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MLS Cup Final: Match Night Commentary

MLSCup2010

The Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas are meeting tonight in the MLS Cup Final at BMO Field in Toronto (8:30pm, ESPN).

The Rapids come in having qualified through the Eastern Conference, while FC Dallas battled through the brutally tough Western Conference to secure its first berth in the MLS Cup Final.

I will be providing commentary throughout the night so please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today's commentary is after the jump):

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FINAL- That's all for me. Thanks for following along tonight and be sure to look out for our extensive post-game coverage of MLS Cup on SBI. 

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FINAL– It wasn't pretty by any means, but Colorado had more heart and simply did enough to win. Two ugly goals but a lot of tough soccer. Dallas had plenty of chances, but couldn't deliver the win it was expected to. 

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FINAL– Colorado 2, FC Dallas 1. The Rapids are your 2010 MLS Cup champions. No, I didn't see that one coming. Not many people did. 

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124th Minute– WOW, Cunningham has a shot cleared off the line by Moor. WOW.

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123rd Minute– OFFSIDE stops Dallas. WOW, frantic ending here.

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122nd Minute– three minutes of stoppage time running out now.

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121st Minute– SAVE PICKENS!!! John shot saved. WOW. What a play to dive to his right and make the right-handed stop.

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120th Minute– Dallas has a corner cleared. One minute left.

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119th Minute– Pickens with a fairly easy save as Dallas is running out of time.

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118th Minute– Casey and John with a nasty collision as John headed Casey's face. Casey is up but he looks dazed.

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115th Minute– IHEMELU HIGH!!! Wow, what a clear look for Ihemelu, who shanked a pass from Ferreira. Golden chance wasted.

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113th Minute– Colorado is down a man but looking pretty good considering.

Conor Casey is the man of the match right now. Scored the first, helped set up the second, committed about 10 fouls.

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112th Minute– Kandji has been carried to the locker room and Dallas will finish this game a man up on 10-man Colorado.

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11th Minute– Colorado is out of subs, meaning they'll be down a man if Kandji can't recover. He's on th sideline testing out the leg. 

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110th Minute– Kandji is injured and carried off, but not before Dallas players rip him for feigning injury.

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109th Minute– That's an own goal. Kandji's attempted cross deflected off George John and beat Hartman. TOUGH. 

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108th Minute- GOAL RAPIDS!!!! And it's Macoumba Kandji with the finish!!! Wow. What a move to get free and beat Hartman. WOW. Rapids up 2-1.

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106th Minute– We're underway again.

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OVERTIME HALFTIME– Still 1-1. Fifteen more minutes to go before PKs, unless someone scores. 

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105th Minute– Avila is in for Chavez.

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105th Minute– Are we looking at a second-straight PK shootout in the MLS Cup Final? I really hope not.

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103rd Minute– Thanks to all of you who have followed tonight, and have followed SBI's extensive MLS Cup coverage all weekend. Special thanks to SBI staff writers Avi Creditor, Adam Serrano, Travis Clark and Jose Romero for coming to Toronto and kicking ass.

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101st Minute– Colorado looking better right now. Is Dallas running out of gas?

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100th Minute– Kandji playing in his second MLS Cup Final in three seasons (with NY in 2008). Will he be on the winning end this time?

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98th Minute– Mac Kandji is in for Omar Cummings. Kandji is a tricky player, and he made his PK against Columbus.

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96th Minute– Colorado has Drew Moor at left back now, with Baudet in central defense. Moor can deliver a good cross so look out for him.

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94th Minute– If it goes to PKs, you have to like Hartman's chances over Pickens.

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91st Minute– Overtime is underway. Who delivers the winner?

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END OF REGULATION– FC Dallas 1, Colorado 1. We're headed for overtime. 

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92nd Minute– Julien Baudet is on for Anthony Wallace.

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90th Minute– We look headed for a 30-minute overtime.

Two minutes of stoppage time. 

