For the second year in a row, the Houston Dynamo are headed to the MLS Cup.
This time around, they advanced to the championship after defeating DC United on aggregate goals four to two. This came thanks to a 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Houston came into Sunday’s match with a two-goal advantage on aggregate following a 3-1 win last Sunday at home. With the advantage, Houston headed into the match knowing it would take a strong performance from a DC United offense that was missing Chris Pontius who re-aggravated a groin injury last weekend.
The Dynamo certainly did not need any assistance, but they took advantage of that, as they were the more threatening team for many segments throughout the match. That culminated in an early goal, as Boniek Garcia knocked in the opening goal, which essentially took DC United out of the match and the series.
Garcia was set up by Brad Davis, who found his way into the right side of the box, and tapped it to Garcia who blasted it past United keeper Bill Hamid for his first career playoff goal.
Branko Boskovic was able to put United on the scoreboard, but it was too little too late, as the 82nd minute strike only inched the home squad slightly closer.
Reigning MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario returned to action for the first time since suffering a sprained MCL in September, as he came off the bench midway through the second half. The midfielder was able to make an impact on the match, but nowhere near the amount that was required for United to complete the comeback.
Houston will now try to complete their own comeback, as they are headed back to the MLS Cup final for the second consecutive season, and fourth championship match in seven years. They await the winner of the Western Conference finals in Seattle on Sunday evening, as Houston will be face off against the winner of the match on the road due to Houston’s fifth place finish in the Eastern Conference regular season standings. An LA Galaxy win would set up a rematch of the 2011 MLS Cup, which the Galaxy won 1-0 at the Home Depot Center.
The 2012 MLS Cup takes place in two weeks on Saturday, December 1st.
What did you think of the match? Will Houston win the MLS Cup, regardless of opponent? What do you think of the job Ben Olsen did this season?
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