One of the really crappy things MLS does every single year now is happening this morning, possibly even as we speak.
As Don "Cold? I'm Not Cold" Garber keeps reminding us, MLS is a "slow, controlled growth" league which, in this case, means "We hold an expansion draft every freaking year" and, for some reason, the list of protected players has to be in the league office by 5 PM the day after the Championship game.
The 16 non-Cup clubs spent last week breaking the news to the guys who will be made available to Vancouver and Portland, although the only list which has been made public is the Crews'(possibly because of the concurrent Schelotto-Hejduk-Padula bloodbath).
For the two teams that play in the final, they of course don't want to call their guys in just before the game and give them the bad news. So the teams have to wait until today when, less than 24 hours after the celebration, many of the players involved will be told that, basically, they might not want to buy green bananas or send out laundry.
Talk about a buzzkill.
As advertised, when Jeff Cunningham entered the match on 64 minutes the crowd greeted him with a loud chorus of boos which they tried to continue doing every time he touched the ball.
That a 34 year old player, a two time Golden Boot winner, who is only one goal away from the league career scoring lead and the longest running MLS player never to have appeared in a championship - and who was a league mainstay for eight years before TFC even existed - got treated that way just proves, I rather think, everything I've ever said about Toronto fans.
Pure class, guys. Pure class.
You knew we were in for a long night when John Harkes helpfully identified the Raps' primary color as "clairETTE". Jesus Harksie, you played in England and you never heard Blackburn fans singing?
Chim chim cheroo,
We hate those bastards
In Claret and Blue
Come to think of it, why doesn't anyone hate Colorado enough to take up that song? Anything that might distract fans from that terminally banal "YSA" chant on goal kicks would be a net gain, no question.
And while we all appreciate the effort, Don Garber sitting there without an overcoat next to Max Bretos who was bundled up like Nanook of the North out looking for baby seals to club didn't fool anyone.
Your ass was as cold as everyone else's, Don.
Here's Grant Wahl, during a one-on-one interview with The Commish last week:
"When I mentioned on Twitter last night that I was meeting with you, the majority of questions from my followers were the ones asking about promotion/relegation..."
I don't know about you but I find it refreshing when someone like Wahl is willing to admit that the majority of the people who follow his work are nitwits.
Also in the Wahl interview was this telling, and embarrassing, exchange:
Garber: Stan is doing everything he can to make it here this weekend.
Can you imagine that conversation at any other league championship?
Mac Kandji on the reaction of the Dallas players who thought he wasn't actually injured while scoring the winning goal:
“I don’t think I would just try to lay on the field to waste time."
Then you'd be just about the only one on the planet. 107th minute of a championship match with your team leading by one goal. Can't imagine anyone thinking you might be trying to kill some clock.
Simon Borg is a Cheezy Hack Dept:
"Rapids forward risks leg on MLS Cup-winning play against Dallas"
As it turned out he got injured while shooting, but let's not pretend it was similar to jumping out of the landing craft off of Omaha Beach.
(Reportedly it's not broken; an MRI will be done later this morning)
Just Bad Luck:
When they don't have anything much else to talk about, ESPN is more than willing to give an important MLS event, like for example the Cup final, a little feature treatment.
Unfortunately, the NASCAR "Race for the Cup" remained competitive longer this year than normal and the winner wasn't determined until yesterday. And like it or not, when they've got competing videos of guys hoisting a trophy in confetti-cloud glory, MLS is going to get short shrift every time.
You have to figure that the league isn't busy this hour filling up warehouses with Colorado rapids Championship gear.
I'm just going to go ahead and guess that the demand won't exactly be overwhelming, and it has nothing to do with the rapids' relative popularity in Denver. Tha is what it is.
Rather, it's that Colorado seems to have fewer out of town fans than anyone else in the league.
One of the really cool things about catching a redeye after an MLS Cup match is walking through the airport concourse and seeing the Cup winners' jerseys scattered amongst the passengers killing time in the various gate waiting areas.
In this case however, I doubt there were many people in Rapids shirts headed anywhere besides Denver Colorado.