Sooner or Later

As epic as the end of Sporting's season was, it's hard for me to get too worked up about my team losing after eleven rounds of penalty kicks. Every season ends sooner or later, and only one team gets to end by hoisting a trophy. I think Sporting had a legitimate puncher's chance in the playoffs, but I don't think they were going to win MLS Cup if they advanced in Portland. Sporting threw some haymakers, but the Timbers turned out to be able to take a punch. 

The truth is, Sporting eliminated themselves from the playoffs when they lost at home to the Rapids (and/or to San Jose twice, the Rapids once, Orlando once, etc.). By dropping to the play-in game, Sporting faced an improbable road after a hectic finish to the season. Even had they prevailed in Portland, the reward for victory would have been facing FC Dallas on short rest on Sunday--which would have been Sporting's 5th game in two weeks. A fatigued lineup with injured starters was never likely to run that gauntlet. 

Don't get me wrong: I'm a fan. I wanted my team to win, just so they would have a chance to pull off a miracle against Dallas. I don't mind losing too much, though. Going out in Portland lets tired players rest sooner. This gives the front office a chance to think about the roster. This gives me and the rest of the town a chance to enjoy another sport that's pretty cool. 

We renewed our season tickets. 

Go, Sporting!