The Eastern and Western Conference finals delivered on Sunday with big games and big goals. The first leg of the games that will crown an Eastern and Western Conference Champion who will then head to the MLS Cup were so good it's hard to imagine that the second round will deliver.
The Columbus Crew successfully defended their home turf in a 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. They started things off with a goal just 9 SECONDS into the game. The Crew looked like they were on a different level as New York looked out of sync and sluggish.
Portland beat Dallas 3-1 at home. While they will have a tougher test in Dallas if they played the way they played on Sunday night it's pretty easy to see them making the final game. Most importantly is this goal from Asprilla.
Columbus vs Portland Final anyone?
All fans travel better when their team is doing well but I don't think MLS is too thrilled at any of the prospective match-ups. While Portland packs them in at home, if Columbus wins they would host the Timbers. While Crew Stadium used to be the beacon of soccer specific stadiums its time has passed and it is in need of some TLC. Of course, since this was only leg one it is totally possible that either or both Dallas/New York could come back and make the Final. While bigger markets they aren't the L.A. Galaxy or the other New York team the league has bent over backwards helping.
While TV ratings are improving for MLS, MLS Cup isn't exactly the Super Bowl where you watch no matter what teams are playing. But smaller market teams make it an even tougher battle. Less interest means lower ratings.
The Dynamo are out which means my interest is pretty low and has turned into rooting against whoever is playing Dallas. I can't quite bring myself to say 'Go Timbers!' but that is better than the alternative.