The international break made this weekend rather dull for this soccer fan. No MLS Cup Playoffs (presented by AT&T--can't forget that), no European soccer--just some time watching Colombia beat a pesky USA team in Craven Cottage (why, pray tell, did that game take place in England).
But the MLS Cup Playoffs (again, presented by AT&T) are back with some intriguing matchups: New England vs. New York in the East, and LA Galaxy vs. Seattle in the West. In a poll taken a few weeks ago, many of you BW readers noted you'd still watch playoffs, even though the Rapids would not participate.
So why should the Final Four interest Rapids fans?
- You get to watch two legends play, one for the last time, the other likely for the last time. Regardless of what you think of the Galaxy's Landon Donovan or RBNY's Thierry Henry, they stand tall as legends (with Henry standing tall on both sides of the pond). With this writer being a die-hard Arsenal fan, seeing Henry end with an MLS Cup Trophy is appealing! They've done much for MLS--we must give them props for that.
- Bradley Wright-Phillips is a goal-scoring machine. Yes, Henry was disappointed in the record-breaking goal-scorer BWP, saying he should have had 50, but he also believed that he should win the MVP. One wonders if the Rapids can find someone to provide more service to Deshorn Brown or Gabriel Torres (should he remain with the club), that we could have either one of them in the high-teens in goal scoring.
- The Revolution could rain on the Donovan going-away party. Man, did they look impressive against Crew SC! Another MVP candidate, Lee Nguyen, will be on display. Charlie Davies, Teal Bunbury, and Jermaine Jones will make this Eastern Conference Finals a beauty. Even Robert Kraft might start giving them some attention!
- ... That is, if Donovan can get past Seattle. The Galaxy looked awful a month ago in a home-and-away mess against the Sounders. Of course, we all know you can throw the playoffs out the window. I confess, as a Rapids fan, I hope they both lose, but Seattle looks strong enough to take the Triple at this point.
- The weather in the Eastern Conference Finals. It's late November and Mr. Polar Vortex is making an extended visit. How that will affect the next two weekends, we'll never now. But will we have a #snowclasico in New England?