Rapids complete another comeback to lift first MLS Cup

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

TORONTO – The MLS Cup is staying put in the Rocky Mountain region.

Extra-time substitute Mac Kandji's close-range shot ricocheted off George John for an own goal in the 108th minute, lifting the Colorado Rapids to a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas and their first MLS Cup title on a bitter-cold night at BMO Field.

Kandji received the ball on the right side of the FCD box after a cross from Conor Casey, who was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Kandji slipped by Jair Benitez and found space to put a shot on frame from a tight angle. Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman seemed to have it lined up until John re-directed the ball into the goal for the game-winner and the third own goal in MLS Cup history.

"As soon as we came to Toronto, I had a good feeling," said Kandji, who was sent to Colorado by the New York Red Bulls in a midseason trade.

Kandji entered the game in the 98th minute for an injured Omar Cummings (thigh), but he suffered a left leg injury on the play and had to exit the game after the goal despite the Rapids having already exhausted all of their substitutes.

Playing with a man-advantage for the final 12 minutes and change, FC Dallas had numerous chances to tie the game and force penalty kicks. John nearly made amends for his miscue in the final moments, but he was denied by a sprawling Matt Pickens, who touched away the centerback's low shot.

"It was just a reaction," said Pickens, who made five saves. "Luckily I came out on top."

Seconds before the final whistle, Drew Moor cleared a Jeff Cunningham shot off the line.

"We've got a hard-working crew," said Casey, who was denied a penalty after appearing to be fouled by Benitez in the box in the 27th minute. "It feels like we really earned it. Our backs were against the wall for a lot of the game, but we just showed our resolve."

Colorado fell behind in the 35th minute when reigning league MVP David Ferreira opened the scoring. He latched onto a superb Marvin Chavez cross from the right and touched home a one-timer from the edge of the 6-yard box to put Dallas in the driver's seat.

Ferreira's effectiveness was limited after that, though, through a stout, team defensive effort. Central midfielders Jeff Larentowicz and Pablo Mastroeni headlined the effort to contain Dallas' sparkplug.

Their physical play, along with that of Casey, a true battering ram up top and while tracking back, stunted Dallas' possession- and passing-oriented attack.

"If you're going to stop FC Dallas you're going to have to knock us out of our rhythm or our attack," FCD coach Schellas Hyndman said. "The thing with physical play is it's disruptive. If that was their game plan, it was perfect."

The Rapids found the answer to Ferreira's goal in the 57th minute through Casey, who scored a gritty goal from his backside to breathe new life into his team.

Zach Loyd's failed clearance attempt to the left sideline afforded winger Jaime Smith the space to attack and cross. Both Hartman and Benitez dove to defend the cross by the near post, and the ball squirted behind Benitez where Casey, on the ground, managed to sweep home a shot into the vacated net.

"There's always mistakes in the game, you just hope they don't end up in the back of the net," Hyndman said.

The Rapids followed rival Real Salt Lake as the second consecutive Western Conference-based Eastern Conference champion to win MLS Cup.

For midseason acquisition Brian Mullan, the championship was his fifth. Conversely, for the longtime field general of the team, Mastroeni, and for the majority of the Rapids' roster, the championship was a first.

"This has been a beautiful ride, capping it off with a win," Mastroeni said. "This has been the most exciting day of my professional career."

Added Casey: "I've never won everything ever, and to do it with someone like Pablo, who has had such a storied career and never won and has given so much to the club, no one deserves it more."

This entry was posted in MLS Cup, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- FC Dallas. Bookmark the permalink.

127 Responses to Rapids complete another comeback to lift first MLS Cup

  1. scott says:

    great last 15 minutes…

  2. Gulati knows nothing about football says:

    and pretty much nothing else

  3. zoti says:

    Casey Connor for MVP. Thank god Rob corrected that idiot.

  4. Gulati knows nothing about football says:

    Congrats to colorado. but in general a truly forgettable event. Now Arsenal v. Spurs? That was a game.

