Playoffs Scoreboard

Recap
Leg 1
11/23 FINAL
1LA
0SEA
RECAP
Recap
Leg 2
11/30 9:20pm
SEA
LA
ESPN
Western Conference Championship
Recap
Leg 1
11/23 FINAL
1NY
2NE
RECAP
Recap
Leg 2
11/29 3:00pm
NE
NY
NBCSN
Eastern Conference Championship

View from the Cheap Seats: Cut out cutting out

This year, we're adding a new trophy case, a big one with lots of space for more MLS Cups. Because face it, we're everyone's daddy in this league. We're the Cowboys, the Yankees, the Lakers. We're the kid you love to hate, that annoying know-it-all jerk who somehow got the good looks and the bad girls. But, like Colonel Jessup said, you don't want us in your stadium, you need us in your stadium.

New England Revolution -- This year, we're adding all kinds of things: a money-back guarantee on every contract with washed-up English players; an explanation for why assistant coach Paul Mariner wears sunglasses in the rain; the Shalrie Joseph bobblehead doll; a date with Tom Brady for every female season-ticket holder over 21; and one super-talented, fine-looking color analyst to our television broadcasts.

Columbus Crew -- This year, we're adding a "no tie" policy to our season-ticket package. In 2004, we had more ties (13) than wins (12). Well, you know what they say about ties. And that's not what America's Hardest Working Team is all about. So from now on, if it looks like any game involving the Crew is going to end all knotted up, we're going to let the other team score so our fans can go home with a bad taste in their mouths. The marketing people say a bad taste is better than no taste.

MetroStars -- This year, we're adding a goalkeeper. No. No, we're not. Please don't print that. We love all of our goalkeepers. We would just love them more if they were better. Wait! Strike that. Didn't mean that to come out. Internal monologue. What we meant was that a better goalkeeper is better for the team. See? And although our management may criticize our players in the press, that should in no way be considered an honest assessment of how terrible we think they are.

Chicago Fire -- This year, we're adding some Polish players. Remember the good old days when we had Polish players? Boy, we were really good back then. We won championships. We sold lots of kielbasa. We even won in other cities, like in D.C. Geesh, it's going to be a long season if we don't get a Polish player. Can we get another sausage and an couple of Old Styles over here, please?

Kansas City Wizards -- This year, we're adding nothing. We are for sale, after all.

West

FC Dallas -- This year, we're adding "playoffs" to our season goals checklist. We realize this might sound ambitious for a team that hasn't made the playoffs since before the Dixie Chicks became traitors, but we think we're on to something with this new logo and stadium in Frisco. Look what the logo did for San Jose, and what the stadium did for L.A. And even if we don't win MLS Cup, we'll at least finally have some decent swag.

Colorado Rapids -- This year, we're adding "the ability to score" to our criteria for the acquisition of strikers. Honestly, we didn't even average a goal a game last year, the first time that's ever happened in this league.

Los Angeles Galaxy -- This year, we're adding an over-the-hill No. 10 midfielder who isn't from Central Europe because we hear that the Los Angeles market isn't the epicenter of the Austrian diaspora. Maybe they're interested in Mexican players. We're not sure about that, but it's a rumor that's in the air.

San Jose Earthquakes - This year, we're adding anything we can get our hands on. If you can kick a ball straight, we'll take you. You know what? We'll take you even if you can't kick the ball straight. Just be able to run.

CD Chivas USA -- Este año, estamos agregando todo. Que!

ReAL Salt Lake -- This year, we're adding everything. Duh!

***

The devastation in Asia from this week's tsunami has touched everyone this holiday season. At least I hope it has. Although I'm sure they exist, at this point, I don't know of any soccer-related relief efforts other than one by English club Everton, which is sponsored by the Thai brewery Chang Beer. Since I often incorporate music into my columns, I can offer you this: the band Linkin Park has founded an emergency aid fund, www.musicforrelief.org. I encourage everyone to help in any way they can. Happy New Year!

Greg Lalas played for the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the New England Revolution in 1996 and 1997. Send e-mail to Greg at cheapseats@g73.org. Views and opinions expressed in this column are the author's, and not necessarily those of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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