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.
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?