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85th Minute– Frantic moments in Colorado's penalty area as Dallas looks for a winner. Has shot blocked and cleared. 

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84th Minute– And Conor Casey finally gets a yellow after he and Benitez go at it again.

Gotta give Daniel Hernandez credit for playing on a bad knee. He's not moving well now, but still delivering good passes.

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81st Minute– Marvin Chavez is off the field, not sure if it's cramps or what. He's on the sidelines and Dallas are a man down for now. He ran back on the field.

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75th Minute– Wynne called for the foul and is lucky not to get a yellow for dissent. I rip MLS refs all the time but I don't have a problem with Toledo tonight. He's been solid.

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73rd Minute– Dallas on the attack again, with a shot blocked by Larentowicz. BIG BLOCK. Dangerous moments for Colorado there. Dallas showing more life now.

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66th Minute– Harris on the right and Chavez on the left for Dallas now, with Cunningham and Ferreira working up top. Will Colorado be able to cope with the changes?

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64th Minute– Jeff Cunningham comes in for Brek Shea and a round of boos ring out at BMO Field. Classic.

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63rd Minute– SAVE HARTMAN!!! Diving stop on a Larentowicz free kick blast. WOW, what a clutch stop.

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61st Minute– Some handbags after Casey hit Hernandez with a hard foul. Hernandez doesn't take that stuff. Still surprised Casey fouled Hernandez AND McCarty and gets no card.

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59th Minute– At what point does Hyndman consider putting in Cunningham?

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57th Minute– The play started with a poor clearance by Loyd, which found Smith, who whipped in a cross to Casey. Hartman came out but lost the ball and Casey pounced. Here we go. 

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56th Minute- GOAL RAPIDS!!!! It's Casey with the finish off a spilled ball from Pickens. WE ARE TIED!!

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55th Minute– Still waiting for Colorado to take it to Dallas. Right now you'd think the game was still tied the way the Rapids look.

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53rd Minute– Shanked clearance by Pickens leads to corner. Get the feeling Dallas could find a second goal real soon here.

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51st Minute– Jamie Smith with a yellow card for Colorado.  Tough challenge there on McCarty.

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46th Minute– We're back.

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HALFTIME– FC Dallas 1, Rapids 0. Not the prettiest half of soccer, but a beautiful goal on a cold night and now Colorado will be forced to go after it in the second half, which could lead to a more wide-open match against a Dallas team that is simply incapable of bunkering down. 

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45th Minute– Casey and John with a HARD clash. Both go down but both are up now.

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44th Minute– SAVE PICKENS on a HARD Chavez blast from distance. Great shot and tough save.

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42nd Minute– Dallas corner.

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40th Minute– Wallace with a yellow card for a foul. Might force him to slow down.

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38th Minute– Colorado will be forced to attack more now, which should open the game up, though the Rapids will surely be patience. No panic from them, but Dallas only knows how to attack and will keep on coming.

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37th Minute– What a long pass from Benitez to Chavez across the field, and the speedy winger finds the space for a whipped cross and Ferreira showed why he's MLS MVP with a classy finish.

WHOA, Rapids nearly respond with a shot from Cummings.

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35th Minute- GOAL DALLAS!!!! And it's David Ferreira with the finish off a great cross from Chavez. Wow, what a great cross and volley finish. DALLAS 1, RAPIDS 0.

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33rd Minute– Zach Loyd is coming in for Jackson Goncalves, who is hurt. Loyd is a rookie who's a strong and athletic defender, though not as dangerous going forward.

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31st Minute– Harris earns a corner for Dallas after Wallace did well to hold up Chavez.

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28th Minute– Rapids complain about no PK call after Casey trips over Jair Benitez. Benitez was on the ground and Casey fell over him.

What do you think folks? PK or not? Casey looked to drag his leg a bit. While it could have been called a penalty, Casey could have been called for a foul just before that.

