COMMERCE CITY, CO - NOVEMBER 13: Fans of the Colorado Rapids support their team against the San Jose Earthquakes in the MLS Eastern Conference Final at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on November 13, 2010 in Commerce City, Colorado. The Rapids defeated the Earthquakes to advance to the 2010 MLS Championship game. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

We have a final. It's not the one any reasonable observer expected, not does it have much of a glamorous sheen. But this is what playoffs give us; even an adjustment to the structure to give higher seeds more of an advantage in the first round could have given us this result.

Win your home games, and you have a pretty damn good shot at playing at a neutral site for MLS Cup. Colorado did, LA did not. What exactly happened to the Galaxy isn't hard to figure out; faced with a blur of goalkeeping magnificence called Hartman that kept their best chances from going into the net, they fell victim to a well-run Dallas counter. In other words, they wilted under the pressure.

On Saturday, Colorado pressed their home advantage and ended the Earthquakes' cinderella run. Whether it was the cold, the altitude, or finally running out of the magic they leaned on down the stretch of the regular season and in the first round against New York, San Jose's most important players underperformed.  Bobby Convey's world-beating form didn't carry over, Chris Wondowlowski failed to score for what seemed like the first time in ages, and one sneaky cross from Kosuke Kimura fooled Jon Busch.  There was an element of randomness to it all, as if the Eastern Conference champion (chuckle, chuckle, hardy har) was ultimately decided by the flip of a coin.

Fortunes are made in this ninety minutes, not the one you played last week.  For all of the Galaxy's presumed momentum, including the stellar play of one uber-rich Englishman, their performance on Sunday (at least after the initial repeated slamming into the Hartman Wall), was disgustingly bad.  Credit to Dallas for playing their game and taking their chances, but they hardly beat LA at even half of the Galaxy's best.

Which is the point of playoffs, of course (I'm having deja vu - I'm almost positive I've written this very thing before).  The best teams prove their supremacy on the field, under pressure, with a committed opponent desperate to beat them.  There is no game during the regular season that can replicate those circumstances.  The Galaxy won the Supporters Shield, but that doesn't make them the best team in the league.  Not right now, anyway.

The weekend lacked for drama, even with Colorado's one goal win on Saturday.  The Galaxy kept conceding, eliminating any legitimate chance at a comeback.  Now we wait for Sunday.  I'm crossing my fingers for something worthy of the stage.

There's an off-the-field story coming out of the Conference Finals, relating to the fortunes of the two clubs involved.  Both FC Dallas and Colorado could use a boost of interest in their home markets, and it's possible that a Final appearance or a title could be just the spur each needs.  On the surface, and based on the nearly 18k people that showed up at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in sub-freezing temperatures on Saturday night, Colorado seems more likely to benefit from their run in the long term.  Dallas has a more difficult road ahead.

Worth watching as the week moves along is the interest in Toronto for the Final.  I'm not optimistic at the moment, and while both Colorado and FC Dallas are deserving finalists, the lack of much glamor at BMO Field could set the league up for an attendance disaster.

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