Decision Day 2019... A Day To Never Forget
Decision Day 2019 was a special one that I feel is going a little under appreciated. We saw the final game for some U.S. Men’s National Team legends, some final regular season games (and some potential final games) for some MLS club legends, all mixed with the seeding races for the playoffs.
We saw a battle in the Eastern Conference to see who will match up against who, who will travel to the Dome for the first round of the playoffs? Which mediocre Eastern Conference team will get 4th and lock up some home field games? Well as we knew, NYCFC finished 1st (COME ON CITY!!!) and in their final game locked up second for Atlanta United as well. City beat the Union in Chester, PA and things were not good for DOOP nation. The Union fell to third followed by TFC jumping up over D.C. United and the Red Bulls. We also knew this last week but the Revs did end up with that 7th spot and the East seems set. The Revs will have travel down to Hotlanta to face a pissed off Josef Martinez and company. The Red Bulls will have to drive down I-80 to challenge the Union who are still looking for their first ever playoff win. Finally, the Reds up north host D.C. United but they may be without DP striker Jozy Altidore who went down with an injury on Decision Day.
In the West, things were way more interesting and let’s start with that San Jose Quakes and Portland Timbers game on ESPN. This game was win and you’re in! The struggling Portland Timbers going off against the unlucky Quakes. Well the struggling Timbers even without Brian Fernandez balled out and were able to beat the Quakes and set their sights for the 2019 playoffs. It was not going to be Diego Valeri’s last game for the Timbers, but might have been his last home game for the club. Speaking of win and you’re in, FC Dallas had that same opportunity this week. Dallas hosted Sporting KC and BEAT UP on Peter Vermes’s side. Dallas won 6-0 and they locked up their spot as well. With the Timbers and Dallas making it we say good bye to San Jose’s magical 2019 push as well as the Colorado Rapids who I think everyone wanted to see make it (even if 538 had them at less than a 1% chance of making it).
As I wrote before, we also had to say good bye to some legends of American soccer on Decision Day. Timmy Howard, Mr. stand on his head and trying to beat Belgium by himself Tim Howard said goodbye to the game in the Rapids 3-1 loss to LAFC. I would argue that Tim Howard is the second greatest American to ever put on a pair of soccer cleats. Howard has won a FA Cup, won an English League Cup, won an English Super Cup, two Gold Cups, was a MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, a 3x MLS All Star, was the CONCACAF Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year 3x, was named to the CONCACAF Best XI once, and won the FIFA Confeds Cup Golden Gloves back in 2009. Thank you Timmy for the memories and for being an absolute legend. We also say our final goodbyes to Damarcus Beasley. Run DMB has played in MLS, for PSV, Manchester City, Rangers, Hannover, and Puebla. Beas is an absolute legend and has played in four World Cups for the U.S. Beas is a 2x Dutch champion, a 1x Dutch Cup winner, 2x Scottish champion, 1x Scottish League Cup winner, 3x U.S. Open Cup winner, and 4x Gold Cup winner. Beasley was also named as a MLS All Star 5x and a MLS Best XI player once. Thank you Beas on being an ageless wonder.
This was also potentially the last time we have seen Ignacio Piatti in a Montreal Impact jersey. Piatti is an absolute legend for the Impact and this season was able to win the Canadian Cup for them this season. Piatti has been a MLS All Star 3x, 2x MLS Best XI player, and countlessly given this team goals and memories. This would be a sad moment but if this is Piatti’s last game, then it has to be a sad day for Impact fans. We also saw the final regular season games for Nick Rimando and Michael Parkhurst. Rimando and Parky are MLS legends, have won trophies, and won’t be forgotten in MLS history. It is good that we know it wasn’t their last games… but now we are on a ticker for their final game approaching.
Let us all not forget the 2019 Decision Day. It was a day that we’ve all seen some legend paly their final games, some club legends heading into their final games for the playoffs, we saw some fantastic season’s end, we saw some fantastic season’s continue, and now we all can look forward to our new playoff setting and heading into this season’s champion. It’s playoff time baby.