Amusingly enough, no team making a conference switch has ever failed to win in the first round, since MLS moved to this current format which everybody loves. Kansas City beat Chivas USA in 2007 before falling to Houston, New York made it to the final in 2008, Salt Lake of course won the final last year. Therefore, both Colorado and San Jose should be solid favorites to advance this round.
I don't know about the Quakes, but the Rapids? Yeah, they're in good shape.
Back in August, the Rapids made a bunch of mistakes and handed the Crew a 3-1 victory. Since then, the Crew have won six, lost six, and tied four times.
Which isn't so bad, until you see that of the six wins, two came against DC United, two more came against Joe Public, and the last win was against Philadelphia. The only theoretically impressive win came when the Crew had not yet advanced in the CONCACAF tournament, but Santos Laguna already had.
Meanwhile, they only finished four points ahead of Colorado, while scoring fewer goals and giving up more.
Oh, and PS, they're going into the playoffs without Will Hesmer and Emilio Renteria.
This is why Matt Pickens felt comfortable running smack on the Crew after all but literally handing the Rocky Mountain Cup to Salt Lake, and why Marcelo Balboa decided to pile on.
Robbie Rogers has taken offense, which I guess you can look at two ways. The Crew need him to play extremely well, and he's certainly capable of it. The Crew's recent nosedive coincided with his lingering absence, after all. With Rogers, there's still enough talent, on paper, for the Crew to...hang on a second.
That's not a thing, is it? Borg has just decided to ******** with Crew fans full time, right? I mean, anything's better than the "Color and Color" nonsense the league has been naming every team since the cloudy jade days, but at the very least it should be the Massive Canaries.
This was so damned distracting I decided to Google it. Apparently Michael Arace is to blame, having come up with it before the star graced their shirt, and did end up changing it to Massive Canaries. Borg has just taken up the cudgel. Also, don't bet on fighting canaries in Connecticut. It's not just a good idea, it's the law.
Well, that tangent turned out to be just shockingly unproductive and unfunny.
Anyway, the downside of Rogers' response is the downside you usually get in these wars of words.
You should have had motivation already, Robs. If it took Matt Pickens to wake you up, that's a couple steps short of wonderful.
Fine, I'm one of those rah-rah guys who believes that every time a player steps on the field, he (or she) should picture the little kid in the stands who has never seen a game before, and is just looking for a hero. In reality, this season was a sadistic slog at times for the Handbananas (I mean, as long as we're making up names), and the frustration wore down everyone involved with the team. All is forgiven if the Crew rediscover their winning ways, but Columbus worked very hard to be disrespected and overlooked going into tonight.
Just to pile on:
No, the last time people looked down on you was this month, when the Red Bulls passed you and cost you the Eastern Conference title for the first time in three years. Before that, people looked down on you when Salt Lake smacked your heavily favored team in the face last year. In 2008, nobody looked down on the Crew, as they were runaway favorites over the despised Red Bulls.
Hey, whatever Rogers needs to say to get himself fired up. Every year some team goes in front of a microphone and says "Nobody believed in us," and it'll happen again this year no matter who wins. So let me at least give the Crew one guy saying "I don't believe in you."
Sure, it'll be a fantastic story if the Crew pull together and win their second MLS Cup. "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" was a fantastic story, too, but it didn't actually happen. I genuinely can't see how the Crew don't go into next week's return game facing a two goal deficit. Sorry, Robbie.