4 days and counting until the huge game against RSL...
The Official FCD Practice Report from today has a very interesting nugget about Kevin Hartman that should make Dallas fans happy.
FC Dallas’ Kevin Hartman is one of only two goalkeepers in MLS history to emerge victorious from Real Salt Lake’s Rio Tinto Stadium. While with the Kansas City Wizards, Hartman made seven saves in a 2-0 Wizards victory on May 16, 2008.
Barry Gorman checks in with another travel blog.
Game preparations go well but the result does not. With enforced changes and the play-off home and away series upcoming, the FC Dallas coaching staff decided to play a modified shift line up against the Galaxy. It is important to note that even with key players missing FCD could have won this important league encounter. As is their way, after the match the staff and players reflect on game positives and immediately turn their attention to the next game against Real Salt Lake in Frisco on Saturday.
Real Salt Lake miraculously scored two goals in stoppage time to draw at Colorado this weekend and win the Rocky Mountain Cup...any time I can get the word suplex into this blog I'm going to.
Steve Davis breaks my heart, RSL news and an interesting view of how the MLS playoffs should be after the jump
Steve Davis breaks my heart picking Real Salt Lake to beat FCD
Drilling down: This would have been a better series six weeks ago before injuries to Hartman (thanks to Thierry Henry's needless stunt) and Hernandez. Plus, Brek Shea has fallen off the radar after a sizzling summer, and that hurts Dallas, too. ... Real Salt Lake's last MLS loss was to Dallas, when the Red Stripes owned the night in a 2-0 result. It proved to be an important lesson for Kreis, who had leaned toward caution by electing to match Dallas' midfield with a 4-5-1. He quickly acknowledged the error, convinced that his team is best when doing what it does, pressuring from its usual 4-4-2 set-up. ... What's more impressive than RSL's 11-0-4 home record? RSL's jaw-dropping plus-24 goal difference in those matches.
Prediction: Real Salt Lake
Nigel Reed of CBC has some interesting opinions about the MLS playoff system
I don't have a problem with the season spilling over into November, even if it means the championship game itself will be witnessed by several thousand hardy, and somewhat indifferent, Canadian fans.
I do, however, have major misgivings about how the two finalists are decided.
Brad Rock of the Deseret News says RSL is pretty much the best thing ever
One writer called RSL "the class of the league."
Experts are also praising the team's depth and consistency.
The fact RSL set a home unbeaten record this year and breezed through an amazingly busy schedule in August, September and October — which included CONCACAF games — says much.
The great Michael C. Lewis of the Salt Lake Tribune says "not so fast my friend"
Midfielder Andy Williams called it the “worst performance of the year” for Real Salt Lake.
And that’s what coach Jason Kreis wants his players to remember about their last game heading into the Major League Soccer playoffs — not the stunning two-goal comeback in stoppage time, the heady play by veteran forward Alvaro Saborio, or the unlikely draw against their archrivals that kept their unbeaten streak alive.