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Leg 1
11/23 FINAL
1LA
0SEA
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Leg 2
11/30 9:20pm
SEA
LA
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Western Conference Championship
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Leg 1
11/23 FINAL
1NY
2NE
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Leg 2
11/29 3:00pm
NE
NY
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Eastern Conference Championship

Preview: Red Bulls return home to face Chivas USA

The New York Red Bulls return home to Red Bull Arena to meet Chivas USA on Sunday evening. The Red Bulls extended their unbeaten streak in their last league action, a 1-1 draw at the LA Galaxy in a meeting of the conference leaders. Chivas USA saw their two-game winning streak come to an end in a 1-0 loss at Real Salt Lake last weekend.

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REFEREE: Alex Prus. SAR (bench): Adam Wienckowski; JAR (opposite): James Conlee; 4th: Sorin Stoica MLS Career: 181 games; FC/gm: 27.5; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 42; pens: 49

INJURY REPORT: NEW YORK RED BULLS – PROBABLE: MF Austin Da Luz (R ankle sprain); MF Teemu Tainio (groin strain) …
CHIVAS USA – OUT: FW Tristan Bowen (L ankle sprain); MF Blair Gavin (L hamstring strain); DF Seth Owusu (R knee sprain); MF Paulo Nagamura (L calf strain); DF Jimmy Conrad (concussion); PROBABLE: DF Michael Lahoud (concussion)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: NY: Sacir Hot (U.S. U-20 national team)
SUSPENDED: CHV: Marcos Mondaini (through June 1); Andrew Boyens (through May 15)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NY: Luke Rodgers

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (12 meetings): Red Bulls 4 wins, 14 goals … Chivas USA 4 wins, 18 goals … Ties 4
AT NEW YORK (6 meetings): Red Bulls 3 wins, 10 goals … Chivas USA 2 wins, 11 goals … Ties 1
RETURN MATCH: Chivas USA vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m. PT (Galavision)

LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/10: CHV 2, NY 0 (own goal 47; Padilla 90)
6/5: NY 1, CHV 0 (Stammler 27)
•    New York hasn’t defeated Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center since the first meeting there between the clubs, a 2-0 win in 2005. Chivas USA have won two of the five games since, with three draws.
•    New York’s win in the second meeting a year ago, the first between the clubs at Red Bull Arena, was their first against Chivas USA since June 5, 2008. Chivas won two of the four intervening meetings, with two draws.
•    Coaches record: Hans Backe vs. CHV: P2 W1 L1 D0 … Robin Fraser v NY: first game

NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls saw their victory and shutout streak end, but still came away from The Home Depot Center with a 1-1 draw in a top-of-the-table clash with the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening. The Red Bulls have 15 points from 8 games, in the lead in the Eastern Conference to start the week.

LAST MATCH
•    The Red Bulls jumped out to an early lead. Dane Richards took possession and raced towards the Galaxy penalty area. The Jamaican winger curled a through ball into the path of Thierry Henry, who eluded LA goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and slipped his shot into the back of the net from a tight angle.
•    The Galaxy equalized four minutes before halftime. David Beckham’s in-swinging corner kick was met by an unmarked Landon Donovan, who powered a header into the back of the net.
•    Both teams also saw close calls in the opening 45 minutes. LA striker Juan Pablo Ángel appeared to have scored against his old club, but his apparent goal was ruled out for offside. And moments after equalizing, Donovan rounded Red Bulls 'keeper Bouna Coundoul and rolled the ball toward goal, but defender Tim Ream slid and hooked it off the line.
•    Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made one change to the team that defeated Sporting Kansas City 1-0 at Red Bull Arena. Mehdi Ballouchy came into the midfield for the injured Teemu Tainio.
•    NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Bouna Coundoul - Jan Gunnar Solli, Rafael Marquez, Tim Ream, Roy Miller - Mehdi Ballouchy - Dane Richards, Dwayne De Rosario, Joel Lindpere - Luke Rodgers (Juan Agudelo 72). Thierry Henry

