Major League Soccer will crown a first time champion this weekend as FC Dallas play Colorado Rapids in the MLS Cup Final in Toronto. First, a few words on how they got to the final:
Colorado hosted San Jose Earthquakes in the Western Conference final and held on for a 1-0 victory. With temperatures in the upper 20s (-2 C) in suburban Denver, defender Kosuke Kimura got the game’s only goal on 43 minutes when his cross was missed by forward Omar Cummings but still slipped past Earthquakes keeper Jon Busch. Cummings and Conor Casey dominated the game for the home side in a very much deserved victory.
Dallas reached the final by shocking Los Angeles Galaxy 3-0 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California last weekend. Though the Galaxy looked the stronger side at the start, goals from league MVP David Ferreira, defender George John and Marvin Chávez (pictured) slowly eliminated the home side. Ferreira’s goal came in the 26th minute, John’s in the 54th and Chávez’s finisher in the 73rd. Dallas played in their usual upbeat and precise manner to down the Galaxy side many expected to cruise to the MLS Cup.
The final will be held in Toronto where temperatures are expected to hover near 32 degrees (0 C) on Sunday night. Cold weather alone would give Colorado an edge, having been used to such temperatures back in Denver. But Dallas appear the the stronger side overall. Either team will represent a first time champion with Dallas never having qualified for the final before this season. The Rapids lost in the 1999 final and took twelve years to get back to the pinnacle of American soccer. The game is not expected to draw very well on television, but the game on the field should actually be about as interesting a match-up as could be hoped for in MLS.