Tag: MLS Cup

MLS ’13 – The End of the Western Conference’s Dominance

For the past three years, the gulf between the two MLS conferences has seemingly been as deep as the Grand Canyon.  In 2011 and 2012, the East’s representative in MLS Cup was Houston, a convert from the West.  The last time MLS Cup featured an original Eastern Conference team was 2008 when two teams from the East played for the championship (those silly meaningless geography days).  In discussions of the best teams in MLS, the conversation has naturally gravitated from who would come out of the West. The dominance makes sense in a number of ways.  Los Angeles has taken utmost ... Read more

Houston Machine Steamrolls DC to Take Eastern Conference

In retrospect, it was obvious.  Houston is so good playing with an aggregate lead in the playoffs and with DC missing Chris Pontius and a fully healthy Dwayne De Rosario, the task really was impossible.  But it didn’t feel that way at RFK Stadium Sunday afternoon, as a crowd of over 20,000 (including 350 standing room attendees) rocked the stands at kickoff, trying to inspire the home team to victory.  Despite the crowd and emotional return of the home team’s captain, the end result was a 1-1 draw and a 4-2 Dynamo win on aggregate. DC adjusted its lineup without ... Read more

Stage Set for MLS Cup 2011 Redux

After only twelve goals total being scored in the conference semifinals, fans could be forgiven for expecting low-scoring first legs of the conference finals.  Instead, tired legs and teams pressing advantages led to seven goals and seemingly anti-climatic second legs coming up on Sunday, as a repeat of the 2011 MLS Cup looks in the cards.  Both Los Angeles and Houston have major advantages over the higher seeds in their series and, with LA holding the better record than the Dynamo, the eyes of American soccer could again be turning to the Home Depot Center. In the first match of ... Read more

Winner and Losers of the First Round of the 2012 Playoffs

As you may have noticed when you excitedly opened your podcast app this morning, we were unable to record a post-Thursday episode of the MLS Talk podcast due to a variety of conflicts.  However, after a wild and crazy first round/conference semi-final round, I wanted to approach a wrap-up from a different perspective.  After elections, many political blogs have a winners and losers column, which goes beyond simply who won the elections and digs down into which people and groups are the long-term winners.  In that vein, while we know that DC, Houston, Los Angeles, and Seattle were the winners ... Read more

New York and DC Driven By Own Goals to 1-1 Draw

A night after Real Salt Lake and Seattle played a tactically entertaining game that ended in a goalless draw, DC United and New York opened the formal Eastern Conference playoffs with a sloppier but as engaging one-all draw at RFK.  History was made as for the first time in the MLS playoff as all goals scored in the match were own goals.  But, considering the twists and turns this one took, that may be appropriate. The turning point in the game was in the 71st minute with the game tied at 1.  DC fullback Andy Najar was whistled for a ... Read more

The Eliminated: Who Are You Rooting for in the Playoffs?

In MLS, 56% of teams made the playoffs this year, meaning your team had a pretty good chance to make at least the 4 v. 5 game of the playoffs (except you, Toronto fans, sorry).  Of course, at the end of the season, 44% of teams didn’t.  Some just fell short, like Montreal and FC Dallas.  Some were a little farther away.  But the fact remains that if you are a soccer fan and your team didn’t make the playoffs, even these tantalizing match-ups can be at times hard to watch as you wonder what if. Except that the playoffs ... Read more

What Your Team Needs to do to Win MLS Cup 2012

Tonight the road to MLS Cup 2012 begins with Chicago hosting Houston in the Eastern Conference 4/5 game.  Over the next month ten teams will battle to determine who is the best team in MLS this season (at least, the best playoff team) and based on the regular season all of these games are must-see TV.  While match-ups do matter in the playoffs almost as much as talent – playing the right team at the right time really helps – every one of the following teams has a goal they need to achieve to advance to the trophy.  If your ... Read more

Real Salt Lake Shocks Host Galaxy 3-1

For the first seventy minutes of yesterday’s First Kick match-up between the Galaxy and RSL, the predictions about the amazing 2012 Galaxy season looked like they were more than just hype.  Only the crossbar and some timely RSL defending denied the Galaxy a multi-goal lead and the defense looked shaky but solid.  When Edson Buddle converted a David Beckham pass into a goal in the 71st minute, fans could be forgiven for switching off the game and assuming it would spiral out of control from there. But a funny thing happened at The Home Depot Center last night, and it was an ... Read more