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MLS Cup 2010

November 22, 2010

I am in the minority of American sports fans in that I actually look forward to and watch the MLS Cup final.  Last night the Colorado Rapids and F.C. Dallas took to BMO Field in Toronto to determine this year’s champion.  As usual I was excited to see who would win MLS and made sure the kids were in bed and our lunches packed before the game started at 8:30 p.m.

During the pre-game the announcers looked cold.  Their faces were red and they were bundled up with scarfs poking over the tops of their jackets.  The stands behind them looked spotty at best and I wondered in MLS and the Don were having second thoughts about staging the game in Canada in November.  However, as kickoff approached the crowd filled in and I read that it was officially a “sell out”.

Following last year’s game between RSL and the Galaxy the 2010 installment had a lot to live up to.  The first goal by David Ferreira was beautiful and the Hoops headed into halftime with a 1-0 lead. During halftime the MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced that the playoffs would be expanded from 8 to 10 teams.  He also indicated MLS may switch the season to one that lines up with other leagues around the world.  Instead of playing from April through November they would play from September through May.  I am not a fan of the expanded playoffs since 10 out of 18 teams seems a bit much and lessens the importance of the regular season.  I am also not sure how playing a schedule in compliance with the international calendar would work in places like Toronto, Chicago and New England.

Following the announcement the second half kicked off. Conner Casey, who was born in Dover, NH, netted the equalizer for the Rapids in the 57th minute.  The teams played evenly for the rest of regular time and at the end of regulation the they were tied 1-1.  The teams headed into a 30 minute OT period.  In the 107th minute Mac Kandji sent a ball towards the keeper that deflected off of the Hoops defender George John and into the net for the winning goal.   It was also learned that Kandji tore his ACL on the play that won Colorado the cup.  As time expired John was crushed and sat on the field as the Rapids celebrated.

The ending to MLS Cup was pretty amazing! The only negative I saw was by the time it ended the stands had already began emptying out.  I hope that in the future the MLS Cup final is held at the home of the higher seeded team.  This would help to place more emphasis on the regular season, which with the playoffs expanding to 10 teams, would be a good thing.

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