KANSAS CITY, Kan. – All things considered, it felt a little bit like fate.
Livestrong Sporting Park was packed to the gills, a record 20,839 fans occupying every last open square foot. Sporting Kansas City were unbeaten in seven, riding a wave of confidence to within one victory of MLS Cup.
And when Brad Davis, Houston’s midfield talisman, was forced off 40 minutes into the game with an injury, it seemed the stars had officially aligned.
But sometimes fate is fickle. And in the end, it just wasn’t meant to be for Kansas City.
It was as advertised: Two big, bruising teams came into the Eastern Conference Championship and pounded each other for 90 minutes, with the deciding goal coming off a set piece.
In the end, it was Houston's ability to bottle up the Sporting Kansas City midfield trio of Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza and Júlio César that decided the match. SKC were never able to find clean switches, unable to create space and could only push the tempo, not control it.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Houston lost MVP candidate Brad Davis to injury in the first half, but it didn’t matter one bit. The Dynamo are going to Los Angeles.
Andre Hainault and Carlo Costly each scored in the second half as the Houston Dynamo defeated Sporting Kansas City 2-0 in front of a sellout crowd at Livestrong Sporting Park in the Eastern Conference Championship to advance to MLS Cup.
CARSON, Calif. – It’s the big statistic that keeps getting pointed out: The LA Galaxy do not lose at the Home Depot Center.
In 2011, they went 17 regular-season games unbeaten here, didn’t lose in three CONCACAF Champions League games and kept that streak going in Thursday’s second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals.
|Kansas City 1||Chicago 0|
Galaxy recibe a RSL en el campeonato de la Conferencia Oeste; el ganador irá a la Copa MLS 2011
La Previa: Galaxy-RSL
LA vs. RSL
Forwards' aim to be the first to drop LA at Home Depot Center
Saborío-Espíndola duo key vs. Galaxy
CARSON, Calif. – The biggest storyline for Real Salt Lake heading into their Western Conference Championship match against the LA Galaxy on Sunday has been the possible absence of one or both of their center backs, Nat Borchers and Jámison Olave.
But if all goes according to plan for RSL, it’ll be another pair, forwards Álvaro Saborío and Fabián Espíndola, who will grab all the headlines once the game is over.
Sporting y Dynamo buscan el campeonato de la Conferencia Este y el boleto a la Copa MLS 2011
La Previa: Sporting-Dynamo
SKC vs. HOU
West Championship will boil down to teams' center midfield duos
CARSON, Calif. – When the LA Galaxy host Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Championship on Sunday (9 pm ET; ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TSN2; live chat on MLSsoccer.com), the ticket to the MLS Cup could very well go to the team that controls the middle of the pitch.
Two sides have produced high-quality games over past 3 seasons
RSL, Galaxy talk about respect
CARSON, Calif. – The word “rivalry” can be thrown around too loosely in sports, and perhaps that’s the case when describing the nature of the competition between the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.