This last weekend was an exciting one for MLS fans, as the MLS playoffs began last Thursday. The first matches were as follows:
- Houston Dynamo(0) vs Seattle Sounders(0)
- Columbus Crew(0) vs Real Salt Lake(1)
- Chicago Fire(1) vs New England Revolution(2)
- LA Galaxy(2) vs Chivas USA(2)
Despite the scoreless outcome the Houston Dynamo and Seattle Sounders game was very intense with a lot of great shots and near misses. Columbus Crew and RSL was the same way. Very intense. The crowd was really cheering them on and despite a number of really great attempts, only once did the ball make it in the back of the net.
Being a Revs fan I paid particular attention to the Chicago Fire and the NE Revolution game. Chicago Fire came out very strong, but the Revs played hard too. Forward Jankauskas was out for this game, so Nicol moved Shalrie Joseph from his usual mid-field position up forward, which turned out to be a winning decision as Joseph put in the second goal that locked up the game. I was really disapointed with the fan turnout at the game. Out of the 4 games it was clearly the least attended. But hey it's soccer in the US, if I was watching the game just to see the crowd I would watch pretty much any other sport.
LA vs Chivas was also a very intense matchup that ended in a draw, despite Beckham and Donnovan's attempts.
If you're not familiar with the structure these teams will all face each other in the opposing city now. That way each team gets one home game and one away game. The points between the two games are added together to decide who goes on to the next match in the playoffs. If there is a tie between the teams they will go into a shootout. RSL and New England Revolution are the only teams that have a point advantage going into the next matchup, but that is no lock for the slot. The Crew is the defending MLS champion and currently tops the standings. They will certainly pick it up for the next game at home.NE Revolution has not historically done well playing Fire in Chicago. All four games were intense and close, it only takes one minor mistake to change things dramatically.
Next round starts off with RSL vs Crew in Columbus on Thursday with the remaining games on Saturday and Sunday. Looking forward to yet another great week of MLS playoffs.