After some real stinkers from the first leg of the Conference Semifinals, the New York Red Bulls and San Jose Earthquakes put on quite a show last night. Sure the defense might of been suspect at points, but I challenge anyone who watched to try and tell me that wasn't a lot of fun.
Four goals, two from Bobby Convey, one from Chris Wondolowski and a beautiful header from Juan Pablo Angel in what was likely his Red Bulls swan song, sad face from "Red Bull Man", it was the kind of game that you hope casual viewers find when flipping channels and gave some time to.
I sent out this tweet last night from my personal account and I feel it's worth repeating.
"MLS isn't perfect, it has faults, it deserves criticism, but tonight, it's showing that under the right circumstances it can be great."
As a young and developing league, you are going to get some diamonds and you're going to get some cow poo (just ask Emmitt Smith) and last night was a diamond. So what if you could pick apart some of the tactics and defensive ineptitude from the game, the bottom line is that we saw passion, determination and a team in San Jose that believed they could stand up to the top seed from the East and get a result.
For now I'm going to ignore the potential for two Western Conference teams playing for the Eastern Conference championship. Garber knows this is an issue and hopefully it will be on the agenda in the off season to fix. For the moment, it's the way it is and for the third straight season we'll have the possibility of a conference champion being from the opposite conference...got a headache yet?
It was also a great game for Wondolowski who caught a lot of criticism after his quiet performance in the first leg in California. Wondo's late goal gave San Jose the victory and hopefully shut up the last of whiners that are still butt hurt about the fact that Wondo is a finalist for the league MVP award.
So if you missed the game last night, check out the highlights and check your local TV listings because all three matches left this weekend have the potential to be just as exciting and just as competitive...and let's be honest, Rafa Marquez lost and who doesn't love that!