Ms Killion, you are so predictable

My favorite humor writer in NoCal does it again. I had to laugh when I read this.

But in retrospect, it all seems like a setup. The reward for the Earthquakes’ outstanding season was an opening game at Los Angeles. They were playing an absurd format that sent the best team on the road to start. The Galaxy, of course, is the pet team of the Anschutz Entertainment Group, the owners that want to get rid of the Earthquakes.

And the Earthquakes were playing against their former star teammate, Landon Donovan.

“Landon knows how to rise to the occasion,” Kinnear said.

And Donovan rose — with two goals in the first leg, then doing just enough Saturday night, with an assist for the only goal the Galaxy needed to seal its series victory.

One can almost imagine the AEG executives laughing maniacally as they watched. Their evil plan had worked to perfection!

But no matter what AEG wants — and, apparently, it wants to dump the Earthquakes in some soccer outpost — league officials watching the game had to see the value of the San Jose Earthquakes.

I wanted to post her entire ed/op piece…but figured that section alone was plenty…but go ahead and read the whole thing…it’s funny.

Now, the “chip on the shoulder”–“ugly red-headed step-child” act is getting a bit old. Fact is, AEG are a business and they are in business for one purpose, to make money. Fans in NoCal may think LA get favorable treatment, but it comes at a price…a hefty one every time a Galaxy fans enters the HDC and decided to buy a beer, or a dog…or anything for that matter. It costs some serious coin to be a Galaxy fan.

In addition, yeah your boy Landon is a sore subject…and will probably continue to me. Thing is, he had to earn the respect he now receives from Galaxy fans. If you had done a poll of Galaxy fans this time last year, at best they would have said they’d take him on the team…but with reservations. Honestly though, even though Landon did score a couple goals in the first leg, he didn’t win the series single-handedly. I’d say Pablo Nagamura was much more an MVP the way he shut down San Jose’s new poster boy, Dwayne DeRosario. On top of that, key players like Cobi Jones, Kevin Hartman, Tyrone Marshall and Peter Vaganes were in Galaxy colors long before AEG bought the team. So, that argument doesn’t really hold water anyway.

Fact is, and I said this yesterday, one team did what it had to move on in the playoffs, yours didn’t. Now, that’s two competitions LA knocked San Jose out of this year. Where were your excuses when LA moved on in the Open Cup after winning at Spartan?

As for the “absurd format” of the playoffs? I don’t recall many complaints about it in past seasons when the blue boys lifted the Cup. I didn’t seem many complaints about the playoff format then. The playoffs do seem to be getting quite a bit of negative media right now. I’ve always thought it would be best if MLS had a home and home best goal series to decided the Champion, but I won’t go into why that’ll never happen right now.

I’d thought about doing some research to see how the playoffs have performed over the years…but I’m too lazy. Thankfully, Scaryice did it for me.

Over three years, 8 of 12 favorites have advanced in the quarterfinals under the aggregate system. How is that “making a mockery” of the regular season? You can’t just look at this year’s results. I don’t know how deeply you analyze the stats, but I have some numbers for you. Looking at all previous MLS playoff matchups, the higher seeds advanced the following percentage of times:

Best 2/3: 71% (17 of 24)
First to 5: 72% (13 of 18)
Aggregate: 67% (8 of 12)
Single game: 62% (8 of 13)

It’s virtually the same. The higher seeded teams are not at a disadvantage. It’s true that they don’t have quite the advantage they did under the previous systems, but the tradeoff in knowing the playoff dates for scheduling/tv purposes is worth it (or you’d be seeing lower attendances).

Thanks Scaryice. You proved what I believed to be true all along. What you do in the regular season does give a bit of help in the playoffs, but you still need to show up on the day of the playoffs if you are going to succeed.

Funny thing, no one complained about the playoff format 2 years ago when LA blew a 4-0 aggregate lead with 60 minutes left…I seem to recall the San Jose media were the first to hail the match the greatest MLS match ever. Boy things sure change with things don’t go your way.

To be honest, I enjoy the LA-San Jose matches. Seriously, it’s the only rivalry with a great history and the playoff matches this season have only added to that history. I hope we won’t be seeing the Houston Smurfs next season. Funny thing though, rumor has it, when Herculez Gomez when to shake Dominic Kinnear’s hand after the match on Saturday, Kinnear refused to shake his hand.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

To which, my boy Herc replied, “ok, I’ll see you in Houston next season.” The kid is more Mr. Galaxy thank Landon or Cobi these days. Sure, this adds more fuel to the fire. Of course, I can’t verify the accuracy of this whole exchange, but I wouldn’t discount it too quickly.

Anyway, on to Denver this weekend. I can’t believe I’m having trouble getting to the game at this point. We are having trouble finding a babysitter for 6-month old Little PZ. Hopefully we can work things out by Saturday so I can join the fans heading to Invesco from SoCal. I’m reading that the Rapids are trying to overturn Nkong’s Red Card. Sorry, but I can’t see any reason why they would. I saw it. Yes, it wasn’t intentional, but he did have his elbow out. He could do the same thing another 100 times and it wouldn’t have been seen, but it was this time. If you are going to go for the ball with your elbows out, it’s the risk you take.

Ok, so maybe I should look for something on the Revs-Chicago match this weekend…maybe tomorrow.

