The Dumb: We have the New York Red Bulls, a team from the Far East, playing in the Western Conference playoff bracket, and the Colorado Rapids playing in the “Eastern” Conference, which actually looks more like the “Central” Conference, if you ignore Philadelphia. Most New Yorkers do. So being in the East this year is more like sticking around the neighborhood. Kansas City isn’t so far away, neither is Houston for that matter. Meanwhile, Los Angeles, the team with a bazillion points, is now forced to fly to New York on short notice, where it will be snowing and raining this weekend, to play the first game.
More Dumb: what is up with this playoff schedule? The teams are now forced to play 3 games in one week. Everyone plays this weekend, then jumps on planes and plays mid-week, then the remaining teams jump on more planes and play next weekend. Then the two finalists have to hang around, losing fitness for two weeks, before the actual Championship match.
Follow-up Dumb: Thanks to not having a single table playoff bracket, the Rapids with the same or more points and tie breaker advantage, are considered the lower seed compared to Houston and Philadelphia. Well, let’s not go there yet. Essentially it means there will be one, and only one, more game at DSGP this season.
The Bad: Jamie Smith’s injury. I can safely say we all wish him the very best and a quick recovery, just like Kandji. Of the starting 11 for last year’s Championship match, they’re now missing: Jamie Smith, Conor Casey, Anthony Wallace and likely Pablo Mastroeni. Fortunately they have players who weren’t even on the roster last year, notably Nyassi, Marshall and Comminges. But Jamie Smith will be missed. He was contributing a lot of good stuff last night.
- Omar’s goal, his first ever in playoffs. He was just chillin’ back there, waiting for Kosuke to notice and send him the ball.
- Brian Mullan: as Gary Smith noted, post game, Brian was playing with unmatched passion. He clearly wanted to win; he was everywhere.
- The Fans: Here’s what Smith said about us:
“It’s great, you know? Of course we’d love to fill the stadium every week but that’s not the reality. I have to say, though, that the fans who turned up tonight made a lot of noise, they were very vocal, they got behind the team really nicely and, at important times, put some weight behind the decisions, and that’s all you can ask, and hopefully we gave them a good show and a victory, I’m sure, sent them away very happy.”
We “put some weight behind the decisions” – meaning, the Crew’s decisions in run of play? Or the ref’s decisions with our overwhelming show of yellow cards? Yes we left very happy, it was enormously entertaining and High Drama from the get go. Fortunately all those missed shots didn’t come back to haunt the team, like a Halloween apparition. And from what I understand, fan antics were coming in loud and clear on the TV broadcast. Keep up the good work fans, and save your voices for Sunday evening.