And none of those three teams utilized the services of a Designated Player this year. So what does that say about the talent in MLS?
The view from section 404 row 7 at RFK was a lot better than I expected. Close enough in the upper deck that you could still read the names on the backs of the jerseys, but yet still high enough that you can see the entire field. And all three goals were on my end.
Speaking of goals, I called the Twellman and Ngwenya goals correctly, but picked a goal from the wrong CAM. Here's a few more observations from the Cup:
1. Khano Smith is a bit of a jerk. This is after hearing him clearly say "Get the fuck up man" to Blanco in the ECC game, and he was getting booed by most of the stadium by the end of the Final.
2. Craig Waibel sucks. He was getting beat by Smith almost every time the ball was in that area. It's just a shame that Smith was more concerned with arguing with the ref than he was with helping his team, because they couldn't convert any of those opportunities into goals.
3. I'm still trying to figure out the Andy Dorman sub. Because the fourth official had Noonan's number 11 up, but then Ralston came over instead and they changed it to 14. Was Ralston injured? Or did he overrule his coach and decide to take himself out of the game? If so, that's a little bit too noble of him, because Noonan was pretty ineffective and the team seemed to be missing Ralston's crossing ability when they needed it the most at the end.
4. Pat Noonan is over the hill. The Revolution should try to find a speedy striker in the offseason who can come in for Noonan when they are behind.
5. Dominic Kinnear straight up outcoached Steve Nicol. Kinnear's decision to move Dwayne De Rosario farther up top wreaked havoc on New England's 3-5-2, and they failed to adjust at all. Ngwenya's goal was on a kind of scrappy/lucky play, but I definitely credit De Rosario's goal to the Revs just being outmanned in the back. You could see Parkhurst in man coverage follow Ngwenya out to the side, which basically took New England's best defender out of the play and left DeRo open in the middle.
Fantastic game though to watch in person. I'll post some pictures that my wife took in here later when we get a chance to upload them.