So here we are again. First round of the playoffs after a exciting season. The Seattle Sounders get a tough draw and proceed to get schooled like an earnest, but inexperienced freshmen. Sure, Real Salt Lake has been one of the best, if not the best, team in the league since they won the MLS Cup in 2009. But we expected a little more than a 3-0 routing. Here are the highlights and photos if you're at all interested in reliving the punishment (or if you're a RSL fan).
The worst part is I couldn't watch the game live. A friend recorded the game and we planned to watch it Sunday. I diligently avoided every mention of the score until the wonderful John Harkes blurted out the score in the 2nd half of the New York Red Bulls game with nary a lead-up. I sat stunned with my finger on the mute button. Then proceeded to drive to Maple Valley to watch the game. All the while pretending not to know the score so my friend could experience the thrill of watching the Sounders get schooled live. So very painful.
Only a thrilling come-from-behind victory on Wednesday will cure the pain. Come on you Sounders!
More news after the jump:
Dynamic CB Duo Injured: One of the glimmers of hope for the Sounders in the 2nd leg is the injuries to Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers. Both will travel to Seattle, but one or both may not make the 18 due to injuries. Olave left the match in the first half due to a right quadriceps strain while Borchers suffered a knee injury in the 2nd half. RSL has a 9-4-8 record when both start and a much less impressive 6-7-0 record when one or more is missing.
Wake Up and Smell the Schadenfreude: The Colorado Rapids lost their first play-off leg 2-0 at home against Sporting Kansas City. Kansas City took a page from Gary Smith's playbook and went straight at the Rapids with some physical play mixed into their usually fluid offense. Former Sounder Tyrone Marshall gave up a penalty kick and received a red by pulling down Teal Bunbury in the box. By the end of the match the Rapids lost Caleb Folan, Drew Moor and Kosuke Kimura to injuries. A shame as Kimura is one of the Rapids I quite like.
Galaxy Take the Lead: The Los Angeles Galaxy showed again while they were the best team in the league even on the road in some tough field conditions. The Galaxy nicked an away goal and then executed their bunker-and-counter strategy to perfection. The New York Red Bulls showed some of the same dysfunction in defense. Fortunately for Red Bulls fans key midfielder Juninho will miss the 2nd leg after clocking Stephen Keel during a melee sparked by Rafael Marquez. Even better for the Red Bulls...Hans Backe doesn't have to play Marquez.
Donovan Calls NYRBs Cheap: Landon Donovan and the rest of the Galaxy ripped into the Red Bulls following the game ending scuffle at Red Bulls Arena. Donovan called the Red Bulls the cheapest team he's ever played in MLS (and he wasn't referring to their payroll). Henry has been pulling out stupid, little cheap shots all year. Of course, no one is forgetting Marquez's legendary cheap shot against Cobi Jones in the 2002 World Cup. #StayClassyRedBulls
Dynamo Defeat Philly: The Houston Dynamo went to Philly and pulled out a 2-1 victory against the Philadelphia Union. It was a rough game from both sides (including the worst non-calls I've seen so far in the play-offs after a reckless challenge by Gabriel Farfan). Quite a feat for a Dynamo team that many thought was going to have a lackluster rebuilding season ahead of them.
Doom, Doom, Doom: For the record...I'll still be singing the doom song for Wednesday!