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MLS Playoff Ticker: Shea to the bench, Crew inks backup keeper and more

Photo by Nick Turchiaro/

Brek Shea spent the bulk of the 2010 Major League Soccer season breaking out as a major contributor to the FC Dallas attack. His play was so solid that it even earned him a call-up for the United States' friendly against Colombia earlier this month.

It appears as if he'll be starting the MLS playoffs on the bench.

Schellas Hyndman is reportedly going to start Marvin Chavez on the left wing and keep Shea as an option off the bench in FCD's playoff opener against Real Salt Lake. Shea hasn't started since Sept. 16, when he was sent off for a harsh challenge in Dallas' draw with the New York Red Bulls. He had five goals and four assists on the year.

Here are a couple of more notes regarding MLS playoff teams:


With the season-ending injury to Will Hesmer, the Columbus Crew is a bit shorthanded at goalkeeper. Backup Andy Gruenebaum will be getting the start for Robert Warycha's side in Hesmer's stead, but that didn't stop the team from signing an emergency backup to a short-term contract.

Columbus signed Chase Harrison, who spent the last month of the season as a backup with D.C. United but did not see any game time. Harrison, a lower-division journeyman throughout his professional career, played for the Richmond Kickers and Crystal Palace Baltimore this season.


Real Salt Lake's Will Johnson, one of the more under-the-radar midfielders in MLS, strained his hamstring in training on Tuesday and, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, coach Jason Kreis said that Johnson is "day-to-day as to whether he'll be available for this weekend."


A number of professional athletes in Colorado were featured in a video to rally around the Rapids ahead of their playoff opener against Columbus.

The Denver Nuggets' Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin and Nene and Denver Broncos rookie Tim Tebow were among the many that vocalized their support of the team. Take a look at the video:



Do you think Shea should be starting for FCD, or is Hyndman doing the right thing? Do you see goalkeeping as a major problem for the Crew against the Rapids? Do you think losing Johnson would be a big loss for RSL? Happy to see the MLS playoffs drumming up some buzz in Colorado?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I couldn’t agree more. Morales and Beckerman get a huge amount of praise for the performance of the RSL midfield, (for good reason), but in my eyes Johnson is just as important. His tireless workrate and passion would be sorely missed. However, if he can’t go, then it will fall to guys like Andy Williams and Ned Grabavoy to step up…just like they did in MLS cup…

  2. Denver is a great sports town.. when it comes to playoffs. Just look at the Nugs, Aves and Rockies attendances in playoff years vs. non-playoff years. I hope that carries over to the Rapids and we see a full house tomorrow (with Billups in the front row!)

    One thing thats getting to me is that everyone (including the Rapids FO) keep saying “first playoff game” it the first game in the new stadium but i believe they have gone to the playoffs 9 times including this year, including one final!

  3. You have to admit ?

    No,I CAN’T admit that.

    It sounds boring. In spite of having the best second half of the season, the Sounders were out of that race in June. Not just about playoff revenue, which is very little, I would never buy season tickets if that were the case.

  4. I’ll admit to being a homer, but you have to admit all the playoff teams are capable of playing either very well or very poorly on any given night. If MLS really cared about who was best through year, and cared less about the revenue playoff games generate, they’d award the title to top of table and be done with it.

  5. Gotta love the generic responses. Thanks, Tim Tebow.

    Kobe Bryant actually goes to the Galaxy games. Beat that, Denver! (wait, Kobe in Denver… sore subject).

  6. Nice little video, (why don’t we ever see any of those guys at DSG Park) but let’s be serious. The Crew are going to handily beat the Rapids.

  7. If Johnson is a no-go for RSL that is a big blow for RSL. Johnson is a true end-to-end midfielder who is fantastically defensively but can get forward and create. He’s a key cog in the RSL midfield.

  8. You have to understand that sportstalk guys are too busy to learn about soccer since it doesn’t seem as manly as they’d like it to be. Also, they are too busy repressing the fact that every American Football play begins with one man’s hands up against another burly man’s mancave waiting for the ball and the plays all end with two or more men rolling around on the ground in a small pile.

  9. Last night, 104.3 The Fan actually interview Pablo for a good ten minutes. I couldn’t believe it! I bet if the Rapids won the playoffs, they might get an interview for twenty minutes. Pathetic. It takes them getting to the playoffs for the sports writers to acknowledge them. Sad.

  10. At least one Denver team is top draw this year!

    You can tell Peter Budaj is a soccer fan. And while I totally appreciate the solidarity shown here in the video, something about Chauncey Billups’ smile is… unsettling.

  11. Thus making Tim Tebow the most famous person to ever acknowledge the existence of Major League Soccer.

    And yes, I do know that championship teams have met the president.


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