Dynamo down Red Bulls on the road, advance to Conference finals

BradDavisHoustonDynamo1-NewYorkRedBulls (USA Today Sports)

By DAN KARELL

The Houston Dynamo had failed to defeat the New York Red Bulls in their first four meetings this season. But none of that mattered when the teams faced off for the fifth time on Wednesday night in the second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

In their third game in seven days, Dominic Kinnear’s side pulled off an impressive 2-1 victory after extra time against the Red Bulls, progressing to the Eastern Conference finals with an aggregate score of 4-3. Omar Cummings again played the hero for the Dynamo, scoring in the 104th minute on a flicked shot that just snuck over the line, enough for the assistant referee to award a goal.

Despite scoring the opener and controlling possession throughout, the Red Bulls impressive season comes to a stunning end.

Following a sustained spell of attacking pressure, the Red Bulls were perhaps appropriately gifted with the opening goal of the game. Off a cross from the right by Red Bulls right back Brandon Barklage, Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall spilled the save, allowing Bradley Wright-Phillips to jump in and smash home the rebound in the 23rd minute.

Just as the Red Bulls were given a goal on an uncharacteristic mistake, so too were the Dynamo given a chance to equalize in the 35th minute. Red Bulls defender Ibrahim Sekagya, who looked to have hurt his leg just moments earlier while stretching on a clearance attempt, sent a pass straight to the Dynamo’s Brad Davis at the top of the box. The Dynamo captain took one touch and scored easily, stunning the home crowd.

Though Houston suddenly had the game’s momentum, the Red Bulls nearly took the lead again in the 45th minute. Thierry Henry took a side-footed shot towards goal that Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill deflected at the top of the six yard box, forcing Hall to make an incredible reflex save.

In the second half, both teams began to look more sloppy moving forward as tired legs took over. Regardless of the fatigue, the Red Bulls had three occasions to score starting in the 65th minute. A long throw-in was flicked on by Cahill to Henry, who headed the ball off the crossbar. Both Cahill and McCarty each had chances in the next few minutes, but their shots went right to Hall, who made up for his earlier error over the course of the game.

Henry again had a chance to end the match in regulation with a bicycle kick shot towards goal in the 90th minute that took a deflection and trickled wide of goal, saving the Dynamo’s chances.

Cummings, who came into the match in the second half, again got the all important touch for the Dynamo to put them ahead for good in the 14th minute of the first period of extra time. All the Jamaican forward needed was a slight touch to direct it towards goal, just crossing the goal line before Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles could scoop it out.

The Red Bulls sent long ball after long ball into the box but the Dynamo defense and Hall stayed strong and wound up winners, stunning the home crowd and ending their season.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS Playoffs, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- New York Red Bulls. Bookmark the permalink.

191 Responses to Dynamo down Red Bulls on the road, advance to Conference finals

  1. Mike R says:

    Maybe next year NJ can get three more DPs and still fail

    • Scott A says:

      Supporters’ Shield baby! Enjoy following whatever cheap team you follow.
      Was a knife in the gut, but with Petke coming back, I look forward to the future.

      • mike says:

        I’ve been a season ticket holder since the Earthquakes moved to Houston in 2006…. since that time I’ve been physically present at both MLS victories and have witnessed my team only miss the playoffs once….

        its been pretty good.

        but, “yeah, great, you got the supporters shield” – I’m sure the guys paying Cahill and Henry 8+ million a year are thrilled with their first round exit.

        • Scott A says:

          Oh, so you were spoiled with a team that MLS handed to you after stealing it from San Jose? I suppose I’d be proud of that too. I could tell that your “3 DPs” comment with tinged with anger; I’ve heard that Dynamo fans have some complex about AEG and the Galaxy.

        • Ian says:

          Cool story. I’ve been a Galaxy season ticket holder forever, and I’ve especially enjoyed watching your team lose in the MLS Cup final the last two years. Maybe it’ll happen again this year.

          • mike says:

            Yea, paid for with AEG blood money and MLS’s comical preference for LAG success

              • ozotkd says:

                Must hurt that it’s not your team wining right??? Keep hating on LA we don’t care cuz we are heading for that third consecutive MLS Cup, CMON LA!!!

            • bryan says:

              give me a break. Houston fans always complain that they are playing second fiddle to the Galaxy and that you want them to spend more on Houston. then you beat NY and now you want to try and say you don’t want DPs. GTFO.

              • Jeter says:

                As a Houston fan I do want some more DP’s. Alexander Lopez ain’t doing shit, that’s why he isn’t playing. He turned out to be a bust. Boniek Garcia is the real deal. I’d like for Houston to snag Didier Drogba, that would be freakin’ awesome! Watching Drogba get on the end of one of Brad Davis’s free kicks = Spectacular

      • AzTeXan says:

        Even the Jets have won a super bowl. Once NYCFC joins the league NYRB will be right where they belong:

        NY/NJ Teams that win: Yankees, Giants, NYCFC, Cosmos, Devils, and Islanders.

        NY/NJ Teams that are just okay: Rangers, Nets

        NY/NJ Teams that are jokes: Mets, Jets, Knicks and Red Bulls.