  5. Sir_Knox says:

    Super happy for Kandji. He played great.
    That move that he put on to create that goal was classic. I can’t wait to more play like that from him. Hope his leg is ok.

  6. john.q says:

    this game was awful. its a shame, on primetime in a world cup year. soccer awareness is high right now and this is the culmination of our league?!
    anyway… glad to see kanji winning a trophy. always liked him when he was with the red bulls

  7. TheDude says:

    I say this as an MLS fan but can we please forget this championship game ever happened?

    Everything about it was terrible. The icing on the cake was Casey Conor MVP award

    Hopefully this forces the league away from the neutral sites for the final.

  8. Willardo DuPont says:

    Loved it!

  9. Bitter Quakes Fan says:

    Colorado that’s a nice trophy… FOR ME TO POOP ON!!!

  10. Debacle says:

    I was, at first, unhappy about MLS Cup this year. Then, I became excited.

    What actually happened can only be categorized as a mess. Overall, the play was really poor after the first twenty-five minutes of the game. The crowd was disappointing in the beginning, by the end, it was embarrassing. Don Garber’s announcement at half time was less than worthwhile. Colorado’s goals were atrocious. The play for probably 95 minutes of this game was pretty rough. Two teams that were pretty uninspiring and one team that has the worst stadium in the league with the most pitiful fan bases in the league.

    And, to top it all off?

    Casey Conor wins MLS Cup MVP! WOOO!

  11. Joamiq says:

    Ha, love the photo. Shows the point I was making – Casey was fouled before any bodies hit the floor, should have been a penalty.

    Last 15 minutes were fun, and I don’t want to take anything away from Colorado fans. They should enjoy this for sure. Congrats.

    But… poor atmosphere, nasty play, game winning own goal… not a final to remember.

  12. FatCox4U says:

    So I believe that no team has ever won MLS Cup with a official Designated Player on their roster. Schelotto became a DP after winning the cup with the Crew. He was earning something like 400K before his pay raise.

    Looks like Kandji got the last laugh on NY RedBulls. NY assembled a team to win the MLS Cup and look who pops up for the winning play of the game. None other than the man they traded.

  13. NF says:

    7th best team in MLS crowned champions! Yay?

  14. Joamiq says:

    OK, let’s calm down a bit. Neither of these teams has anywhere near the worst stadium in the league. San Jose? KC? DC?

  15. Joamiq says:

    As much as I hate him, I love that Lalas, re playoff expansion, said to Garber “so now the 10th best team in MLS will be able to win the MLS cup?”

  16. Mark says:

    I didn’t have an opportunity to watch, but congrats to the Rapids and their fans.

  17. Debacle says:

    Pizza… Hut… Park.

    The plaintiff rests.

  18. Jonathon says:

    As compared to last year, where the 8th best team in MLS were crowned champions?

  19. zach says:

    i wish my eyes were ripped out

  20. Joamiq says:

    Are you kidding? PHP is a newish SSS. Have you seen the stadiums the other teams play in?

  21. Debacle says:

    Oh, are we calling that ball in the back of the net a ‘goal’ now? Is that what that was?

    Hm. Okay. But, I object.

  22. Illmatic74 says:

    Can anyone else recall any other cup final that eevr ended on a own goal? I mean any of them World Cup, FA Cup, Champions League Final, Europa League, Copa Del Rey etc

  23. Joamiq says:

    Admittedly Casey has a fistful of jersey there too. But I still think he was fouled pretty badly before anyone went down.

  24. Debacle says:

    Agreed. Great Lalas comment.

  25. Jason Ponzi says:

    Horrible, horrible game!

  26. NF says:

    When even Lalas can see it’s a bad idea, I worry about Garber’s leadership. There is a reason they don’t have a play-off in European leagues. You have other tournaments. The best teams typically win the NFL and NBA because they all play the same amount of games. We have a trend that is pretty obvious that teams not playing in the US Open Cup and Champions League continue winning MLS. If the play-off is necessary, we need serious changes to reward the teams who play the best during the season.

  27. Debacle says:

    It’s not about the stadium, alone. I should clarify. What I’m referring to is the uninteresting and unattractive design, the name (which should never have been approved), and the dismal attendance.

