• Crew faces tough choices going forward
    Having won its first MLS championship, now comes the hard part for the Columbus Crew. Tough as it is getting to the top -- remember this is a team that won the Supporters' Shield in 2004 before fizzling in the playoffs and hadn't been back to the postseason since - any coach and any player in any sport will tell you staying up there is a true test of championship mettle.
  • Three biggies in three days
    The big game - MLS Cup 2008 - is Sunday, but the big meeting is Friday and the big draw is set for Saturday. On Friday, the MLS Board of Governors will vote on many competition and scheduling issues for the 2009 season, and late in the afternoon Commissioner Don Garber will make many of those decisions public. On Saturday is the draw for the final round of Concacaf World Cup 2010 qualifying - the Hexagonal - in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Rough end to RSL dream
    I have to say, right now I am most envious of Salt Lake City's fans.
  • Youngsters can shape playoff destinies
    Like many leagues around the world, MLS teams largely depend on foreign players to provide that touch of magic, that gift of craft, that moment of flair by which the game, or in some cases the season, is decided.
  • Bring on anti-parity!
    For all its proclamations about parity, MLS playoffs haven't been rife with diversity come showdown time.
  • Playoff pressure on team execs, too
    Nobody in the MLS offices will admit it, but smallish crowds in the conference semifinals first legs are simply pawns in a grand plan.
  • League should ponder 'reverse' format
    The best format for the MLS playoffs isn't yet feasible, simply because not every team has its own stadium, and to truly reward the best regular-season teams, the entire format would have to be reworked.