      • Limey says:

        Do you remember who won the SS last year? How about 2011? No one cares it’s all about the Cup.

        • RBNY says:

          LA, San Jose. The team that wins this post season tourney is just that – a tournament champion. Not a league champion. I don’t know how hard it is for you to grasp that fact.

          • Northzax says:

            So will the red bulls be sporting a nice shiny star on their chests next season? No? Huh.

          • pd says:

            yeah, as much as I agree with that idea in pronciple, no one believes that.

          • Matt says:

            So that means the Vikings were champions of the NFL in 1998? Woohoo…oh, wait. What you want and reality are not the same. The league has determined that the champion is decided at the end of the playoffs, not the regular season.

            Hell they seemed content to ignore the supporters shield for a long, long time.

          • whoop-whoop says:

            While I think the Supporter’s Shield is a huge accomplishment and undersold…. trying to diminish the Championship Cup now that your team has crashed out just looks like sour grapes…. mostly because it is. The entire RB team, organization and it’s supporters wanted this bad, were in a very good position to make it happen and after a great start at Houston, kind of choked away a great opportunity.

        • bryan says:

          i care about the SS. i also care about the Cup.

      • Mike R says:

        Supporter shiield? Who gives a rats a$$! My “cheap team” has won an MLS Cup four US open Cups and at least one supporters shield but ok not sure how many shields cause no one gives a rats a$$ about those.
        Your excited about Mike Petke coming back? Talk about setting the bar low. I could win a supporters shield spending tha much money. No one is saying Petke is the next Mourinnho or even the next Kreiss

  2. Limey says:

    Look at that its playoff time and who shows up? The Dynamo, maybe we’ll threepeat the final again. BTW welcome to the playoffs Red Bulls.

    • Scott A says:

      Maybe the Galaxy will threepeat you :)

      • Increase says:

        Please don’t =(

      • AzTeXan says:

        Considering they never try to win the USOC and CCL they should really be called the LA USA. Galaxy is a bit too expansive for the actual reality. Once they are actually able to fight on more than one front they can be the Galaxy again.

        • Chupacabra says:

          Only if the Cosmos are renamed the Long Island Sag Ponds.

        • stpauljosh says:

          And Crew, for Columbus!?! I mean, there are Crews all throughout the world. All kinds of crews… working crews, construction crews, rowing crews… Columbus really bit the big one naming their team “Crew”. It’s way to universal.

          Mascots.

        • gbott1999 says:

          Considering no MLS team has won the CC and the US Open Cup is..wait for it, wait for it…in the USA, then I guess you could argue using your genius logic that any we can start calling the Houston USA Dynamo or the DC USA United?

      • Big$ says:

        +1 Arriba El Galaxy!!!

      • Hogatroge says:

        Let’s make a deal. Give us this final and we’ll stop complaining about AEG favoritism. K?

    • jones says:

      I wouldn’t really call it “showing up.” Neither team looked good – Red Bulls were crap in front of goal and that’s why Houston won.

      • Hogatroge says:

        Really? I thought Houston won because they put the ball in the net more times than NY?

        • bryan says:

          that’s true, but how scrappy were those goals? two NY mistakes. and NY only scored off of a Houston mistake. both teams were just “eh” for me, a neutral.

  3. NaranjaFanatic says:

    On to our sixth conference championship in eight years. This is how it’s done.

  4. AzTeXan says:

    Remember that one time when the Red Bulls thought they weren’t the Red Bulls, but it turned out that they were actually still the Red Bulls. Hilarious.

  5. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    If mls has a playoff game and nobody is able to see it.. did the playoff game actually happen?

    • timmytwoshoezzz says:

      I love this take on the monumentally stupid tv contract Garber and MLS signed. To intelligently discuss MLS tv ratings one first needs to review lessons in complex numbers from high school algebra.

  6. BrianK says:

    Very disappointing. Henry didn’t deliver at crunch time.

  7. Maykol says:

    Henry looked so frustrated with his team, like he usually does. Feel bad for him

    • wood chip zip says:

      yeah that usually works out really well when the prima dona shows how frustrated he is with his sucky teammates

      • Eurosnob says:

        I can understand why Henry is frustrated with his teammates – he has a proven track record trophies at the highest levels: WC, UEFA Champions league, La Liga, EPL, etc. He played with the likes of Zidane, Bergkamp, Pires, Viera, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, so he can be forgiven for getting frustrated at the soccer IQ of current Red Bulls players.

  8. Cosmosfan says:

    typical…they haven’t won a home playoff game since early 2000′s..when they were an actual soccer club MetroStars.

  9. sgm says:

    Was anyone else unable to watch the extra time periods on mlslive? I would think this issue would have been addressed in development

    • wandmdave says:

      I was watching through the Roku MLS Live app and saw both overtimes ok. I missed most of the NYRB v Houston OT while watching the other game but saw the last 5 mins of each OT period. Watched all of the SKC v Revs OT without issue.

    • Falsify says:

      Even if it said the game was over you could open the replay and fast forward to catch up with the stream. Slightly awkward but it worked.