    Pack the place and it surely beats out some of the other places.

  28. RB says:

    Congratulations to the Rapids for toughing it out and getting the win after pretty much everybody wrote them off. A classic sports upset scenario in the making from the moment Dallas went up by more than a goal on LA.

    You don’t get more for pretty goals, you get more goals from constant effort and seizing opportunities. You make your own luck, as they say. And that back line was massive for Colorado tonight, shutting down almost everything thrown at them, including when the team had to finish a man down, by an obviously strong Dallas team they could only manage to tie in their previous 2 meetings this season.

    Especially nice to see such a long-time MLS figure as Mastroeni get to hoist the trophy. :-)

  29. Illmatic74 says:

    We should start treating the US Open Cup final like we treat the MLS Cup.

  30. Joamiq says:

    OK, fair. I just have, like, an allergic reaction when I see those other stadiums, haha.

  31. Tim M. says:

    Truly forgettable because it took place in Toronto! Lifeless stadium that only took pleasure out of booing and cheering their former players. What BS

  32. Debacle says:

    Garber is, in general, awesome. I do think he has one or two things wrong, but Garber is a big reason why we’re so far from where we were in 1996.

    He’s wrong about 10 clubs in playoffs, though. That’s a bad idea.

    And, I think this final has given a lot of credence to the idea of having MLS Cup at the home of the higher seeded club. The atmosphere at MLS Cup has, generally, been very poor.

    League games have more passion than this final, or many of those past.

  33. Jeremy says:

    totally agree

  34. Tim M. says:

    He was only like their for five minutes and what he did was nothing special. Maybe in that chaotic game, but step over, nutmeg and then a dive into the ball to create an own goal? yeah, truly classic.

  35. Jackie says:

    That was some ugly soccer.

    Made MLS look bad

  36. Debacle says:

    You should get a job in PR since you can turn sh** into gold ;)

  37. Debacle says:

    Well, everyone. Goodnight!

    As my brother and I just said, no matter how bad the game was, we’d never not watch. We love the league and, even when it’s awful we’ll still support.

    Hope that we all feel the same.

  38. timothy says:

    An own goal by a Columbian to lose the game. Good thing Dallas fans aren’t THAT passionate…

  39. debvs says:

    With a man up, 10 minutes left and some change, Dallas elects to have Kevin Hartman attempt to boot it up the field 20 yards above the box?

  40. ec says:

    Look people, complaining about the final is a global tradition. Anyone remember the WC final? And how often is the Champions League final a let down? Decent game, factoring in a great finish. The own goal wasn’t shameful, Casey and Kanji made a play and forced the action. Ferreira played like an MVP, and the rest wasn’t so great.

    Just please, please MLS, fix the atmosphere, let the higher seed have a home game (even if I doubt Dallas would have sold out…)

  41. Tim M. says:

    This was complete bullsh*t

    Fans were bullsh*t

    The REF was bullsh*t

    The referee, that prick who was probably more concerned about his card record the whole game, then making an actual correct call.

    He just let the players go out there and destroy the game. It was like a bunch of suburban 8 yr old pee-wee’s going out there after Hockey Season just ended playing

  42. LittleMaradona says:

    Well put Triumph

  43. RB says:

    Great comments.

  44. Alexandria says:

    what does it matter own goal or missed pk either way it would have been cruel.

  45. Debacle says:

    I never thought a home final would be the best option until tonight. And, it’s not a knee jerk reaction. As I recall, I’m often unhappy with the lack of passion of the crowd at MLS Cup. Less passion that regular season games, even.

    Give MLS Cup to the higher seed. And, give them two weeks between the semis and the final to sell tickets. No club will have an advantage or disadvantage and maybe the players will be better rested.

    That could be good or bad, but I think good more than bad.

  46. Barcafan says:

    The official clearly had no idea what he was doing.

    If he was the best official that MLS has to offer, then the league is screwed.

    There is “letting them play” and then there is refusing to follow the laws of the game. I frankly would bet that he doesn’t even know the laws of the game.

