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Highlights and context of Los Angeles Galaxy, Houston Dynamo playoff wins

Nov 8, 2012, 8:56 AM EDT

Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, Jason Hernandez

Safe to say that last night’s events will do nothing to tame one debate that reverberates steadily around Major League Soccer, and has for years: that the regular season should count for more.

The divide is between “traditionalist” who like the way of other lands, where league champion is decided by a single table. You circle the guys on top at year’s end, hand them the trophy and move on.

The MLS way is more in line with American sports, with a playoff system.

And commence the next round of this in long-standing squabble in … 3 … 2 … 1 ….

Because there is a fresh round of evidence here.

Eastern Conference champion Sporting Kansas City squandered chance after chance, and went tumbling out of the playoffs as a result.

(MORE: Going over the waste from Livestrong Sporting Park)

Out West, the San Jose Earthquakes record breaking season came crashing down as the Los Angeles Galaxy finally began playing like the champs we knew last year. Since it’s pretty much the same guys, we can only say, “about time.”

(MORE: Analysis of the Galaxy’s 3-1 win)

But L.A. certainly wasn’t the same earlier this year, as they dug that big Southern California hole. They may well race on toward a second consecutive title, never mind that awful mess they left strewn across March, April and May.

So, while we bite down into the nitty gritty of this one – again – go back and check out the highlights from last night’s pair of elimination contests.

First the Sporting KC demise:

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Then the Buck Shaw Stadium ambush. Remember, San Jose did not lose a match previously at their Santa Clara home this year.  From the Supporters Shield winner’s perspective, rotten time for a first, eh?

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  1. dreadpirate82 - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    I know I’m a homer SKC fan, but I can’t believe Chapman didn’t call the foul on Rico Clark in the box at the end. I know it’s a tough time to give a PK, but that is absolutely a foul. Watch the video just after the 7 minute mark. He blows the whistle for the goal kick before the ball reaches out of bounds, seemingly changing his mind about calling the foul. Chapman was horrible all game for both sides.

    Regardless, it was too many blown opportunities for SKC around goal. At least it was highly entertaining. One team bossed the first game, the other the second. Guess I’m rooting for DC and RSL now.

    • Steve Davis - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      I’ll need to go back and watch that one, but I generally agree about Chapman. (As you know if you saw my Tweets from last night. Geeeesch!) Even without seeing that incident again, as you say, it’s hard to make any case that SKC didn’t create / have ample chances to get this one done.

      • dreadpirate82 - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM

        Your point in the earlier post about Tally Hall not having the chance to have a great game perfectly sums up SKC’s biggest flaw. They have to finish better, or they are prone to results like this. Tally had a nice game and was in the spots he needed to be all night. Yet Sporting never really challenged him, even with all those shots. Normally he seems to make a few monster saves a game. Too many shots off target for that to happen last night.

        I still think that should have been a foul, but I can’t blame the result on the official. He was inconsistent all night, and the teams have to overcome that. Houston did. Sporting didn’t.

  2. Dan Haug - Nov 8, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Hey… There’s no need to have an “either/or” argument about regular season and playoffs. I like having multiple competitions and having awards for each one. Let the fans fight about which competition is the most meaningful.

    I don’t like the way US sports claim the regular season is meaningless… but that doesn’t mean that it has to be the paramount competition of the year. MLS should fix it so that team’s records are more comparable. There’s got to be a way to do that. I still think the balanced schedule is the way to go… but there are other options as well. There’s plenty of smart people out there who can propose solutions.

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