  10. just saying says:

    this is why mls playoffs are a joke! undeserving teams make it. they should have the top team of each conference seeded for the conference final and let 2 and 3 battle for a spot on there. i mean the conference playoff system works on other sports here in the usa because they also have divisions within that system. there is no reason why a team works hard all season to get to the top falls to a team that just cruised by all season just so they can turn it up “when it matters.” not only if you adopt that system will you see better playoffs but also see teams playing hard each week because points really matter. i love that we have the american touch on the game but that is also the reason why the league suffers internationally. sure argentina and mexico and some other countries have the liguilla system but their leagues are not the ones you hear people talking about. come on don lets fix this.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Please keep yout whining to a reasonable length.

      • FRANK FROM SANTIAGO says:

        well i’m not a RB fan but it’s hard to argue with what “just saying” wrote. unfortunately it doesn’t look good at all a mediocre team that barely got into the playoffs is only a game away from loosing to LA AGAIN!

        • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

          There now that is a reasonable length…still whining about soccer, just like all the whiners, but nice length to it.

        • Cosmosfan says:

          um MLS is a parity league pal, the difference between 1st and 8th in the table was 8 points…EIGHT! Lets not pretend the table toppers lost to a team 20 points behind them. In MLS all teams are essentially the same.

    • Joey says:

      I am having a hard time following your logic. It seems like people like you are the only ones who don’t get it. The fact is the better team won. The team that was better coached won. The team that managed the league better won. The league Championship is the MLS Cup. They get it in Houston. They understand how to manage a season. The mere fact that they are able to “turn it up” and get results is proof of this. They have a gear to “turn it up” to. Where was that the NYRB? Burnt out? They new the system at the beginning of the season. They either mismanaged it…or they were not as good. You decide.

    • wandmdave says:

      I have to agree. Not saying the Red Bulls deserved to win because they didn’t but Houston never should have been playing them in the first place. Maybe once MLS has 32 teams like NFL it can roll with a 10 team playoff but right now its just too easy to get in.

      Either that or make the supporters shield more important than the cup.

  11. fred mertz says:

    If MLS wants to go about things half-assed and they don’t care enough to give a s**t and don’t care whether their playoffs are televised how can they expect fans to stick around and support the league? It’s not like their aren’t any other leagues out there. No wonder people care more about clubs in Europe than about teams in their own cities.

    • Joe Timbres says:

      This. I went out and made a sports bar change all the main tvs to MLS package. Was pretty entertaining, I ruled the roost for 2 hours. Now if only the Ducks and Timbers weren’t overlapping tonight I would be a happy son of a gun. Well, beggars can’t be choosers, thank God for DVR. ACES and RCTID

  12. Mockmooed says:

    San Jose Sharks of MLS.

  13. j.r.bolt says:

    That was Sam that put the cross in that Wright-Phillips cleaned up.

  14. beto says:

    wow, all the Jersey banter here is hilarious! best team in the league no doubt but you guys just got beat fair and square by Mr Postseason Dom Kinnear.

    can’t believe they couldn’t get this game and SKCxNER on TV (en ingles)! What was espn, nbc, fox showing tonight?

    • yameson says:

      +1 Kinnear was the winner here. Red Bulls had a game plan, but couldn’t adjust when it became clear it wasn’t working. Red Bulls were dangerous in the first half, but Kinnear found a way to beat them. The last half hour or so, I felt like I was watching the Hans Bakke team–predictable, unimaginative and unable/unwilling to adapt to the game. It’s true Henry lacked the finishing touch we rely on so heavily, which made for a difficult night. But subbing Espindola for Wright-Phillips was hair-brained. Peggy creating chances and feeding strikers would have been a surprising and effective way forward, and his pressure up the middle might have created some space for those tedious crosses in that Hall handled so well. The result is depressing, but I am gutted by the coaching performance.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Let’s be real, the Dynamo enacted almost an anti-game plan and were rarely getting forward after the first 45. They were bunkering, the GK was playing out of his mind, and they were playing for basically the scenario that worked out…..a deadball or a poached goal. This time it did.

        In fairness, I think we had to play this one close to the vest because NYRB would win an open game. Had over and over this season. But they did seem to deflate rather than re-charge as the subs came in and the game progressed into OT.

        That being said, if any of a number of balls in the box goes in instead of being saved, very different result.

        • H-town says:

          So, what you are saying is… IF New York had scored more goals than Houston, they would have won?!?

          That is brilliant!

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            I guess you’ve never been on the wrong side of a bunker strategy. It’s a percentage play and Houston has been bounced from the playoffs trying this same strategy but then giving up THAT backbreaker goal. For example, 2009 vs. LA. Few games every season we lose or tie trying to play it conservative.

            After the game you can say well they do shoot a ton but Hall saved all but one and we managed two goals on roughly two shots, but it doesn’t necessarily work out that way most nights. The very fact it went to OT underlines the borderline nature of the strategy.