    This isn’t american football, and this isn’t rugby. Any respectable official shows a minimum of 1 red card, probably 2 or 3. There were intentional kicks and elbows, studs-up tackles, and everything in between.

  47. Louis Z. says:

    I guess it was too cold to fill up a stadium where neither team was a local team. Have anyone noticed that they had pub tables at field level, I don’t think I have ever seen that in a pro game. Congrats to Casey, he was a real bulldog out there, if he didn’t get the ball he would run you over. I thought it was a choppy game for a being a final but nevertheless, congrats to the Rapids. I guess the next big game barca-real.

  48. ericJ says:

    They have them in portland and a few other places that I cant quite remember.

  49. RB says:

    “There is “letting them play” and then there is refusing to follow the laws of the game…”

    Yeah, that flying kung fu type of kick to the chest was something!

    Oh, wait…

  50. Raffi says:

    Have to agree with most. I tuned in to watch as a soccer and MLS fan whose team wasn’t in it and kind of had to gut it out to get through the game. The play was so ragged, it was disappointing. The atmosphere was really weak. Have to agree with everyone on that.

    One more nit, I just surfed over to ESPN and the game is like the 7th article in their top events box. Yeesh. The MLS championship is below who the Mets are going to name as their next manager. Sad. Just sad.

  51. Conrad says:

    Casey is just so awful to watch. That he’s the standard-bearer of MLS is a real drag. And I agree that we might need to rethink the “neutral site” game. Toronto is a fantastic city, but — not to be chauvanistic — but you need a passport to get there, and I don’t see that many passport-holders in the Big D. And possibly Colorado. It was embarrassing to see a half-empty stadium…

    And it has been said elsewhere: The referee quality is what is holding MLS back. They should really address this in the off-season. Maybe DP referees??

  52. ChrisWhyte says:

    That’s three years in a row the Eastern Conference Champion has won the Cup. The Western Conference teams really need to step their game up ;)

  53. Kejsare says:

    While it will be removed, the Timbers had a beer garden at pitch level. Was very popular.

    link to blog.craigmitchelldyer.com

    The pic may be of the ejected Beavers, but you get the idea.

  54. ericJ says:

    I agree to a point. Other neutral sites did allright, Toronto just sucked because it happened din the middle of a fan protest.

  55. Brent McD. says:

    that’s Mr. Casey to you

  56. Kejsare says:

    I, too, tend to agree it sucked in the middle of a fan protest. But I seem to remember everyone thought it would be a good showcase for Toronto last Spring, but failure to make the playoffs and the ticket price issue killed any momentum. Look, these fans haven’t been in the Stadium for almost a month.

  57. Brent McD. says:

    Pizza Hut Park is actually a decent stadium. It’s just the location (an hour north of Dallas) and the supporters (or lack thereof) that is the problem.

  58. billy says:

    what a crappy event. all around.

  59. jamesey says:

    Lalas is a proponent of the supporters shield being the true championship. I agree with him. MLS Cup is just a small tournament to see who’s hot in November.

    MLS Cup champions – win 3 out of 4 matches

    US Open Cup champions – win a minimum of 4 matches

    MLS Season – perform consistently well over 30 (now 34) matches.

    Even the World Cup isn’t just a 7 match tournament. You have to qualify by playing 15-20 matches.

  60. Supsam says:

    Okay someone has to say it…Shame on all those TFC fans who were “protesting” by leaving (or not even showing up). Where is the logic in that?? You think MLSE cares how many ppl show up for the MLS Cup? THis wasnt a TFC game, this was a championship game. You guys contributed to a horrible atmosphere. Go “protest” those TFC games instead. It seems you guys like bitchin about alot of things just for the hell of it. First its the All-star game where you guys complained cuz barely any of your crappy players were represented and now this???

  61. Brent McD. says:

    ahaha, good one

  62. Big Chil says:

    Exciting Cup! End to end soccer, and a crazy 2nd overtime.

    Congratulations to the Colorado Rapids, 2010 MLS Cup Champions!

