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MLS Playoffs Offer Excitement of Second Life

ESPN's Kristian Dyer makes his case for the MLS playoffs, saying, "Anyone who thinks Major League Soccer needs to scrap its current format in favor of a single table that crowns a champion based on regular-season performance needs a lobotomy." The MLS playoffs provide a unique format, foreign to most the rest of the world. And Dyer writes "The thrill of the playoffs makes the MLS exciting and relevant."

Dyer points out that the failure of the U.S. Open Cup to take hold in America means that playoffs are not redundant to much of the soccer public. In England, which values the FA Cup, a playoff system might seem too similar to such a season-long knockout tournament.

In MLS, playoffs offer teams the opportunity for a second life. Look no further than FC Dallas, a team mired among the bottom three in the league for the first half of the MLS season. In the second half, Dallas has caught fire, winning six out of 10 games to propel itself into the chaotic playoff hunt. The team hopes to duplicate what the New York Red Bulls accomplished last season, a late run into the playoffs that carried the Red Bulls all the way to the championship game. Without the playoffs, FC Dallas would have no hope of challenging for the regular-season crown. With the playoffs, the league's hottest team has everything to play for.


Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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