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26th Minute– Yes, it was probably wishful thinking to believe we'd get four goals today. It's a tough, battling game. Dallas is at least starting to wake up a bit offensively.

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20th Minute– Still waiting for Dallas' dynamic attack to show up. You really get the sense the cold weather has them a bit bothered. Rapids look more comfortable right now.

Dallas corner.

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18th Minute– Wallace looks sharp tonight. You can tell he's excited to face his old team in a final.

David Ferreira gets up slowly after a clash with Patt Pickens. Dallas whips an in-swinger into the area but Brek Shea can't connect on an open volley.

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16th Minute– Wynne with a nice step up to halt a Dallas foray into the area. Rapids look a bit more confident and aggressive right now.

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14th Minute– BMO Field is suffering a bit from Red BullArena-itis, plenty of empty seats on big stadium logo area, but more filled out elsewhere. It's not packed to the gills, but still a good turnout considering the circumstances.

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12th Minute– Larentowicz is off to a strong start, while McCarty is also buzzing around for Dallas.You also can see why Atiba Harris makes thing tough for defenders. He's not a great attacking threat, but he's always buzzing and going in hard on challenges of defenders.

Casey fouls Hernandez for a free kick near midfield.

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9th Minute– Colorado looks better early on, though neither team has really gotten going yet. The teams look like they're trying to warm up right now.The wind is making it MUCH colder than the temp reading.

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8th Minute– HARTMAN SAVE, a rather easy stop of a Mullan shot for Hartman's first real test.

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3rd Minute– Baldomero Toledo is your ref today, meaning we will see a tightly called match, though not outrageous cards. Larentowicz already took Toledo out early on so maybe that sends a message to Toledo to call it loosely.

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1st Minute- We're off and Atiba Harris sends a header just wide only seconds into the match. 

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PRE-GAME– If you're following along tonight, please let me know and tell me where you're following from.

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PRE-GAME– There is a GREAT crowd for this game tonight. Toronto FC fans deserve all the credit in the world tonight. They came out and represented Toronto well. Could very have easily stayed away after another disappointing season for TFC.

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PRE-GAME– Teams are taking the field. Anthems are coming up. Crowd is filling out nicely.

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PRE-GAME– Who does everybody have winning tonight? I have picked FC Dallas to win, 3-1. Here are the rest of the SBI predictions:

Avi Creditor- FC Dallas, 2-1

Travis Clark- FC Dallas 3-1

Adam Serrano- Colorado Rapids, 2-1

Jose Romero- FC Dallas, 1-0

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PRE-GAME– Can Colorado contain David Ferreira? Will Dallas' defense be able to stop Omar Cummings? Those questions will determine the outcome tonight.

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PRE-GAME– Tonight's match set for 8:55pm kickoff, so we've still got some time to kill.

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PRE-GAME– BMO Field is filling out, with lots of fans in black. Not sure if that's a protest move or if that's just the color of choice when it's too cold to feel your face and hands.

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PRE-GAME– It's FREEZING COLD at BMO Field.

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PRE-GAME– Jamie Smith in the lineup over Wells Thompson. No other real surprises. Dallas goes with Harris over Cunningham again.

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PRE-GAME– Heath Pearce is not in uniform tonight. He said he felt fine in fitness tests but Dallas chose to use the roster spot elsewhere. With Zach Loyd providing cover, Dallas has some options at right back. Still a shame considering the strong year Pearce had.

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PRE-GAME– Here are the starting lineups:

FC DALLAS

—————Harris————–

Shea———Ferreira—–Chavez

——–Hernandez—McCarty—-

Benitez—John—-Ihemelu—Jackson

—————Hartman—————–

RAPIDS

———–Casey—–Cummings———

Smith—————————–Mullan

——–Mastroeni—-Larentowicz——

Wallace—-Moor—-Wynne——-Kimura

—————–Pickens——————-

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PRE-GAME– Good evening everybody. Thanks for following along tonight. Here's hoping for an entertaining game.

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