The MLS playoffs may not be perfect, but damned if they aren't exciting.
Nine goals, 14 yellow cards, 3 reds and one brawl. And, my favorite part, there weren't any scoreless draws. Let's recap.
The biggest news coming out of the weekend is the fight after Los Angeles' 1-0 victory over New York. As the final whistle blew, Rafa Marquez threw the ball at Landon Donovan, then attempted a headbutt on Adam Cristman, got his teammate cold-cocked in the jaw by Juninho and then got taken down by sniper fire from the upper deck. It was all slightly unreal.
Marquez and Juninho both were ejected and will miss the return leg on Thursday (10 p.m. central, ESPN2).
My question: Has a player ever worn out his welcome on anentire country as thoroughly as Rafa? (Besides Carlos Tevez.) You'd be hard pressed to find even a Red Bulls die-hard that would defend him at this point. This excellent Michael Lewis piece
pretty much sums up the sentiment.
The other game out West featured the second and third best teamin the league
, but ended in a rout. Playing with a great home-field advantage and with renewed vigor (central anchor Kyle Beckerman is back from suspension, play maker Javier Morales back from injury), Real Salt Lake destroyed Seattle 3-0.
It featured the goal of the playoffs so far, off the brilliant touch of Alvaro Saborio.