    We won the cup! We won the cup! :)

  63. chris says:

    Since you are apparently only able to spew S**t, well said.

  64. RB says:

    You folks worried about the playoff situation and this result should take heart. I mean, this year the #7 team at the end of the regular season, with a 12-8-10 record, won the final without going to PKs, after also winning the conference final without going to PKs.

    By contrast last year it was of course the #8 team, with a _losing_ record in the regular season, who won the final, and who did so only on PKs after also winning the conference final on PKs.

    Progress! :-)

  65. Judging Amy says:

    Truth. The meg was more the product of crap defending and the rest was pure luck/fail.

  66. Joamiq says:

    I think you’re right that the briefness of the playoffs is an issue. I would at least make the league semis two legs and see if that makes the playoffs feel a little more meaningful.

    I remember two years ago when the Red Bulls made the run to the final after a relatively mediocre season, it felt weird. I was happy, but it didn’t feel quite right to have done just OK for 30 games and then all of a sudden be playing for it all after 3 good games. When the Red Bulls finally win it all (knock on wood), I want it to come after a season where we’re strong all year long.

  67. Judging Amy says:

    Yeah but that tool Casey paid it back in full later didn’t he haha.

    I agree tho that was a fairly clear pk. I thought Toledo was terrible in general today.

  68. wally says:

    wow. that was one of the chippyest games I’ve ever seen. if it was officiated by la liga refs I think you would have seen about 6 players on each side by the end. Even premier league refs would have called more yellows. while i appreciated the passion and commitment of two team playing their hearts out, the beautifull game does not happen with all that pushing, tripping, agressive tackling

  69. Ted in MN says:

    I personally don’t like the MLS being played at a predetermined stadium. While neither Colorado nor Dallas is really a super draw at their stadiums, you aren’t really helping fans by moving it somewhere else. This isn’t the NFL that will draw wherever it wants to in the United States. There is no point in making it harder on the hard core fans.
    As for the game, the only interesting thing was the second half of overtime. I don’t really care how brutal the soccer was. It was flat out fun.

  70. Yusef says:

    The sad part is that even more teams will be in the playoffs next year. The regular season needs to mean something.

  71. RB says:

    Baby steps! :-)

    But seriously, wasn’t it more troubling, from the perspective of the league and the playoff system and the sport’s image and all that, when a sub-.500 team won it all? And anyway it’s always disappointing when the winners are decided on PKs.

    What’s more depressing than that comparison is the prospect of slipping backward to the previous kind of situation again, with 10 teams heading to the playoffs next year…

  72. Katatonia says:

    more teams in the playoffs…im done with mls. shouldve stopped caring a long time ago. i’ll spend my time and money on proper football comeptitions.

  73. Joamiq says:

    Agreed all around. It all just feels wrong. And expansion will make the playoffs feel less, not more, meaningful. Heck, at this point I’d prefer limiting the playoffs to the top two in each conference and making the semis and finals each THREE legged total goals series with the higher seed getting two out of the three at home. But that’ll never happen.

  74. Scott A says:

    Toledo was crap, but I was OK with Casey not getting the penalty because he fouled Benitez (who seems to love kicking out) first. I am, however, not OK with the playoffs expanding. Ugh.

  75. 3VIL L33T says:

    i’m sooooo glad dallas lost! yay!

  76. Hopper says:

    That was one of the ugliest MLS games I’ve ever seen. Let’s watch all the players bitch after every call! Let’s watch Conor Casey get the MVP award for head-butting and running over everything in sight! And it all went down in one of the most dismal atmospheres I’ve sever seen in an MLS Cup final. Too bad.

  77. RB says:

    A bit tangential, but when was the last time the winning team did not have a sponsor’s name/logo emblazoned across their jerseys? And will this result finally change that for Colorado? (or for Dallas, for that matter?)

  78. Monarch Bay Beachbum says:

    I have been to 2 MLS Cup Finals at the Home Depot Center and 2 at RFk and all were near sellouts. I don’t think it is a matter of playing at a neutral site that is the problem it was just THIS site that was a problem.

