MLS Final Thoughts: Rapids Gonna Rapid And Garber’s Blunders

The Colorado Rapids lifted their first cup in team history last night, in pretty exciting fashion. Granted, the first 90 weren’t great; it was a mad dash to get a goal as the game ended, making for a pretty fun ending. Final score: Colorado 2-1 FC Dallas.

The calls of “Worst Final Ever” might have been premature. Not the most memorable final of all time, but certainly one that was watchable.

The Rapids lifted the Cup last night; the club's first in team history.

George John’s own goal really showed the wild scramble the game had dived into toward the end. It was a fitting end to a physical and wild game.

But there were some other things that, in a way, stole the spotlight last night.

Namely, Don Garber talking nonsense during halftime, as well as the Toronto FC supporters sucking as usual.

Garber announced last night that the MLS playoffs will expand to 10 teams next season.

Yes, that is not an error. 10 teams. In an 18-team league. So now MLS will reward mediocrity, like it did in the past.

This is a big step back for a league that has been making sprinter’s strides the past few seasons. 10 teams does nothing but dilute the playoffs; a charade that shouldn’t even exist anyway. Still cannot understand why playoffs have to be such an intricate part of MLS, when most soccer leagues (including the top leagues) do not have playoffs. What we need is a  single table, no playoffs and balanced schedule.

Well, that is one thing that WILL occur next season. A balanced schedule is good for the league, and should reap positive benefits.

The Commissioner has the ability to really advance the product, or completely screw it up over the next couple seasons.

Also, a possibility of a schedule alignment to the FIFA calendar may be in place in the near future. This is one thing that has needed to occur for a while. I think the fact that Russia announced their switch, we felt that the ball is in our court. Now it is up to Garber to un-screw-up the league (with regards to a 10-team playoff) and do right by getting the schedule aligned.

As I have said multiple times before, a single-table is huge for the league’s continuing forward progress. It is something that is very necessary. The whole ‘Eastern Conference and Western Conference’ is completely pointless, and the league having champions of the east, that come from the west, just screams amateur. Our league is getting much, much better. We need to continue to improve it and make it one of the best leagues in the world.

All of these changes are necessary if we are to do that. But certainly, we are making progress; even if Garber made us take a step back last night.

Regarding the “stellar” showing by the Toronto fans? Well, if you didn’t know anything about them; you do now.


2 responses to this post.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Leslie J, Christopher Boulay. Christopher Boulay said: New Post from #ParkTheBus "MLS Final Thoughts" #mls #ussf #ussoccer #rapids #fcdallas #TFC […]


  2. Posted by Steve on 11/22/2010 at 17:29

    Well Chris, you and I agree on a lot (Go Impact!!), an I’ll continue that with a big WTF on this 10-team thing. Also, like you, I find the west-as-east situation utterly stupid (although, once Colorado got in, I sure didn’t want to complain).

    I can see where MLS is trying to fit the American style playoffs together with the no-playoffs system by allowing the better teams (ex: 6th – 8th seed) to qualify in the other conference. And, the idea of having east and west zones “should” help to reduce travel costs, both human and financial. MLS should simply drop the notion of east and west at the end of the regular season and with only 18 or 20 teams, it should simply be the top eight, which seems to work perfectly for D2.

    So, I think it’s clear that I don’t get the issue with playoffs. They are a popular way of ending a season with a few heavily hyped games, pitting the best against each other. An eight-team, home-home, aggregate format, using the usual 1v8, 2v7 etc. elimination bracket ought to work just fine.


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