TEAM NEWS
•    In the Red Bulls’ current four-game unbeaten run, Thierry Henry has scored four goals and added three assists, playing a direct part in seven of New York’s nine goals in that time.
•    The goal scored by Landon Donovan snapped the Red Bulls’ shutout streak at 333 minutes, second-longest in MLS this season (behind Columbus, 414 minutes, March 19-April 23). The Red Bulls have allowed three goals total on the campaign, tied with Philadelphia for second-fewest, one behind Real Salt Lake.
•    “It probably should have ended up 3-3. With all of the chances, from both sides, it was a very intense game. It was a very good game,” Backe said. “It was a good level on the game today. Probably the best you can see in MLS at the moment.”
•    The game against the Galaxy marked the second time in league history five designated players had played in the same game -- Rafael Marquez and Thierry Henry for the Red Bulls, and Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Juan Pablo Angel for LA. The first was last Aug. 8, when the Red Bulls (with Angel, along with Marquez and Henry) faced the Chicago Fire, who had Freddie Ljungberg and Nery Castillo – neither of whom are currently with that team.
•    “I think that tonight, it was great football,” Henry said. “We’re just trying to pass the ball and it’s refreshing to see that LA was trying to do the same. It’s a little sad that it was an even game, but what we’re trying to do is to play football, and that’s what LA does as well.”
•    For a fourth consecutive game, Henry and Luke Rodgers were the first-choice strike pair, with Juan Agudelo coming off the bench.
•    “You always hope when you bring a sub in that he can make a difference with fresh legs. He was very close on the freekick from Rafa Marquez when he hit it just outside the post,” Backe said. “Of course, you are hoping he could be the guy for us to get the late goal, but I think overall the whole team performed OK.”
•    With influential midfield linchpin Teemu Tainio out of the Red Bulls lineup, Mehdi Ballouchy made his first start since April 2, filling the holding role behind Dwayne De Rosario.
•    “I think if you look at both teams balance in midfield, it is probably eight attacking midfield players on the pitch and then you have at least two fullbacks attacking all the time,” Backe said. “So, the balance is probably the answer to why it is that entertaining and that open.”
•    On Wednesday, the Red Bulls lost 1-0 in a friendly against L’Impact de Montréal at Stade Saputo. Ali Gerba scored the game’s lone goal in the 37th minute.

CHIVAS USA
Chivas USA saw their winning streak end at two games, falling 1-0 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening. Chivas USA have 9 points from 8 games on the season, sitting in seventh place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    Chivas USA were two men short before the first half was over. Andrew Boyens was booked first in the 15th minute -- a play RSL claimed should have been a red card -- then again in the 28th minute, to earn his marching orders.
•    Then disaster struck in the 38th minute, when RSL playmaker Javier Morales was taken down from behind by Chivas striker Marcos Mondaini. Morales suffered a fracture of the left ankle on the play, and referee Paul Ward showed the Chivas man a straight red card.
•    RSL was not able to take advantage until the 87th minute. Collen Warner sent in a bouncing cross from the left and it was flicked on in the goalmouth by Nat Borchers, finding Will Johnson at the back post, who bundled it home from close range.
•    Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made no changes to his team for a second consecutive week, keeping the group that started the 3-0 victory against the New England Revolution at The Home Depot Center.
•    CHIVAS USA (4-1-3-2): Dan Kennedy - Zarek Valentin, Heath Pearce, Andrew Boyens (sent off 25), Ante Jazic - Simon Elliott - Ben Zemanski, Nick LaBrocca (Francisco Mendoza 88), Jorge Flores (Justin Braun 57) - Marcos Mondaini (sent off 38), Alejandro Moreno (Mariano Trujillo 73).

TEAM NEWS
•    Chivas USA saw their two-game winning streak and five-game unbeaten run come to an end in the 1-0 loss at Real Salt Lake. It was the club’s longest undefeated streak in two seasons.
•    “In the second half, we came out and defended as hard as we could,” head coach Robin Fraser said. “We were down two men against the best team in the league. If we could have walked out of there 0-0, what a result that would have been for us.”
•    Chivas USA will lose Marcos Mondaini for four additional games following the tackle on Javier Morales that left the RSL playmaker injured. The MLS Disciplinary Committee determined that Mondaini’s tackle was reckless and endangered the safety of his opponent. Mondaini will be suspended for a total of four games and fined a total of $1,500, including the automatic one-game suspension and $250 fine for receiving a red card.
•    “It was a clumsy challenge. It certainly wasn’t malicious," Fraser said. "It was more like a forward stuck in the midfield having to make tackles. It was a clumsy challenge, but I know 100 percent there was no malicious intent.”
•    There will also be a change coming in the back four, after Andrew Boyens was booked twice in the first half and sent off after just 25 minutes. The same group -- Zarek Valentin, Heath Pearce, Boyens and Ante Jazic – had started three games in a row.
•    “I can’t say much after the 25th minute, but for the guys to hold on till the 87th minute, down two men, they put in one hell of a fight and my props go to them,” Boyens said.
•    After scoring five goals in their previous two games, Chivas USA were shut out for a fourth time on the season. Only the defending champion Colorado Rapids have been blanked as often this season (also four).
•    “We had a pretty good start and were able to put them under some pressure, which is a pretty hard thing to do here,” Fraser said. “After the first red card the tone of the game changed a bit, and after the second red card the tone changed greatly.”
•    Michael Lahoud returned to full training last week and had not suffered since from any concussion symptoms, meaning he could be available for selection for the New York match. Under new concussion protocol adopted by the league, Players must train a full week without symptoms and then be cleared by a neurologist before they can return to full action.
•    “He’s coming along,” Fraser said. “With concussions, it’s a day-by-day thing until they finally feel better, and it seems like he’s at the point that he feels a bit better.”
•    If available, Lahoud could move into the right back, with Zarek Valentin shifting into central defense in place of the suspended Andrew Boyens. Until suffering the concussion in the first half of the draw at Vancouver on April 16, Lahoud had started three consecutive games at right back.
•    “We have a couple of possibilities in the back line, and over the next few days, we’ll have to decide what is best,” Fraser said.