  79. Neruda says:

    Stopped watching right after the David F. goal because the game had no energy. I left thinking Dallas would put it away with another. Surprised to see Colorado come back and win. If the trends hold true then I guess we can expect a different two teams next year as these two will be stretched too thin by CCL and other tourneys.

    RSL can make some serious noise in CCL quarter finals. Seems as though winning that competition would mean as much as MLS Cup at this point.

  80. Seriously says:

    Well wasn’t that quite a farcical…I mean final. The ugly team wins over the better team thanks to cruel fate. Then we learn that MLS is gonna take steps backward next year…

  81. rt says:

    I concur, but PHP is only about 30min north of Dallas which makes it even less of an excuse. It takes that long to get anywhere around here.

  82. peet says:

    It is totally Dallas’ luck to lose in that manner, and totally Colorado’s luck to win in that manner.

  83. rt says:

    Goodnight? thank god, yes we all feel the same about that and the congrats on the Rugby MVP

  84. Frank says:

    I agree, it was disgraceful. I also can’t understand the logic. Do they not understand the image/welfare of the league they are hurting impacts them DIRECTLY?

  85. Frank says:

    I should say impacts their team directly

  86. Supsam says:

    good riddance. What kind of fan stops supporting this league over something like playoff formats?

  87. Slyboy says:

    Honestly, Finals are rarely “beautiful”… take the 06 wc final, or this years…hell 90% of finals i can think of are scrappy

  88. A-Lott says:

    Some thoughts:

    I thought Conor Casey deserved the MVP. He worked hard all night, scored one goal, and set up the second. Also, Casey’s possession and hold-up game killed Dallas late in extra time. Colorado had a surprising amount of possession with ten men, and the big bald guy played a huge role in that.

    I found myself wishing that Dax McCarty could have been with the National Team in South Africa. That kid was everywhere tonight.

    I didn’t have a problem with the game’s quality. It was a hard-fought contest in bitter weather. I like physical soccer.

    Congratulations to both sides. Both should be proud of their achievements this season. Now fill up those stadiums!

    Ten playoff teams? European schedule? No thanks.

  89. Tim M. says:

    not even dude. depending on where your coming from, through down town dallas, in can take almost two hours.

  90. fromage says:

    For all the lead up talk of “Toronto always has a great atmosphere”, the event was lifeless. I could almost hear the crickets on TV. I also found it amusing that people left the stadium way before the 85th minute. And by extra-time the stadium looked half empty.

    Granted, the play on the pitch wasn’t great but you could sense that both teams were trying their hardest to win the match. You can’t fault either team for their effort.

    This was not a worthy spectacle of a championship game.

    With that said, Congrats to the Rapids for their 1st MLS Cup.

  91. JohnC says:

    The 8th best team in baseball won this year and the 14th best team in hockey nearly won last year, lets all get over our selves and recognize this happens in all major sports, did anyone really think the dutch were the second best team in the world with two thugs at holding midfield? Also, this game was about as pretty as the world cup except we had 3 goals, some great saves, a dramatic OT and no obvious red card in the 20th min.

  92. Jeff says:

    Why play the final in possibly the coldest stadium available and of friggin turf? Game was a snooze fest and snooze I did

  93. Joamiq says:

    Get your facts straight. SF had the 5th best record in MLB this year (out of 30). Regardless, even if it happened once in a while in other sports, it happens repeatedly in MLS.

  94. JoeW says:

    Touche’

  95. JoeW says:

    Yeah, that’s a good point. I’m not trying to kick Toronto (lovely city and a lovely stadium and a great fan base). And I know MLS likes to show off new stadia and also throw a bone to franchises/fans that may not have a championship (kind of like the NBA does with the all-star game hosting). But a neutral site seems to work in some locations and not others–I won’t go into why (I’m just be theorizing–no hard data). So I don’t see that decision (continue or discontinue with neutral site) as being cut and dried.

