I was having a fine year, absolutely ignoring women's soccer. Apparently, Pia Sundhage was too. Now we both have to start paying attention.
It's probably a little soon to point out that a strong Mexico women's team will be the same kind of godsend to continental soccer that a strong US men's team ended up being...especially seeing as how the USWNT doesn't have the kind of ingrained, nationwide kneejerk support that El Tri do. But the US should survive. So what if they have to hear "Dos a uno!" yelled by millions of Mexico fans - well, thousands - dozens? There must be a few, somewhere. Maybe this game will create some.
Until then, US fans can go to sleep knowing that Greg Ryan and April Heinrichs never lost to Mexico.
Meanwhile, on happier notes - look, at this point, if you have a problem with MLS playoffs, I can't help you. These games have been white-hot intense. Wire-to-wire suspenseful, with some beautiful moves, fantastic goals and hilarious fouls. Are you not entertained?
In the meantime, enjoy these quick tidbits:
This is, obviously, the first year that the Eastern Conference semifinals failed to include an Eastern Conference team. Colorado and San Jose carry on the unbroken tradition since 2007 of teams crossing to the other conference's bracket, and winning at least one series.
Dallas has never won a conference semifinal. They've lost two, in 1997 and 1999. They've never been since until this year.
Real Salt Lake finishes the season undefeated at home in all competitions, and champions of nothing.
You probably guessed this already, but there has never been a playoffs where none of the higher seeds advanced to the semifinals. The all-time record for most lower seeds advancing was set on November 6, 2010, with three out of three (so far).
The Rapids have only won one conference semifinal - against Dallas in 1997. They've lost three since then - 2002, 2005, and 2006.
Hil-freaking-ariously, there has been another year where the teams in one semifinal both had better records than either team in the other, which will happen again this year. The year was 2002, where the Galaxy at 51 points faced the Rapids with 43 points, both ahead of the Revolution and Crew's mediocre 38 points.
If the Galaxy finish off the Sounders, they're in pretty good shape. Their only semifinal losses have been to teams no longer in the Western Conference. I refuse to look up Seattle's semifinal records from the USL or NASL. However, the next goal the Sounders score in the MLS playoffs will be their first.
The Rapids have never lost a penalty kick shootout in the playoffs. Well, lots of teams haven't, either, but this was Colorado's third playoff shootout. That franchise never does anything the easy way.
Claudio Lopez is still in the league. I had completely forgotten.
The San Jose Earthquakes have never lost in a semifinal. (I'm surprised that hasn't been pointed out to me yet.)