Even though Dallas isn't in it, it's tough to not get excited about the next two nights of soccer around here. Tonight and tomorrow, a total of 4 teams will be eliminated as the conference semifinal second legs take place. In case you missed it this weekend, let's take a look back at what happened and a look ahead to the action tonight.
Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders FC
RSL welcomed Seattle into Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night and promptly sent them home with a 3-0 deficit heading into tonight's second leg. The combination of Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio combined with a smothering defense gave Real Salt Lake the emphatic win. So game over right? Might want to hold off on that as the big kicker heading into tonight's match is the injury doubt of RSL center back's Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers. Both hobbled off with injuries in Saturday's first leg and it's not known if they will play tonight. If Seattle scores an early goal in this one, watch out.
Must see TV 9PM on ESPN2 - First Leg Highlights
Sporting KC looks to have one and a half feet in the door of an Eastern Conference Final after manhandling Colorado 2-0 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Sunday night in Denver. Through a brace from Teal Bunbury, SKC beat the Rapids easily in a game that saw Drew Moor, Kosuke Kimura, Caleb Folan and Tyrone Marshall pick up injuries and red cards that will keep them out of tonight's match. In front of the wild Livestrong Sporting Park home crowd, I see Sporting roll through a depleted Colorado side ensuring we won't have a repeat champion.
7PM on Fox Soccer - First Leg Highlights
Keep reading for tomorrow's matches
In another of the thoroughly enthralling first leg games, Houston, on the back of Brad Davis' brilliance, takes a 2-1 lead back to Robertson Stadium. Two early goals just a minute apart saw the match at 1-1, but Calen Carr gave Houston the 2-1 advantage midway through the first half that would hold the rest of the game. This one is set up fantastically as Houston dominated the first half, but Philadelphia seemed to figure them out in a second half that saw many chances for the Union. Dont miss this one.
Thursday, 730PM on ESPN2 - First Leg Highlights
LA Galaxy vs New York Red Bulls
It's going to be a late night for MLS fans Thursday as the Galaxy host NYRB in a game that starts at 10PM. The first leg was some fantastic theater at Red Bull Arena with the visiting Galaxy walking out with a 1-0 advantage in an extremely heated affair. Mike Magee gave the Galaxy a first-half lead that they'd hold the rest of the game but it was what happened at the final whistle that has everyone talking. New York's Mexican star Rafa Marquez threw the match ball at Landon Donovan as time expired sparking off a near-brawl inducing red cards for Marquez and Galaxy midfielder Juninho. It will be incredibly interesting to see how those red cards affect things as many times New York plays better without Marquez while Juninho is, perhaps, the most underrated player in the league.
Thursday 10PM on ESPN2 - First Leg Highlights (dont miss the last few seconds)
Who are you rooting for in the rest of the playoffs? I've got to say I feel a bit partial towards Sporting Kansas City, they really have no one I dislike and their fans/franchise are top notch.