    Maybe the answer is to decide what you want the playoffs to be. And if you want to reward teams for a great regular season, than you do away with neutral site and the top-seed hosts. If it’s to “spread the wealth” than you continue to do neutral site and you pick the newer SSS or clubs that haven’t been successful lately. If it’s to make a big deal out of the championship, than you chose warm weather sites at locations that seem to either have a diverse enough fan-base to draw no matter who shows up or have a proven track record drawing fans for events without their team (all-star, international matches, foreign club preseason). But right now, it seems like it’s a hodge-podge of everything. So we have a playoff system that kinda rewards the higher seed but only for the conference final, a first round that sells tickets (2 games) and gives exposure but rewards weaker seeds, and a final that spreads the wealth but may not bring much passion to the match.

  96. Charles says:

    Awesome.

  97. DC Josh says:

    Conor Casey is a oaf. He should have been sent off with two yellow cards. Not sure why he was the MVP, were they scared to NOT name him the MVP?

    I can’t believe the Colorado Rapids are the MLS Champions. Were they the best team this season? No way Jose Canseco!

  98. JoeW says:

    I can’t believe all the whining. Great soccer it wasn’t. But then the first final (DCU over LAG in Boston in the freezing rain) was ugly and gutty. This was a close match in conditions that lended themselves to a lot of running around, poor touches, physical play, direct soccer. I’ve lost track of the number of finals (including WC finals–played in far better conditions) that were just butt-ugly soccer but were notable b/c of who was playing and what it took to get there.

    Congrats to Colorado on winning. They didn’t do this with smoke and mirrors but fairly. Congrats to FCD on an outstanding season and making the final. Unless they lose a critical piece like Ferreira or Hernandez or Hartmann, you have to like their chances again…young team, attractive style–they’re only going to get better.

    Now, here’s the bad news–later today, some of the players on both of these teams are going to find that they’re expansion bait (I wouldn’t be surprised if Kandji is one of those players). Always a tough transition–final in one breathe and “thanks but don’t let the door hit ya on the way out” the next.

  99. Dan in New York says:

    Mac Kandji awkwardly charges right at an defender in the box, instigates a flukey goal, and promptly gets injured and has to leave the game. Yup, that’s the Mac Kandji I remember from the Red Bulls.

  100. Dougs says:

    In defense of Toronto, last years final atmosphere at quest was no better even with more fans. No one cared and because the game was scheded for late Sunday night we all wanted to leave when it was tied in regulation. And the quality was no
    Ore memorable between LA and RSL.

    Not sure what the motive was for 10 team playoffs.
    Maybe mls wants to ensure as many larger
    Markets make it into the post season

  101. sarnold says:

    Not on Saturdays, when most of the games are played. If you can’t get from Downtown Dallas to Frisco in less than 30 minutes on a Saturday, then you’re riding a bicycle. The location sucks, but it’s not like it’s in Sherman

  102. Better Red says:

    Sucks, Dallas deserved to win they played the better game and got hosed by bad ref calls and two crappy goals. 10 teams make playoffs next year? Jesus Christ MLS!! What next the 6th seed wins the title next year!!

  103. RB says:

    “I can’t believe all the whining.”

    No kidding. I don’t hear this much of it when my son’s U14 team fails to get a better result. (Thankfully!)

    And it’s rather embarrassing for this league and the sport in terms of its image and so forth in the US when you compare such a reaction to the more level-headed and wisened-with-age sort of reaction of fans of other sports in the country…

  104. Jaspalg@inbox.com says:

    I got home from the game at 1:00am on a Sunday night and i drove, if i’d taken public transit it would’ve been 2:00am. I don’t blame anyone for leaving early if they had to go to work the next day, considering how poor the game was.

  105. K-Town says:

    Pizza Hut Park just needs a few upgrades even though it is only 5 years old. How about an overhead roof? I mean, if MLS is going to insist on Dallas playing in the summer during the afternoon when it is 100+ degrees, some shade would be nice for the few fans willing to brave that. Actually, night games during summer for hot climate teams and a roof anyways?

