Three total goals in four first-leg playoff games means that MLS ought to consider modifying the playoff format, says the Boston Globe's Frank Dell'Apa. Teams currently play each other home and away, with the higher seeded team hosting second in case of extra time, and the one with the better record over two legs advances to the next round. As it is, Dell'Apa says there's little to encourage offensive play, which is why we see so many teams deploy a make-no-mistakes approach to playoff games.
Dell'Apa says that MLS should adopt the European system of making away goals the first tiebreaker in a two-leg aggregate series. That way away teams are encouraged to attack, knowing that any goals they score count double. Dell'Apa says that New England is the perfect example of a team content to play the "cynical" yet "sophisticated" system of playing for a 0-0 draw away from home (which it did against the Red Bulls on Saturday), conserving the health of its players and then hoping to turn things around at home.