An alternate heading above might be: “Big Names, Big Markets Shut Out … as Don Garber Tears (Remaining) Hair Out*.”
With the league’s two biggest stars, Landon Donovan and David Beckham, standing 90 minutes away from advancing to a second successive MLS Cup final—and representing the 2010 title game’s last best hope for major-media, major-market exposure—the Los Angeles Galaxy got routed 3-0 by FC Dallas, a team with no designated players and probably the most lukewarm fan-base in MLS.
But that’s why they play the games, as the cliché goes. (And we know MLS results are not rigged, that’s for sure.)
Dallas deserved their victory, even though they were outplayed for the first 25 minutes or so. When David Ferreira opened the scoring in the 26th, after a mixup by LA defenders Sean Franklin and Omar Gonzalez at the top of the box, the Hoops seized control of the game and never let go.
At the start of the second half they had the LA backline in total disarray, like woozy boxers on the ropes, unable to find their footing.
It was only a matter of time before Dallas delivered the knockout blows, which they did in the 54th minute through lanky defender George John (after a great cross by Brek Shea) and the 73rd, via greased-lightning winger Marvin Chavez.
On a chilly night in Commerce City, Colo., the Rapids dispatched San Jose 1-0 on a goal by right back Kosuke Kimura. Omar Cummings nearly got a touch to Kimura’s cross, which ended up bouncing into the goal on its own.
Cummings should have increased Colorado’s lead in the 65th minute after taking a great pass from midfielder Jeff Larentowicz. He rounded San Jose keeper Jon Busch and, incredibly, hit the bar from 12 yards or so, with only a Quakes defender standing in the goal.
Colorado had two other golden opportunities but despite failing to cash them in, held on for a 1-0 win and their first trip to the MLS Cup since 1997, when the tireless Chris Henderson ran the flanks for them.
For more on these games, including highlights, click here, here, and most importantly, here, where we roll out potential nicknames for Colorado keeper Matt Perkins’s strange beard, now that it’ll be on the national stage next Sunday night.
That thing gives Perkins a real ‘don’t sign for a package from me’ kind of look.
(*We know that last ‘out’ is in the wrong place, editors, but…it makes for more symmetrical phrasing in that spot.)