    • wood chip zip says:

      To those that think Petke should get coach of the year over Porter, I give you this game. Pregame speech – “go out and have fun, you only get so many special games like these”. Uuuumm. Not so special when you lose is it Pesky with your sassy teenage male model jeans, tennies, and elbow patch sweater. LOL like MLS is a fashion runway. Please spare me the the eurotrash influence in American soccer. Maybe Petke should spend more time respecting the game plan of the Dynoamo than he does deciding his cute little outfit

      • AcidBurn says:

        How about we wait and see what Mr. Genius does in the return leg against Seattle before crowning him?

  15. NaranjaFanatic says:

    The east has New York and the west has Seattle and everyone likes to talk about this star or that star and how much money the club is paying for them. But in the end, teams with heart win. That’s why the Dynamo always get it done in the playoffs. Huge heart. That’s why SKC and Houston will face off again for the conference championship. Two clubs with heart. I can’t wait for the next two games – Fantastic!

    • RB says:

      So the LA galaxy have more heart than anybody else lately. OK.

    • AcidBurn says:

      I guess Houston’s heart passed the ball directly to Brad Davis in front of the NY goal, or cleared the ball directly to Rico Clark once again in front of the NY goal.

      Call Houston opportunistic, but come on…”they wanted it more” is just empty narrative.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      My comparison would be to the Rockets teams of the 90s, which had Hakeem down low to play half court ball, and some shooters outside if we had to win that way. In the playoffs the tough physicality shifts play towards something more like halfcourt ball and that suits Houston’s stiff team defense and deadball game. We don’t depend on some finesse passing game that goes off the rails under playoff intensity. Brutal but effective.

      That being said, the running story of the past few years going back to 2009 has been that Kinnear has not rounded up sufficient offense to get us all the way to the trophy. I think you can bunker until you play LA but their offense is too good to hold for 90 and we have to be able to keep up. When/if we get two good forwards it will be different.

  16. El Paso tx says:

    I repeat, MLS needs to change the playoffs system.
    MLS needs to give the team with the MOST POINTS IN THEIR CONFERENCE,the conference title.
    There is no need for conference playoffs, but yes for MLS Cup.
    Once MLS hits 20 teams and beyond, give the team with the most points in their conference, the title and a direct semifinal spot or final four spot.
    C’mon MLS, it’s a long MLS season and you have to reward and recognize the best team in the conference, besides the supporters shield.
    As for the playoff games, YOU NEED TO MAKE THE GAMES KNOCK OUT GAMES, in order to make the LONG SEASON interesting, you would make the seeding more interesting and teams will give what they have in one game, not 2.
    For example, once MLS reaches 20 teams, make it top 7 in each conference. Give the the conference winner a direct semifinal spot or final four spot. So that makes it 6 teams, but remember games are knock out and team with most points will host . No 2 legged series!!!!!!!! It’s a long season, with open cup, concacaf champions and playoffs.
    Once MLS hits 24 teams or even 20, this is the way to go.
    Oh and by the way MLS, DO NO HAVE OVERTIME, THATS ONLY FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME OR SEMIFINAL.
    Oh and televised the games!!!!!!!!!
    Fix the playoffs MLS, I’m not a red bull or timbers fan but they deserve their conference tittle no matter what, since it’s a long season. This is not mexico playoffs where they have two seasons.
    One long season= knock out games and conference winner by your season points. Then playoffs.

    • hou999 says:

      El Paso, the problem is the scheduling by MLS. It’s really a joke. The better teams have to play Concacaf (in my mind another joke) and lose players during international duty. For a team like the Dynamo, this also means that they play a crazy number of games at the end of the season, and that there’s little flow during the regular season. So for a team like the Dynamo to beat a team like NY that has 3X the Dynamo salary, I think the playoffs matter…a lot. Even with the unfair number of games, it’s the only time that the full roster of the better teams really play each other.

    • FRANK FROM SANTIAGO says:

      El Paso tx, the 2 legs is basically just for money reasons. I agree that conference champions should get something for being the best team within their region, BUT again it’s about milking as much money as possible for having them play a mini tournament AFTER they played 9 months and were the best teams. ‘murica + playoffs = MONEY for the league.

    • chuck says:

      really? how about giving the league title to the team with the most points? wouldn’t that be a blast?.

      This is America, this is the way sports are played. If after 162 games you have post season, after 34 you very well expect one.

      At lest we dont have people vote for who should play in the final. lol

  17. Sabella says:

    Just got home from the game. It was a heartbreaking loss. As an RB fan, while the loss is tough, the team gave it everything they had; they left it all on the field. Thus, they should be proud of what they achieved this year and how they have grown as team relative to last year. The mentality of this team is totally different and for the better. The future looks bright. You can thank Petke and Cahill for turning things around. They are winners.

    Hats off to Houston. It was a well played and entertaining game even though he wrong team won!

    • El Paso tx says:

      I think Henry is a Barbie, like Beckham but Beckham had Donovan, keane and a good coach and other players like Gonzalez.
      I think red bull could have done better with any coach this year because it was their year but they Henry needs a Donovan and keane. Why not, go for their 3rd DP, they need it.
      Imagine ronaldinho or drogba in red bull, that would be a team to run with.
      For Xmas, red bull should ask for a center defender and another forward.

