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Eastern Conference final only in name

Updated: November 11, 2010, 10:14 AM ET
By Leander Schaerlaeckens

The assignment came down the old pipeline a few months ago. "You're covering the Eastern Conference final," my editor bellowed down the cast-iron pipe affixed to the wall above my typewriter. After swatting away the cigar smoke that had accompanied his message from above, I tightened my suspenders, put on my straw hat and, after returning from the haberdasher, wondered where I could possibly be sent.

Anywhere, I discovered.

MLS has an asymmetric playoff structure. The ...

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