MLS Cup Playoffs’ away-goals rule — how are players, coaches feeling about it?

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For the first time in league history, this year’s MLS Cup Playoffs will utilize the “away goals rule” tiebreaker during the conference semifinals and finals portion of its postseason.

Some onlookers may say, “They do it in the UEFA Champions League, so what’s the big deal,” but many critics remain. So how are players and coaches feeling about the new rule?

Like or dislike? Advantage or disadvantage?

Columbus Crew forward Justin Meram, as seen as seen on MLSsoccer.com:

“All the fans and everybody were all excited for us, and we disappointed everybody. Giving up four goals, it’s just unacceptable, especially in the format where away goals count. That killed us.”

Meanwhile, New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps will be feeling ecstatic about the away goals rule — for this round, at least — as his side could lose the second leg at home, by either a 2-0 or 3-1 scoreline, and still advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, before his side’s 0-0 draw against the LA Galaxy, as seen on MLSsoccer.com:

“We’ve got to keep it zero at home. It’s going to be tough against those guys, but … we’ve stopped them before. And there’s no reason why we can’t stop them again. It’s so important now because away goals mean something.”

RSL head coach Jeff Cassar, feeling rather pleased with his side’s positioning:

Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, following the 0-0 draw at RSL: