Thirty Degrees of Separation

And, as everyone predicted before the season, the Rapids win the Eastern Conference. Ho hum.

At least they're further east than last year's Eastern Conference champions. I hope for comedy purposes that MLS keeps this playoff format. Maybe next year Seattle can win the East.

Had I managed to blog last week, topic one would have been how excited I was for the Colorado-San Jose game. Apart from the absurdity of that being the Eastern Conference final, I mean.

Major League Soccer Soccer has buried their historical results sites beyond my ken, so I'm relying on memory, but Quakes-Rapids games usually ended up pretty weird and entertaining. I realize for huge chunks of their history Colorado and San Jose put out some pretty forgettable teams, but for some reason, when they met? Hilarity ensued.

Besides, all you hear about from these teams are their forwards. Magic Wondolowski on one side, and what some Fox announcer agonzingly called the C&C Music Factory on the other. I expected fireworks not seen in a Rapids game since they would get the July 4 attendance boost.

Instead, well, we got what we got. I feel like apologizing for something I didn't post.

The actual Kosuke Kimura goal sequence was maybe worth the time. I hate being one of those people who focus only on one play of a ninety-minute game, but, come on. Christopher Sullivan erupted like he had seen the most fantastic goal of his eventful life. Not only the camera, but several Rapids, focused on non-scorer Omar Cummings. Cummings gracefully admitted he hadn't touched it, though, and Kimura said he was trying to cross.

Ronaldinho scored on a similar "shot" against England in 2002, but that one sailed under the bar, into the side netting, and was truly impossible to save. Kimura's goal bounced in the six yard box. The Quakes are calling it luck, but, what were Busch and Hernandez thinking? I suppose Cummings made the cross/shot impossible to defend, but, who told San Jose to let Omar stroll in towards goal? Neither the ball nor the man, I suppose. I'm not sure, were I Frank Yallop, I'd enjoy reading my players chalk up that goal to the wrath of the soccer gods.

Kimura was fantastic, most especially cleaning up after a terrible Marvell Wynne clearance earlier in the first half. But, San Jose made it easier than it should have been.

And, scene.

This T-shirt has "CHAMPIONS" in moon landing font, and "Eastern Conference" in legal disclaimer size. That's pretty weak, although that's not the Rapids' fault. Still, I don't think anyone is expecting Colorado to end up as MLS Cup winners, outside of the African villages that think the Texas Rangers won the World Series and the Buffalo Bills are the greatest dynasty of all time. The winners of this afternoon's game should be pretty prohibitive favorites.

But which team will that be? I love how poised Dallas was against Salt Lake, and I love how assuredly the Galaxy handled the Sounders. In other words, I have absolutely no idea. Landon Donovan has been everywhere in local media this week, but even the top LA Times sports story on his behalf focuses on how tired the poor guy is.

And Edson Buddle is solidifying his MVP case...oh, that's right, playoff games don't count in the MVP voting.

But Kevin Hartman, wow. He's been astonishing, even in a season loaded with amazing goalkeeper performances. And if there's anyone who can skip by the Kovalenko/Birchall/Juninho suicide squad, it's David Ferreira.

I'm really excited about the game, and I expect it to be a classic. So, naturally, it'll end up 1-0 on an own goal.