      • Big$ says:

        Drogba would be sick…Henry only has so many chances left. He deserves better support. Anyhow hats off to the Red Bulls huge improvement. Damn these Playoffs have been good. A Jermain Defoe would be sick as well.

    • hou999 says:

      Frankly, I thought Henry was the best player on the field, making great passes and creating chances but perhaps getting tired at the end. Petke has done very well, Cahill is a great player, and NY had the better chances. But the Dynamo really do have a great mentality. Maybe NY was the better team overall but the Dynamo played with tenacity especially after midway through the second half (which surprised me as I thought they’d have dead legs by then). And despite his terrible error in the first goal, the Houston keeper was the great equalizer, which meant anything could happen and the final result showed it. NY should be proud and look to a good future.

    • Rabid RBNY says:

      The MLS Cup Playoffs add that kept flashing “Who will Fall?”. Felt like Someone was turning the knife. A memorable season. I look forward CCL games next year. The attack seemed less threatening when Dola came on for BWP. I hope they can keep this team together for next season. With some of the key players to help the team get the SS got picked up mid season.

  18. Bean says:

    Lot’s of sour grapes tonight. Just sit back and enjoy the rest of the tournament. It’s all in fun.

  19. Ralphwrecking says:

    Supports Shield still most important domestic trophy for an MLS club. That’s why you play so many games–to tell who is consistently the best. Soccer is a somewhat random game after all.

    If an MLS game happened, but nobody saw it, did it happen? Come on guys. This blows.

    • John says:

      Perhaps in a single table league where teams play every other team home and away. Perhaps also in a league where you don’t play through international breaks. However thats not how the MLS works and MLS cup is still what teams play for.

      • Pepe says:

        Yeah, sorry Ralph, SS doesn’t matter nearly as much. It’s not the championship, and it’s not what teams play for. And I’m completely certain that if SS was the championship, Dom Kinnear would approach the season with a very different strategy.

        • che says:

          You are saying Kinnear didn’t try to win every game Houston played this season? only just enough to make the playoffs? come on man, you must be joking

          • hou999 says:

            Of course Kinnear tried to win, but if the SS was the real prize, he would not have played so many starters in concacaf games, and maybe have a different roster without so many internationals subject to being called up throughout the season. 4 starters at times were away on international duty (Honduras, Jamaica, and US), and Houston doesn’t have the $ for great roster depth. Yeah, I think Kinnear’s strategy would change.

    • gbott1999 says:

      Then why do playoffs exist? If it was just about the SS, we would not need playoffs. This isn’t Europe. #Merica

  20. Adam M. says:

    Loss was Petke’s fault. Red Bulls were dominant recentlywith Cahill forward and Peguy running central mid, one of Petke’s best insights. But tonight he abandoned that and reverted to the inconsistent and ineffectual wing play that made them mediocre at the start of the season. Then he upped the ante with the Espindola sub, who was mostly miss as he had been all year. Red Bulls ran out of ideas and got beat on flukes, surprising no one paying attention. Houston had zip this game, but took advantage of what they were handed.

    • accRich says:

      NY had over 20 shots at goal plus several other opportunities they didn’t shoot on. Its not Petke’s fault the team was off tonight. They dominated Houston apart from a poor giveaway and one other SOT that barely made it a few inches beyond the goal line. I look forward to seeing Petke have another full season with an even better team next year. SS plus champs league is more than most other MLS teams can say they achieved.

      just a bit unlucky in the postseason.

    • Brain Guy says:

      Agree. Cahill was his hottest player and hit pushed back to the midfield. And Davud Carney needs to go far, far away.

  21. 2tone says:

    Well, it looks like LA and Houston are on course to meet once again in the MLS final. I hope not.

  22. TXjeff says:

    This is soccer. Sometimes the better team doesn’t win, which has little to do with strategy or better talent, just who was better that day. NY was better throughout the season and head-to-head as records show, they just couldn’t put it in the back of the net tonight. Best of luck to Houston in the next few games.

    • H-town says:

      No… The better team won.

      • accRich says:

        red bulls was 3-0 vs Houston during the season. Houston was up a man 30 min in the first leg in which they came back from a 2-0 deficit, and were out shot 23-7 in the second leg. As a fan who dislikes both teams, the better team certainly did not win tonight. Such is soccer

        • John says:

          Red Bulls had already given up a goal before the red card. They also took an early lead in this one as well and couldn’t hang on. They were clearly the more fatigued team at the end and just had nothing left. Red Bulls i’d say are the more skilled team but Houston was more fit and prepared for 90 minutes.

          • AcidBurn says:

            Did you watch the second half? Houston barely crossed the midfield stripe. Just sat back on exhausted legs and waited for RBNY to screw up.

            Given RBNY’s playoff history, well played Dom, well played. I think if Houston doesn’t get that early Xmas gift in the first half (their only shot on goal FYI) then it’s a much different story if they have to go after it.

        • AcidBurn says:

          What is strange about this series is that the team that played aggressive failed miserably.

          MLS playoffs: Bunker city baby!

      • Big$ says:

        Houston is money in the playoffs….How does Kinnear do it with such a mediocre payroll?

