Did we see what happened in the MLS Cup playoffs? Did we just see what happened at the Home Depot Center? We saw FC Dallas put three goals past the Los Angeles Galaxy and have earned their first trip to the MLS Cup Final. After such a fabulous start to their season the Los Angeles Galaxy all of a sudden ran out of gas and looked deflated.
At the same time for the New York Red Bulls they were having a worst to first season and looked like they could’ve joined the Galaxy at BMO Field for this season’s final. They had a strong first leg in their playoff matches against the Earthquakes, but when they came home to Red Bull Arena it was the Black and Blue side that made their chances count and advanced to the next round.
What we have seen in these two conference finals on the same side of the country are a bunch of hard working teams that have earned the right to become league champions. Sure the sexier picks are Los Angeles and New York with Angel, Beckham, Buddle, Donovan, Henry and Marquez. Sadly it didn’t happen this year and these two sides will saddle up and try to make that happen in 2011.
But while MLS is trying to make the big bucks with so many famous footballers in the championship final, let’s not forget that Gary Smith of the Rapids and Schellas Hyndman of FC Dallas worked just as hard to get their sides into that match as well. They have some famous players from the US National Team like Jeff Cunningham, PabloMastroeni & Conor Casey, but they work just as hard as Beckham, Donovan, Henry and so on.
Sooner than later these sides were going to reach an MLS Cup final and they have done so this season. Hyndman, who was a college soccer coach at SMU, finally got his players to understand his tactics and they executed them perfectly against Real Salt Lake and the Galaxy. Smith who was in the inner workings of Arsenal from the English Premiership also got his chance to be a head coach and has done the club proud.
Were we all hoping it could’ve been LA Vs NY? Towards the end of the regular season I would say yes. I’ll be honest and say the season that the Red Bulls had last year all I wanted was for them to re-group, make the playoffs and see what happened. I never expected such a fantastic turnaround and no one expected a great start by the Galaxy without David Beckham and the goal production from Edson Buddle.
After it’s all said and done the 2010 MLS Cup Final will be contested between the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas. They have their own special players and no matter who plays for them, all of us who supports this league and the game in this country should tune in on Sunday night, November 21st on ESPN and watch to see who lifts the Philip Anschutze Trophy.