Category: MLS Playoffs

Break Time (Or What To Do During The Awkward Two Week Hiatus)

Here at Major League Soccer Talk, we strive to provide the best services to all of our MLS-loving patrons. As fans ourselves, we know that you’re looking at the schedule and saying to yourself, “Do we really need this two week NFL-style break?” The answer is emphatically, “Yes, we do.” After those quadriceps-damaging Brad Davis tackles (his own quad, mind you), post-splintering Beckerman lasers, and of course Robbie Keane’s lovely impression of Ozzie Smith after a night of intense drinking, we all need a chance to catch our collective breath. This has been a whirlwind of a ride through three ... Read more

Who Will Win Tonight: New York or Dallas?

Tonight MLS shifts from the regular season to the postseason as two teams that could have entries in the DSM-IV face off on Fox Soccer Channel at 9 PM ET.  The New York Red Bulls will try to advance to face the Los Angeles Galaxy this weekend but standing in their way are the fourth place finishers in the Western Conference, FC Dallas.  Both teams have been incredibly streaky and arguably backed into their playoff spots.  But both also are seen as dark horse MLS Cup contenders, with Bobby McMahon picking Dallas on our MLS Talk podcast and Alexi Lalas picking New York ... Read more

My Ideas On How MLS Should Decide A Champion

With the MLS Cup Playoffs on the verge of beginning, I’m going to embark on a post here that tends to evoke some debate. The diversity of opinions when it comes to how the top-flight of American soccer should decide their champion is vast. You could be a straight single table, most points takes all lover. Maybe you like the geographical conferences and a playoff system. Perhaps you even like what the current format has done. I’m not trying to say anyone’s method is poor, I just wanted to put out there an idea I’ve been developing, and would like ... Read more

Portland Playoff Hopes Stay Alive With 1-1 Draw

The difference between MLS and most other major American sports leagues is that two teams with losing records can play a low scoring game in the rain and have it be one of the most exciting games of the year. Actually, it may have just been one of the most exciting 20 minutes of the season, as Portland kept their playoff hopes alive (and extinguishes DC United’s) with a 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium last night. Portland took the lead in the 24th minute on a header by Kenny Cooper, who got free of Brandon McDonald in front of the ... Read more

Were We Wrong to Doubt the New Playoff Structure?

The MLS cup is up for grabs During the 2010 MLS Cup game, Commissioner Don Garber went on the ESPN halftime show to answer some questions about the state of the league.  The major issue circulating in the media was the playoff structure – a team from Colorado had just been named the Eastern Conference champion and, with two more teams entering the league next year, fewer than half of the teams playing in MLS would qualify for the playoffs under the existing format.  Garber announced that MLS would change the playoff system for the upcoming year to reflect the criticism ... Read more

New Playoff Format Cements Role of Conferences in MLS

Just weeks before the beginning of the season, MLS yesterday finally released its playoff format for the 2011 season.  As dreaded, it will include 10 of the 18 MLS teams, and officials acknowledged the number could change as more teams join MLS.  As for the current structure, the playoffs will go as such: The top three finishers in each conference will qualify for the playoffs. The four teams outside the top three in each conference who have the best records will qualify for the playoffs as wild cards.  This is regardless of conference affiliation. In the first round, the wild ... Read more

Take Me Out to the Playoffs – Week 3

The playoff numbers look like this… 5 year comparison Quarterfinals Totals(both legs)   Avg +/- Teams  2006   12,736   NA  CHI, COL, CHV, DAL, DCU, HOU, NE, RBNY  2007   17,041   33.81%   CHI, CHV, DAL, DCU, HOU, KC, NE, RBNY  2008   14,960   -12.22%   CHI, CHV, CLB, HOU, KC, NE, RBNY, RSL  2009   20,755   38.74%   CHI, CHV, CLB, HOU, LA, NE, RSL, SEA  2010   18,551   -10.62%   CLB, COL, DAL, LA, RBNY, RSL, SJ, SEA Semifinals Totals   Avg +/- Teams  2006   21,330   NA DCU v NE – HOU v COL  2007   20,645   -3.21%  NE v CHI – HOU v KC  2008   17,348   -15.97%  ... Read more

FC Dallas Advances to First MLS Cup

In the end, what was most impressive about the LA Galaxy against the Seattle Sounders was also their undoing in the Western Conference finals.  The home team’s back line were spectators for an impressive Dallas attack, the LA superstars played a poor match overall, and the winningest coach in MLS playoff history was outcoached.  Because of this, FC Dallas advances to their first ever MLS Cup and lose the distinction of being the only original MLS club that had not made a Final. The first half was the opportunity for Kevin Hartman to show his opposing keeper why it was ... Read more