Monday Morning Centerback: Seattle Invents MLS Cup Edition

Yes, a belated Monday Morning Centerback post. I’ll tell you what, you find a way for me to work on this stuff full-time and we won’t run into this issue.

Saturday

Toronto FC 0 – Seattle Sounders FC 0 (aet, Seattle wins on PKs)

Toronto did an effective job of shutting down Nicolás Lodeiro, which is one big reason why the Sounders had so little offense. Toronto didn’t manage to score themselves either, but five Toronto players had more shots on goal than the entire Seattle team. Well, that’s easy when Seattle didn’t register a single shot on goal.

If you were angry that the championship was awarded in such a fashion, imagine if Colorado had made the final. They made it up the table by trudging through a series of one-nil wins. In the dullest manner possible, they ended the season at second place in the conference, a full ten points ahead of Seattle.

So, imagine what the final would have looked like if Colorado had been in. Exciting, right? That’s why even though I am all for a shorter playoff schedule (I like that high seeds get byes), the notion that finals would be better if only the top one or two seeds in each conference had the chance to play for a title doesn’t bear out.

Fun fact for you: this was the worst performing regular season team in Seattle’s MLS history. They ended up in seventh place. The one other time they showed that low overall, they were actually third rather than fourth in the conference.

Yes, the current playoff system allows a team that starts poor to break out near the end and get through. We are looking at you 2014 Revs. But, Seattle ought to be rewarded for doing it right: they switched coaches, brought in Lodeiro and most importantly didn’t put their heads down for the second half of the season.

Their fans still kinda suck though.

The question we should really be asking is not why fourth or fifth place teams keep making the finals, but why teams that fly so high during the season inevitably crash and burn during the playoffs.

Monday

Arka Gdynia 2 (Łukasiewicz 25′, Siemaszko 37′) – Jagiellonia Białystok 3 (Černych 29′, Guti 64′, Vassiljev 76′)

I had the first half running at work but when I saw that the Pszczoły were being so outplayed in the first half, I didn’t watch the second half.

My loss.

Apparently, Arka keeper Pāvels Šteinbors didn’t want to be outdone by Marijan Kelemen’s error last week. Round about the 75th minute, Šteinbors handled a pass back and Jagiellonia was controversially awarded a free kick.

I’d have to look at the highlights (Which have not been posted. Dailymotion, do your job!), but if it was a pass back, the keeper can’t pick up the ball. Seventh graders know this.

Anyhow, who steps up to take it but Konstantin Vasilijev, who was brought on as a sub at half-time. Vasilijev being Vasilijev, he buries it.

Was there any doubt?

First place again until Lechia wins again.

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