Rapids claim first MLS Cup

TORONTO — FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman knows soccer can be cruel sometimes. It certainly was for FC Dallas defender George John on Sunday night in the MLS Cup.

John deflected a shot into his own net in overtime and the Colorado Rapids beat FC Dallas 2-1 for their first MLS championship.

"You play for 90 plus minutes and it's a game of inches," Hyndman said. "It's a deflection goal. It goes in and you say 'How did that happen?'"

Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez found it hard to contain his emotions.

"It definitely hurts to get this far and be so close," Hernandez said. "There's no words to describe the feeling if you win and there's no words if you lose."

League MVP David Ferreira scored for Dallas in the first half, and Colorado's Conor Casey, selected the game MVP, tied it in the second.

In the second half of overtime, Rapids substitute Macoumba Kandji took a long pass from Casey, drove inside the box, beat a defender and stabbed the ball across the face of the Dallas goal. His shot spun off John's left thigh and over goalkeeper Kevin Hartman's head. John was charged with an own goal.

"I don't mind how they come," Rapids coach Gary Smith said. "If they're winners, it doesn't matter. For somebody to score an own goal there must be some pressure, they must be under some pressure, to make that mistake."

The 23-year-old John, a second-year player from Washington, fell to one knee, holding his head in his hands.

"I told him you don't let stuff like that make you who you are," Hartman said. "You can make it a footnote in your entire resume, but you don't let it become who you are. He's a solid defender. He's probably one of the best defenders I've ever played with."

The attendance was announced at 21,700, a sellout, but there were hundreds of empty seats scattered around the stadium. The temperature at kickoff was 45 degrees.

Kandji, Colorado's third and final substitute, sprained his left knee on the play and had to limp off, leaving the Rapids a player short for the final 12 minutes.

"At that point, I thought the defenders did their job admirably," Smith said.

Kandji was slow to leave the field, leading to a confrontation with Dallas' Ugo Ihemelu, who accused him of wasting time. Ihelemu shoved Kandji as he hobbled slowly off the field, but was not disciplined.

Ferreira nearly set up the tying goal with 5 minutes left, sliding a pass across the box to Ihelemu, but the defender blazed his shot high.

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