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MLS Cup 2010

The Run to the Cup

Bit of good news

In case anyone was paying attention. Toronto FC actually finished the season with a win. A glimmer of light after a long trip through a tunnel of misery. Dwayne De Rosario scored twice as the Reds came from behind to defeat D.C. United in a meaningless game. No relevance in outcome, perhaps, but it was a smidgen of positivity for all of us. It closed out the most disappointing Toronto FC season of the four, and I’m happy it’s over.

Klinsmann to direct the changes?

With 2010 behind us now, we can all start to follow the soap opera of restructuring that will be TFC’s off-season. This week’s rumours included the assertion that Jürgen Klinsmann was going to be retained as a consultant in rebuilding soccer operations. That definitely wouldn’t hurt, and certainly seems a lot better than the pessimist’s hunch that MLSE would name another under-qualified Director to the job. Klinsmann brings real experience, knowledge of the game in Europe, North America and the world stage. One can only hope they give him lots of control over the process and that he brings some wisdom and inspiration to the task of selecting the next regime.

Back to the pitch

It’s been an exciting first week of MLS playoffs. At least two of the games would have confounded odds makers. Colorado opened the show by defeating Columbus, while FC Dallas defeated Real Salt Lake. Less surprisingly, NY Red Bulls took down San Jose and Los Angeles defeated Seattle.  With a two game format, home and home, the results could all be reversed next week. San Jose would be the least likely to turn the table, as they have to beat the Red Bulls at home to alter their destiny. The same is true of Seattle, though LA’s record at home might leave some opportunity for that reversal. Smart money would have it that Columbus and Real Salt Lake can make strong statements by snapping back with some authority on their home turf.

Closing out the season, it looked  to me that NY might have bought the cup by creating the Designated Player arms race. But parity is a strong feature of the MLS, and the top tier of this bunch looks to be a competitive lot. I’m sure the MLS brass would love to see a NY vs LA final. There are, however, a few contenders with the capacity of spoiling the party. Dallas or Salt Lake have game, and Columbus always has a chance. And nobody should count out Seattle. I thought the first four games would give me insight into calling this contest. It hasn’t. And so there it is… a fence sitter I remain.

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