Who’d have thought the playoffs could be so fun?

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4 responses to “Ms Killion, you are so predictable

  1. Herc was caught diving too much; the exchange occurred during the game- I watched it all. LA earned the win but they dove way too much-It didn’t affect the outcome- LA fought hard for their advantage and rode it to victory in somewhat the same way that San Jose beat New England a month ago; frustrated Revs were adamant about how they were the better team…not that day…and unfortunately for my Quakes San Jose may have been the better team after the first half of the first match BUT not much better…and the result was fair in that LA so thoroughly whipped SJ in that decisive first half…I knew we had time to come back, but 2-2 does not a comeback make!

    As for the US Open Cup? San Jose played a few reserves for that match and Herc scored two nice goals before 5000 at Spartan…We brought one back but couldn’t find the second…MORE IMPORTANTLY, SAN JOSE WON the most critical home match of the season JUST 3 DAYS LATER defeating LA 2-1 BEFORE 24,000 fans and all but wrapping up the Western Conference 1st place as a result…THAT WAS WAY MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE US Open and EVERYONE KNOWS THAT! For the most part San Jose chose its battles well and the Galaxy know they defeated a good team.

    As for Ann Killion: She voices the frustration of many of us…hell yes we’re whining and we see the world through blue tinted glasses BUT isn’t our league and our California Clasico better off for having San Jose? Donovan, by the way was the best we ever had and truthfully almost every die hard I know roots for him for the National Team; he’s just the poster boy representing how the league has failed to support us: He receives all our NOT SO pent up frustration…BUT MLS has issues supporting ALL of its markets- Its not that we’re the ONLY red headed step child- its more of an issue that TOO MANY NON-SOCCER people are too heavily involved with running our soccer league- You know that, right? There is a place for business and balancing books, but look at the passion! I’m ticked at losing BUT I’ll shake hands with the LA fans I see at MLS Cup…yeah, I’ll be there, for the 4th year in a row…because its OUR Super Bowl…I just hope I represent a team AND NOT JUST A MEMORY!

  2. Kinnear kicked the ball at Herc while Herc was lying on the ground after a foul. Herc then went over to shake his hand – in the photo you can see that Kinnear is on the sideline, so it’s not after the game at all.

  3. Thanks for your comments folks. I’m the first to agree that San Jose had a good season. They did this with a very blue collar squad. I have given Kinnear props on here several times this season for putting together such a strong squad and taking the Supporters Shield. In fact, I wish Sampson (or whoever eventually replaces him) takes note and realizes that having the majority of your salary cap tied up by a couple of star players leaving you with no squad depth isn’t going to get you very far over the course of a 32 match season. The results this season between LA and San Jose prove that point…at least they do in my view.

    Oh, and I had no hesitation voting Dom for the top spot in the BASA Coach of the Year Awards. He earned it.

    However, MLS is won by the team who does the best in the playoffs. Granted, I’m the first to admit that LA were fortunate to make the playoffs, but they did enough (just) to make it. They also did the business when it was needed in the playoffs. Maybe some players had to turn it on, but they did it…just like in the Open Cup where it’s win or go home. There’s no tomorrow and no chance to turn around a poor spell. You may not see the correlation there, but I do.

    As for my beefs with Ms. Killion, I really wish she’d take a more objective view of what is really going on with your team. Ranting like some BigSoccer poster really isn’t going to accomplish much. Her pieces have become so predictable these days that it’s really becoming a joke to those of us outside the Bay Area…well, it is to me anyway.

    Has San Jose been given a fair shake? Maybe not. But for a long time not one seemed to care about the team. The stadium the last few years has been empty and how long did AEG spend looking for a location to build a stadium? If memory serves, they seemed to look at a lot of locations, but property values in the Bay Area make things difficult. AEG were fortunate to find CSUDH willing to give the land at a reasonable rate. If someone were to come forward with a similar offer up there, I’m willing to bet that AEG would jump at the chance of creating additional revenue streams…after all, that’s what they do best. Oh, and Landon is Landon. Hate him all you want…he did what he wanted and AEG didn’t pull the strings to make the move to LA happen until he wanted to move. Ya can’t blame AEG there….but the move sure does add some to the rivalry.

    As for the incident between Herc and Kinnear, I saw him on the ground and the ball kicked at him (I watched on TV) and didn’t see who kicked it. If it was Kinnear, that was an asshole move by him. He needs to take some responsibility for those actions. That was hit with a bit more pace than you’d expect someone just returning the ball. But it’s over.

    Yeah, Herc does dive a bit, but so does Alejandro Morano…I’ve always said (and still maintain) that Donovan dives every bit as much as Fish (Carlos Ruiz) did. I’ve never said there wasn’t too much diving in general in this league. So what? If the officials are going to call the dives, why not take the chance? Your beef should be with the level of officiating rather than the players? Bottom line, LA-SJ matches are physical affairs. There are always plenty of legitimate fouls. They are tough to call…and if you can get an extra one (or three) by going over easy, well, it’s part of the game.

  4. Shouldn’t you print a retraction or edit your piece about Kinnear avoiding the LA player after the match? I’ve never seen an opposing coach shake the hand of a player leaving the field during a heated match. Your rumor is wrong and should be corrected in the initial piece.

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