I randomly chose that line in Dylan Butler's Blue Cross-DC United game writeup to illustrate the exquisite pain-in-the-assitude of this tournament for MLS teams. To paraphrase Jean-Paul Sartre, hell is other people scoring goals on you while your player is injured to eliminate you from a tournament you still have one freaking game left in.
Butler didn't include the attendance in the House of Blues, which is understandable, since neither did CONCACAF's writeup. I'm guessing it's an order of magnitude or two better than what DC's gonna draw for their last game, though, unless Marathon fans travel really, really intercoursing well.
DC drew 13,000 fans so far for their home games this tournament. Adding what Houston drew against San Francisco, New England drew against Joe Public, and Chivas USA drew against Tauro, that's a total gate of about 13,275. How is this making money for anyone? Even as a tax writeoff or money laundering operation? Yeah, Houston's big money game is tonight against Hillary Clinton Voters For McCain.* And yeah, the Dynamo presumably hope to get a little stroke for progressing in the tournament - there really is no reason they can't win the thing at this point. They just won't make any cash doing it.
The reason the UEFA Champions League subjects its fans to group games is twofold. God, that was a pretentious sentence, sorry. The UEFA Champions League has group stages for two reasons. One, so a bad evening doesn't ruin the chances of a big rich club, and two, because pretty much every one of those group matches makes a lot of do-re-mi. Plenty of clubs in Europe prioritize their continental campaigns over their domestic runs.
No one in CONCACAF is stupid enough to do such a thing. The richest teams in the tournament are Cruz Azul and Pumas, and they are firmly in the DC United "yeah, winning would be nice, but we'd rather make the playoffs" school of thought here. Why is this not a single elimination tournament? Because of the danger of an all-USL final? That's already going to happen!