Throw out your map of the United States, and don't bother looking at the regular season standings if you're trying to figure out how two teams from the West are in the Eastern Conference Finals this coming weekend....it's screwy, it's confusing, and it's not what MLS Commissioner Don Garber wanted, but this is what he has reaped by insisting on an unbalanced two-conference system.
On Saturday, Colorado, of the Western Conference, will take on San Jose, of the Western Conference, in the Eastern Conference Finals. Seriously.
Colorado beat perennial MLS Cup contenders Columbus in the first round, and San Jose wiped out the entire east coast television audience for the remainder of the playoffs when they went into New York and downed the star-studded Red Bulls.
The system may be the most ridiculous and convoluted format in all of professional sports. It needs to be fixed, and with two more expansion teams coming into the league next year in Vancouver and Portland, it will just get more confusing before all is said and done. In 2011, teams will have four additional games on their schedule, meaning the very real possibility of playoff soccer in late-November/early-December outdoors in Toronto, Columbus, Boston and New York.
We now have all the proof we need that the two conference system in MLS is chaos. And now with two more teams out west coming into the league, Major League Soccer has to tear down the current system and just mash all 18 teams into the same pot and send the top eight teams to the playoffs.