Round One of US Open Qualifying for MLS teams concluded last night, as the LA Galaxy defeated the Columbus Crew 1-0 in Columbus. The lone goal came off a misplay by Bill Gaudette who fumbled a Landon Donovan cross and Nate Jaqua pounced to score the winning goal.
Last week, Real Salt Lake defeated Kansas City 2-1 in extra time to book their place in the 2nd qualifying round.
Real Salt Lake will play at Colorado on May 23rd for entry into the tournament, while the Galaxy will host the Red Bulls at a date to be determined.
I for one like the new qualifying format for MLS teams. The first four teams competing are the four that didn't make the playoffs last year, with New York and Colorado joining in the 2nd qualifying round as the 4th place teams in their respective conferences last season.
This will finally weed out some of the teams that don't seem to care about the tournament, as is always the case with MLS teams in the early rounds, and will give more chances for lower-division teams to advance further. We haven't seen a non-MLS team win the competition since 1999, when Rochester beat Colorado 2-0.
Rochester is the only team to even advance to a final in the MLS era, also making the final in 1996.