        • Josh says:

          Plenty of reasons. All you need is a good run in a balanced playoff system. There’s no advantage for doing well in the regular season. 30 degree soccer is much different from 100 degree soccer. The payroll is only mediocre compared to the NYRB/Galaxy/now Sounders style of roster where 3 guys each make more than most teams. In a team game, you can shut down these wastes of money. Need more?

          • Rowsdower says:

            No advantage? 3 games in a week is a disadvantage in my book. Playing the deciding game at home is an advantage. Possibly playing the Cup at home is an advantage. Shut down wastes of Money? Cahill and Henry are now wastes of money? They were awesome this series.

            • MJ says:

              No, no advantage when it’s still a home and home. One game every four days isn’t asking a lot from professional athletes. Deciding game at home cancels out when you’ve already played away and the opposing team can just bunker. It’s the Dynamo special for advancing in playoffs. And yes, if you can shut down the DPs, the teams are weak.

              • Rowsdower says:

                4 days? were do you get 4 days from. Dynamo played 3 games since Halloween. That was a week ago. All play off matches CCL match in panama 10/24. DCU on 10/27. Dynamo did not shut down the DPs. And we just disagree on the deciding game at home not mattering. SKC sure seemed to like theirs.

              • Josh says:

                CCL is a different animal when involved, and stupid scheduling all around. Yes, SKC did win last night, but it’s no advantage. Having to play from behind at home doesn’t exactly scream advantage. Shouldn’t have to win on the road just to get an advantage at home

      • bryan says:

        this neutral disagrees. NY looked better to me but Hall was in beast mode.

  23. RBNY says:

    Houston is the new San Jose, in more ways than one.

  24. soccerhorn says:

    I’m a Galaxy supporter, and I’m torn. On the one hand, I’m sick of beating Houston every year in the Final. Boring to do it a third time. Was hoping for someone new to beat. On the other hand, I do dearly want to win a third consecutive championship, and Houston has been most obliging.

    One the other hand, I’d love to host the championship again this year. My season tickets afford me an excellent view of the festivities. On the other hand, I hear Kansas City is beautiful in Decem…. oh no wait. Ok, go Houston. I guess.

  25. t says:

    Wouldn’t NY have won this series if it went by the standard away goals rule? The game would not have gone into extra time.

    Why doesn’t MLS award away goals?

    • AcidBurn says:

      Correct, if the same thing happened in almost all cup competitions anywhere else in the world, RBNY and Houston tie 1-1, 3-3 on aggregate and RBNY goes on by virtue of scoring two road goals.

      Wouldn’t the game have been a little different if Houston had to come out and try to score a second instead of barely cross their halfway line in the second half? Big difference, that is why road goals are important. Harder to get a result on the road, should reward teams that go at it and actually try to score in the first leg.

      • Stephen says:

        I don’t get this mentality. Why is it harder to score goals on the road? Can the home team make the goals smaller on the visitor’s side? Are the visitors required to wear inferior gear? Perhaps it’s because the colors of the home team all over the arena cause the away team to play worse?

        I understand the idea of the Away Goal Rule, but I think it’s antiquated and no longer useful. In all sports, the best teams can win on the road. Let’s get past the idea that a road team has some monumental task to overcome that is so unfair they need to get extra value from a goal. It borders on ridiculous.

    • Jason B says:

      Both teams knew the rules going in, dont blame the league. The rules are controlled, the startegy is manipulative. The rest of the league needs to figure it out.

  26. Somewhere Scott A is driving his parents car into the neighbors’ living room and babbling about the Supporters Shield.

  27. Buzzkill_Ed says:

    Sorry, anyone who thinks the Supporters Shield is “winning the league” is completely delusional.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Well, then I guess that Europe and most of the world is delusional then, because the team with the most number of points at the end of the year wins the league.

      Call MLS Cup what it is – a knockout cup competition. Much harder to win the SS and be consistent over 34 games than win a few home and home games crammed into two weeks with no away goal rule.

  28. Devin Brown says:

    The harder you work, the luckier you get.

  29. Aguinaga says:

    NY gave this to Houston, they won it by default & crap refs – it’s undeserved. NY get CCL next yr and that 100k allocation for qualifying from CCL. That’s something factual & meaningful. What does Houston get besides pure fail vs SKC in a gimmicky Americanized abomination of a tournament after the league champ has already been crowned? Might as well have kept the shootout format as well then, no?

    Far as Cosmos trolls, what are you doing in a Major league convo? Didn’t the league already give you the NYCFC shaft? Say it with me – you are Minor. Go back to your playpen & play nice with the other little Cosmo boys & girls.

  30. Rex says:

    It was actually Houstons 5th game in 2 weeks. Cahill was a beast. Man of the match for me even though RB lost. Say what you want about Henry, but him gave it is best for all 120min.

    • Devin Brown says:

      Saturday will be Houston’s 7th game in 21 days including road trips to Panama, DC, and NY and of course including the 120 minute game last night.

      • AcidBurn says:

        …and they have had 3 of their first 4 playoff games at home. Something wacky with that since they are the lowest seed.

