to the conference final with the goal aggregate of 3-2. Once again another underdog team comes on top.
Finally the two elite powerhouses in the West meet. LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders. The first match Seattle had all the right tools to win. They had home field advantage, loud and supportive crowd and a solid team. The visitors from the southern state of California silenced the Sounders. They had scored first and held the lead. Seattle had chances but came up short. LA led the series 1-0. Next up, the Home Depot Center. Seattle needed to score to bring them back into the game. Didn’t happen quickly enough. LA had scored in the 19th minute to lead the series 2-0. They weren’t done yet. In the 37th minute they scored again to bring the series to 3-0. Seattle fought a tough battle but scored in the 86th minute. Not enough. LA won the series 3-1.
The Western Conference final would consists of the underdogs FC Dallas with powerhouse and 2010 Supporter Shield winners LA Galaxy. Read more on this in the next post.