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John Todd

Shrader's Spin: MLS Cup Playoff observations

John Shrader is a TV/radio commentator for the San Jose Earthquakes.

The Quakes played well in the first leg; they really did. The finishing wasn’t there, but the intensity, the energy, the style of play were all present. New York is a good club, and we’ll find out exactly how good Thursday night.

The Quakes are among the best road teams; to put it metaphorically, they are a cornered badger. Let’s hope we see some sharp teeth in Red Bull Arena.

A few more observations from the first week of the MLS Cup Playoffs:

  • How could a team as good as Real Salt Lake never win a game in Dallas? Never even a draw?
  • How could Seattle lose three times to LA in 2010, getting outscored 5-0 at home and 8-1 overall in the process?
  • D.C. United’s 17-year-old Andy Najar is officially the Rookie of the Year, but is he a better player than Danny Mwanga right now? The Quakes Ike Opara, with a healthy season, would have been an easy choice for the award.
  • New Toronto consultant Jürgen Klinsmann will get plenty of frequent flier miles between his LA home and his new office in Ontario. TFC is not afraid to spend money, and are certainly banking on Klinsmann getting them where they’ve never been before: the playoffs.
  • Wouldn’t it be a great start to the weekend of MLS action if the Quakes pull off the upset and help create an all-Western Conference final four? Not a shocking notion at all.

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