        (Quibble if you want, but even if you throw out the knockout, it is still 2 out of 3 at home)

  31. Texian1856 says:

    Like MLB’s NY Yankees. Teams like the Galaxy should have an asterisk by their titles denoting – “This championship obtained through league promoted obnoxious payroll allocation for TV viewing purposes”. Or, “Best championship money can buy”. The NFL has it right on parity. Dom Kinnear should be the next coach of the USMNT for what he gets out of his teams. Just saying.

    • slowleftarm says:

      So winning a championship isn’t legit unless everyone spends the same number of dollars? Already coming up with excuses for the annual MLS Cup final loss?

  32. Cosmosfan says:

    the abortion marketing gimic that is red bull should never be allowed to win an MLS Cup…for the good of real soccer fans everywhere. Well done Houston.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Hempstead Cosmos are a better example of a marketing gimmick. And a less successful one, given that they play their games in some college stadium in Hempstead.

  33. Todd says:

    How was this game not on national TV. MLS blew it last night.

  34. Herschel Skywalker says:

    The only thing I regret is now having to watch that Alfred E. Newman look alike, Brad Davis, eerily grinning between his two flapping ears and oozing overconfidence in his left lower appendage. In grade school, he would have gotten beat up just for being him. When he stared down Henry last night after tripping him, I couldn’t decide whether to gag or chuckle.

    • Rowsdower says:

      Here’s a tissue.

    • bford says:

      Henry is a legend… but there isn’t a player on Houston that wouldn’t beat him down if it came to a fight… it was a dumb play by Henry to foul him at that point.. but he did his usual.. I’m french and I’m Henry dumbfounded look. Always amusing and sad to see.

      Great player, but a whiny, well.. you know.

  35. RK says:

    Schadenfreude!

  36. Tweaked says:

    And then it all went Metro. Can’t even blame the snow this year.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Yeah, no snow this year. Guess the blame will have to go to:
      -the ref, didn’t make a call for NY the whole night
      -away goals rule
      -MLS playoff format
      -MLS scheduling – mid-week game
      -Jamison Olave

      • bford says:

        I’ve always been glad MLS doesn’t use the away goals rule…. it is dumb… glad the EPL doesn’t use it for the FA cup… aggregate score is enough over two games… then you use OT as needed.

      • slowleftarm says:

        None of these are viable excuses. Over the two games, too many chances not taken, too many stupid mistakes. That’s why they lost – they didn’t play well enough.

  37. DC Josh says:

    So the Red Bulls finish the 2013 season accomplishing as much as DC United: 1 domestic trophy, no MLS Cup.

  38. bford says:

    Red Bulls had a great season…. good fight… but after two games, Houston deserves to be in the conference finals…

    I wish they had more time before the first game though…this will be their 4th match in 9 days… then they have a really long break before the second game at Kansas City.

    I love how hard Cahill plays…. he is a great international addition to MLS.

    • Tony says:

      Deserves? Why Does mediocrity deserve anything? This team is garbage and are very lucky to come out with wins when they don’t deserve it the dynamo is opportunistic at best and their luck always runs out. here’s hoping to their elimination so mls has a final with some kind of quality soccer rather than another killing of a dynamo team by th galaxy

  39. Tony says:

    There is something wrong with this league: tv coverage, officiating, and commentary.

    At the end if the season the supporter shield was a dead heat. There were great games on that weekend. It is these moments that make a league, attract fans. The EPL would have blitz coverage remember when man city won and viewer were flipping between games to see who would win. The EPL gained fans with great soccer and a dramatic ending. Well guess what there was a dramatic ending in mls and the league did not cash in. Instead the league featured the galaxy vs Seattle which was not a meaningful game and commentary by twittledee and tweetleda who mention the supporter shield as a so what moment. Twelman and lalas are supposed to be ambassadors to the mls game why downplay it? This is the quintessential problem with mls. We downplay all trophies but mls cup. The cups should bring in fans and revenue. The supporter shield should have legitimacy which the supporters get but the media wants to downplay.

    The referees in the league need to step up!!!!!!! Playoffs does not mean that career ending tackles and poor soccer takes grip because officials can’t control the game. The refs have lost control of games and the playoffs are not over. The Houston dynamo game vs Montreal was an example of poor officiating. Moreover the missed calls in both dynamo vs red bulls games makes the league look like a joke: two clear penalty kicks were not called in this series.

    Which bring me to commentary. What are these commentators watching? Any part of the world or any sport would have put refs on blast for interjecting themselves in the game! I am amazed but the lack of discussion on the poor officiating which leads to garbage soccer which neither attractive nor entertainment. but here all quiet!
    at the end of the dynamo redbulls game the commentators should give MVP awards to two refs and the dynamo goalkeeper for the dynamo series but to say that Cummings was MVP and the dynamo won with heart? Come on! Lets call this series what it was one garbage team the dynamo vs another garbage team who could not put a team away. Yes the dynamo are garbage. I would not celebrate a win like this if I did nothing put park the bus! Yeah dynamo not even close the Chelsea . Difference!!!!

    Finally I know lalas and twelman as well as other will say this is the nature of the playoffs. Well I must say the playoff product is subpar. This season was a great season for mls games and is a missed opportunity to gain fans Much better than these playoffs so far which have become untractive and extremely physical games where poor teams have a chance at hurting better teAms with a little help from bad officiating.

