Happy Friday to you. The week of MLS action saw two wild card matches which dictated the terms of the playoffs. We have now determined two new match ups with worthwhile storylines.
The Two Big Clubs: Thanks to a mid-week victory over FC Dallas, the New York Red Bulls have booked their ticket to a showdown with the regular season champs. The LA Galaxy will be taking on New York in what promises to be a battle of stars and fireworks. These two teams are predisposed to have some sort of drama and their history promises goals and impressive play.
The Galaxy will be hoping Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan are fully healthy by the time the match starts while New York is definitely going to be missing players. The mid-week match saw Jan Gunnar Solli receive a red card for a two footed tackle. Additionally Luke Rodgers health is debatable as we last heard he had fluid in his knee. Still, whether it's the DP money or the glamour and the glitz that comes with the names Galaxy and Red Bull, we'll see an exciting series. It's the second season, New York's awfully embarrassing run can be forgotten. Anything can happen.
Colorado Gets It Done: Colorado, the defending MLS Cup Champions were able to hold and defeat Columbus by a goal to see themselves through. It was Omar Cummings booking a ticket to 'Blue Hell' where they will face Sporting Kansas City. Perhaps the most encouraging was that it was Cummings who scored. The off-form striker has had trouble finishing for months, but last night he made no mistake in burying his shot which was the result of a team buildup. If Colorado can keep that team play up then Sporting will have their hands full. SKC has been sharp these past few months but as I said before. Anything can happen.
Real Salt Lake and Seattle: I'm almost dissapointed that these two teams are facing eachother so early. There are a lot of similarities in these two organizations. Both have a passionate fanbase who support their teams fiercely. Both share players who place the team above themselves and are lead by powerful personalities who keep the group together. Most importantly though, each team has a front office and ownership group who genuinely care about their players, fans and team. There has been a healthy bit of smack talk in the twitter-verse and around the internet, but nothing so demeaning that it cant be chalked up to passion among fans. (Essentially no ridiculous bus vandalism...cough cough Colorado fans.)
Houston and Philadelphia: Union fans are another of those passionate fan bases which will support their team through thick and thin. That much has been evident as the Union have teased us with greatness and tortured us with the lowest of lows this season. Houston is a team that is just as hard to predict. Dom Kinnear leads his men into battle with experience and calm. It'll be interesting to see what happens with this group. I'd doubt if either team makes much noise in the playoffs, but you never know. As they say in the playoffs. Anything can happen...