FanDuel - WFBC

December 07, 2013

Sporting KC Wins MLS Cup on 10th Round of Penalty Kicks: Before their home stadium in 20 degree weather (7 degrees factoring in wind chill), by far the coldest final in MLS Cup history, Sporting Kansas City defeated Real Salt Lake on penalty kicks 7-6 Saturday. The teams were tied 1-1 after 120 minutes from a goals by Alvario Saborio of RSL and an Aurelien Collin equalizer for KC. Keeper Jimmy Nielsen outdueled Nick Rimando on PKs and then spray-painted "2013" under "MLS Champions" at Sporting Park in the postgame celebration.

posted by rcade to soccer at 08:18 PM - 10 comments

Can we get rid of the penalty shootout already? That is the least satisfying ending in all of sports.

posted by bender at 07:24 PM on December 07

I don't like PKs but they were quite a show unto themselves. Both teams had the win on their foot. We were one successful RSL goal from having the keepers kick.

This made me wonder what happens after it's still tied once the keepers have shot.

posted by rcade at 08:20 PM on December 07

You go back through the order again. This almost occurred last year when Huddersfield won promotion to the Championship when its keeper scored and Sheffield United's keeper skied his PK on the 11th kicks.

Bender, what would be your suggestion? The idea of continuing overtime, perhaps with a sudden-death goal after 120 minutes, is not appealing, especially on a day when it's freezing. As George Carlin stated about baseball, "We don't know when it's gonna end."

posted by jjzucal at 08:53 PM on December 07

What is wrong with sudden death after the overtime period ends? Other sports manage just fine.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:06 PM on December 07

FIFA tried Golden Goal a few years ago (in normal extra time), including in international tournaments. I remember watching from the old Lang Park terraces when Australia put Uruguay out in Brisbane during the 1993 World Youth Cup*.

No-one was very happy about Golden Goal, it seems, as it precluded any chance of a comeback. That appeared to be the main reason. But penalty shootouts, eh? Not completely satisfactory, but the random nature of them (Germany excluded) should make the "superior" team more inclined to win in regulation time. Unfortunately the down side of this (Argentina 1990) is that poorer sides can try and hold out for the shootout.

*The ALP won the unwinnable federal election that same night, too, so I was a pretty happy man all round.

posted by owlhouse at 10:15 PM on December 07

After 120 minutes of play, teams tend to play lousy ball. The lack of substitutions is the big difference. Sudden death in a game that is difficult to score can lead to ultra conservative play as exhausted players strive not to lose, rather than trying to win. It produces a style of play that is unattractive to watch.

They did experiment with the golden goal concept for a while, and it was a total failure. Overtimes became less likely to produce a goal.

posted by Mothball at 10:17 PM on December 07

What is wrong with sudden death after the overtime period ends?

We've had this conversation before. One reason why the golden goal didn't work was that football has never been a game that puts timekeeping is the players' hands. No timeouts, no shot clock. The game ends regardless of any action on the pitch. When a golden goal ended a match, it felt weird.

posted by etagloh at 12:12 AM on December 08

I will grant that as penalty shootouts go, this one was very dramatic. I just hate that a game--particularly one for a championship--is decided by a contest that is so far removed from what they have spent the last 120 minutes, and indeed the last several months, doing.

Bender, what would be your suggestion? The idea of continuing overtime, perhaps with a sudden-death goal after 120 minutes, is not appealing, especially on a day when it's freezing. As George Carlin stated about baseball, "We don't know when it's gonna end."

I would like to see the game continue, and I am not opposed to allowing additional substitutions. I don't know if I have a preference to additional extra time periods as is currently or a sudden death format, but I would like to see the game ended playing something the resembles the game that they have been playing.

If that is not feasible (which maybe it really isn't), I also think the idea (which has been discussed here before) of holding the penalty shootout prior to the extra periods is worth experimenting with.

posted by bender at 01:11 PM on December 08

Sudden death extra time was the worst thing to happen to football that doesn't rhyme with Bepp Slatter.

I personally like shootouts, which probably counts as dangerously masochistic, coming from an England fan. They give plenty of drama and iconic moments and displays of character. Waddle did his best to never take another penalty after 1990, (and I believe he missed the one he was eventually forced to take), while Pearce's celebration in 96 was great.

Similarly, Baggio's moment in 94, hands on hips in front of the world was great. Matched by the penalty against Chile four years later.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:20 PM on December 08

Knowing English non-league soccer, I think shootouts after 90 minutes occur only in low-level matches such as county cups. FA competition (Cup, Trophy, Vase) replays and league-promotion matches go the full 120 minutes before the shootout.

posted by jjzucal at 08:44 PM on December 09

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