    MLS needs to reconsider its growth plan. The refs, these playoffs that do not follow recognized rules of the game, and commentators that diminish the importance of the regular season alienate soccer fans which come out for a Chelsea game in the us but don’t come out for an mls team. Mls really needs to focus on all its trophies and should use the drama of the season to build its fan base
    I

    • Ryan in Syracuse says:

      Read my comment below-marketing is the biggest money maker in sports-just look at the rise of the NBA in America–it’s based on star power….the MLS has attempted to bring over star power with first Beckham and the other DP’s to market itself to the casual fan and ex-pats however if the teams that buy the DP’s are rubbish and get elimated from the “most meaningful games” then it really doesn’t make a difference and makes me wonder why teams should invest in DP’s at all….but then the league still pushes them on the biggest markets to promote the sport….it’s just plain annoying.

  40. Ryan in Syracuse says:

    I support the Red Bulls….and at the end of the day the result is what it is and the season is over. What I do get annoyed at is just what MLS wants for itself. New York puts alot of pressure on itself to be the best and that is seen through the purchase of DP’s….ideally MLS I think would want to see an LA/Seattle final vs NY…it’s just more marketable and the names on both sides of the field would be more recognizable to the casual fan-which explains why rules have been bent in the past to accomodate some teams. Unless you are LA, the purchase of multiple DP’s really cripples a team from a personnel standpoint, yeah you have a name that the league can market but you can’t put players around them to showcase their true talent…the hit against the cap is an atrocious rule for purchasing DP’s and should be amended in upcoming seasons to not count against the cap….I know the league wants teams to go out and get these players for marketing purposes but then congratulations you have houston likely going to the finals again starring….”noone”…I know Houston fans are proud of that and should be but in the end it’s bad business for the league as a whole….hopefully LA or Seattle make it to the finals because Portland or RSL against Houston/KC and I’m not interested and I think the rest of casual America would say the same thing.

    • Boyd says:

      So instead of the better teams making it to the finals it should be the most famous ones?
      MLS has been bending and changing the rules to the benefit of their favorite teams for a long time. Did you know they outright bought Clint Dempsey and gave him to the Sounders? If Seattle can’t make it to the final it’s not for lack of trying by MLS.

      Houston doesn’t deserve to be in the finals because they don’t have famous players?
      Sorry but the games are not played in the tabloids. Being famous doesn’t automatically give you any special rights. You still have to play the games.

      Maybe you should stick to the EPL. Plenty of famous players over there.

      • Ryan in Syracuse says:

        I have no issues with Houston winning…11 v 11 and the better team won….the issue is that the league did buy Dempsey and put him on Seattle…I agree with that….but they also charge Seattle a hefty hit against the cap which makes the team weaker-this has been the issue with NY for years…we bring over stars for the league to market and they punish us with a salary cap hit which i’d like to see amended….from a marketing perspective wouldn’t the league want Dempsey and the Sounders or Donovan and the Galaxy vs Henry and NY…..versus the possible alternative of Portland vs Houston….no marketing genius can save that from an absolute ratings disaster regardless of whether you are a fan or not….trust me I loved hockey for a long time…the game is great but without a gretzky to hang your marketing rope around they have been destroyed by the genius of the NBA with LeBron among others

  41. bryan says:

    don’t support either team, and while i don’t like NY, i can’t stand Houston. i don’t even know why. but this was a bummer for me.

    • AcidBurn says:

      I have a guess of why you can’t stand Houston, you are not a fan of what Hans Backe used to call “cynical soccer”.

  42. Ectra says:

    Plastic fields, NFL logos, football lines, bad referees, even worse players, no tv coverage, washed out former stars, horrible tackles, atrocious commentators, stupid schedules…..yeah, Houston is killing MLS

  43. RBNY says:

    If the schedule was amended, I would give the playoffs more credence in crowning a worthy champion. Right now, it’s a joke of a tournament. I would have been saying the same thing had we won it all.

    MLB, NBA, NHL, play all 7 game playoff series to prove who the better club is. There is very little chance for nondeserving clubs to make it to a conference final. Playoffs are meant to be a true barometer of class, not this mockery.

    • Matt says:

      To be fair MLB only play 5 games series to make it to the respective League Championship series. Also nice to know that the NFL playoffs are a mockery in your mind.

      • RBNY says:

        Still much better than MLS and its “5 games to a championship” joke called MLS Cup playoffs.

        NFL playoffs actually gives appropriate homefield advantage. So while it is a knockout tournament it does respect teams that played at the highest level during the season. Lower seeds don’t even get home games – so don’t try and compare “MLS Cup Playoffs” to a system that gets it right.

    • Tony says:

      Well said!!!!

  44. manny rivademar says:

    It was a hard fought game and I am glad Houston came out on top. However, RB played much better than Houston. The main difference was Hall, he played out of his mind. The Orange still need help up front and they need a passing mid with vision. Until they get that, they will always get abused verbally like on this board. Still, you think SKC is worried? you bet!