At one point late in the second half of the dreadful MLS Cup Final, with both of these mediocre teams protecting the 1-1 scoreline and heading to extra-time, I was actually tempted to flip over to watch the LA Lakers-Golden State Warriors NBA game, despite the fact that LA was up by 30 at the time. Seemed like it might be more compelling.
It's rare to get to use the words "scintillating" and "final" in the same sentence -- you expect both teams to play cautiously and the nerves to rattle. But, with two exceptions, this was an unwatchable match, between two forgettable teams, played by mostly second-rate players. But don't take my word for it: ESPN's ratings were down 44% year-over-year, and BMO Stadium in Toronto looked, from the camera pans, to be half empty or worse.
From a match perspective, after a mind-numbing first 20 minutes, Colorado had a semi-legitimate penalty appeal when the slow, bull-headed Connor Casey was tripped up, but it was marginal. Then there was a moment of brilliance in the 35th minute from the Colombian David Ferreira, the league's MVP for 2010, who braved an on-rushing keeper to finish an inch-perfect Marvin Chavez cross on the low volley. This was followed by another 20 minutes of poor play and boredom on either side of halftime. Finally, Casey scored a garbage goal to equalize and it looked like the match might come back to life, finally, but things quickly settled and by he 80th minute, I was begging the football gods not to let this horror show go to penalties.
Fittingly, the match was decided in the second half of extra time by an own goal. Macoumba Kandji drove down the right wing for Colorado and aimed a tepid strike at the near post, which the Dallas defender, John George, turned into goal with his knee. Kandji injured himself on the play, so Colorado played the last 12 minutes a man down, and actually those 12 minutes were the best of the match, as Dallas threw everything they had at Colorado, and nearly sent the match to penalties on several occasions.
So, there you have it, two undeserving teams playing for the cup, with the champion scoring a complete garbage goal and an own goal to win the match. Yuck. To add insult to injury, the idiot presenting Connor Casey with the man of the match trophy afterwards called him "Casey Connor." It was a laughable spectacle, and the perfect end to the idiotic MLS playoffs.
Fuck you, Don Garber. If you can't fix this, forget about the casual fans, the core like me are off to watch Kobe and Pau blow out the Warriors.