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MLS Playoffs: FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake (Your Running Commentary)

DAL_Primary_COL   RSL_Primary_COL

Real Salt Lake embarks on its MLS Cup title defense in a place it has never won, facing FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park in the first leg of their highly anticipated playoff series (5 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

These teams proved to be evenly matched in the regular season, with each posting a 2-0 result at its respective home park in their two meetings. If you haven't gotten a chance to read SBI's preview of the series, check it out here.

If you will be watching the match, please feel free to share any thoughts, opinions and play-by-play in the comments section below. Enjoy the action!


  1. I think a better question is the reverse of the one that you’re asking — that is, what are the advantages that a single table offers over a playoff-style championship? Leagues have to select a mechanism for crowning a champion, but I don’t know that there is an inherent advantage to one or the other. You’re right that moving away from a single table makes the regular season title less meaningful, but that’s why the league has playoffs. Why is that a problem? Just because European leagues do it differently?

    I think that an imbalanced schedule has a number of advantages. It allows the league to continue expanding without forcing the addition of lots of extra games. This is important for the reasons discussed above (travel costs, etc.) as well as preventing the season from getting even longer (the Premier League runs from August through May for a 38-game schedule, which doesn’t seem practical given the number of other sports leagues in the US) and enabling teams to focus on competitions outside the league (CCL, US Open Cup, etc).

    Ultimately I don’t think it matters one way or the other which mechanism the league chooses. People are fans of the sport, not the format.

  2. I’ll say it again. Relocate any team that can’t afford plane tickets.

    Saying only two MLS teams is misleading. Most all clubs operate at some sort of loss. Man United for example. They can afford plane tickets

  3. While I find it hard to argue with the points made about travel, the size of the continent, and affordability, I just don’t see the point of a regular season at all if it isn’t what crowns the champion. You’ve gotta have a balanced schedule, otherwise it’s just a money grab like the NBA and NHL.

    Why not just do single table, with the best team at the end being champ, them and the runners-up getting CL berths, and everyone else in the top-half of the table playing off for the third CL berth?

    Then turn the national cup into something to be cherished, respected, and competed for, instead of the rinky dink US Open Cup we have now, with a big end-of-the-year neutral site Final.

    Then you have a format which satisfies loyal soccer fans and relates to new fans.

  4. I’ve never understood the argument that single table is a turnoff to new fans. How on earth is single table a turnoff? How is it any worse than AFC-NFC or AL-NL, where the conferences have nothing to do with geography anyway?

  5. It will be on telefutura, it’s the younger brother channel to Univision, if you don’t have SAP or they don’t offer it and you rather not listen to the much better Spanish narrators, try or or even justintv

  6. I sort of agree with you that the league should be more concerned about catering to true fans. I do think that we should still have playoffs and an MLS Cup so there are limits…but basically: I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to turn soccer fans off of MLS because of things like conferences and counting the clock down than it is to turn sports fans off by things they don’t immediately recognize like ties bringing points, single table, etc. I’ve made non-soccer fans fans of MLS and it’s not like they had a problem with some of soccer’s quirky characteristics.

  7. The US-Canada market is about the same size as Europe, which has at least 100 respectable first division teams and dozens more. I think MLS will eventually grow to two first division single tables of 18-20 teams and a playoff between the best teams from each table. Right now, the single table would deprive the league of its signature event, MLS Cup. Also, playoffs give middle of the pack teams incentive to work harder because they have a reachable goal they otherwise might not have. Keep in mind that part of the reason single table works well in Europe is because the league cup finals and Champions League provide signature championship and “playoff” style games. Our versions are barely blips on the radar right now, so MLS has to fill that gap.

  8. RSL looked mentally and physically tired out there. We will see how they do at Rio Tinto, but they really haven’t played very well the last 4 games although they’ve managed to get results. The only game they played well was against Cruz Azul and that was with their reserves. I think the long season is catching up to them.

    This kick the ball up the field continuously reminds me of the bad old days of RSL, not the how the team played most of the year this year.

  9. RSL did look slow especially on the attack. Morales put ReAL in a bad spot with the reckless challenge. Most shocking defending on the first goal by ole’ Cunningham.


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