  106. MafiaLeagueSoccer says:

    Agree, little upset that Colorado won. They won by the ball bouncing their way…literaly…FCD kept most posession and for me dominated. They are just a funner team to watch, than the boring long ball and counter attack tactics of Colorado. Just compare in the manner both teams got to the final…that speaks for itself.

  107. k-town says:

    As a neutral fan watching, I have to say I actually enjoyed the whole game. But, the vibe in Toronto was sorry. I really hope the higher seeded team can get to play at home from now on. Only the super bowl is big enough to attract fans to a predetermined neutral site. And even then it is mostly rich corporate people there to watch the game. I mean, why would anyone in Toronto care to watch to western teams play? and apparently they didn’t.

  108. k-town says:

    +1 I don’t want Lalas messing with my team, but I really enjoy him for entertainment purposes.

  109. winchendonFC says:

    SAT > SUN

    No more sunday night MLS cups, please. Saturday afternoons/evenings make it much easier for supporters to make travel arrangements. I know a few suporters didnt make the trip because they couldnt get Monday off under such short notice.

  110. tampero813 says:

    Was the MTLxTOR hockey game the reason the league wanted the final on sunday, as opposed to saturday?

    Lame crowd but that was to be expected with all the Canuckistani indifference (the surrounding festivities/events seemed top-notch, though). About a 1/4 of the crowd bailed after halftime and I’m sure it had more to do with the late kickoff rather than lackluster play.

  111. GJJ says:

    The half empty stadium looked Mickey Mouse. I think the final should be played at the team that has the highest goal differential during the playoffs and if that’s a tie, then the team with the best regular season record. The idea of neutral sites is a horrid one. MLS is just not big enough yet to pull of a Super Bowl type of situation.

  112. green says:

    Sunday night, nearly a 9pm kick-off. . .
    to see who?

    Gee, I wonder why people didn’t attend.

  113. green says:

    It’s approaching midnight, hackfest, sloppy passes galore, have to go to work the next day. . .

    I’d leave too.

  114. chubbs says:

    As a Rapids fan, gotta say Im not too thrilled with how we won, but its a win, defense stuck it out and stopped the Dallas attack, playoff format sucked, blah blah blah, but if if anything, watching the look on Pablo’s face when he was handed the trophy was awesome, it was like watching a little kid again, really happy they finally got one for him, he means a lot to the Rapids organization

  115. Paul says:

    That game was a disgrace. Poor play, even worse officiating. Since when are strikers (say, Kandji) allowed to throw defenders over?. Then there was John Harkes’s commentary.

    A showcase of the beautiful game this was not.

  116. irishfootballer says:

    Too bad it was not LA vs. New York, then it would have been a proper final.

  117. James Foster Bryant says:

    MLS Playoffs = Spoiled leftovers at dinner time. I’m a Chicago Fire fan, but they really shouldv’e just given LA the league title because they had the best record over the 30-game season. The MLS Cup is just a tournament with an additional 4-5 undeserving teams getting a shot at undesrved glory, therefore making the MLS look like a “Mickey Mouse” League where everyone’s dreams may come true if they wish upon a star, like Julian Baudet did last night.

  118. Peter Pan! says:

    Maybe the 10th perhaps, Tee Hee!! :)

  119. Tractor says:

    At halftime, I switched over to check in on the Giants-Eagles game. I’m not a fan of either of those teams, and it wasn’t a very compelling game, but I simply FORGOT to ever go back to watch the second half of the final. Okay, so maybe I have memory issues, but man did that game have soccer issues!

  120. Supsam says:

    Gee, i was referring to the ppl who were doing this to protest MLSE. Not the ones that just didnt want to go.

  121. Supsam says:

    And the WC Final was a showcase of the beautiful game? W/ all those quality players on the pitch, it still turned into an ugly game with horrible officiating (De Jong should have been sent off)

  122. GJJ says:

    I spoke with a few guys this morning who agreed that the neutral site format is not good for an MLS final. If you agree, or disagree, and want to let the league know what you think; you can email them at feedback@mlsnet.com.

  123. Scott A says:

    Can’t decide if I was more irritated by Toledo’s handling of the physical play or players on both sides bitching after everything.