DC United, Seattle have to make history to get to MLS Cup

Frank Yallop, San Jose Earthquakes (2003)

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Both D.C. United and the Seattle Sounders are really up against it in their Conference Championship second legs on Sunday.

The two sides face multi-goal deficits after the first leg of their respective series and history has not been kind to clubs in their same predicament.

D.C. United, who have to overcome a 3-1 first-leg loss at Houston in the Eastern Conference Championship (4 pm ET, NBC Sports Network), should be playing videos of the 2003 San Jose Earthquakes and 2004 Kansas City teams, who did the unthinkable to overturn two-goal deficits in their series.

The '03 Quakes (pictured above) needed extra time to see off the LA Galaxy, who at one point held a 4-0 aggregate-goal lead. A year later they got a taste of their own medicine when they saw Kansas City erase their 2-0 aggregate-goal advantage with a Jack Jewsbury 92nd minute goal, making the turnaround complete.

As for the Seattle Sounders, who are down 3-0 after the first leg against the LA Galaxy, they will have to make history to advance to MLS Cup 2012 in Sunday's second leg (9 pm ET, ESPN and TSN2).

Only one MLS side has faced a three-goal deficit after the first leg in a home-and-home series. It was the Sounders themselves, who came up short against Real Salt Lake last year.

TEAMS FACING TWO-GOAL DEFICITS AFTER 1st LEG IN MLS PLAYOFF HISTORY:

2003: San Jose lost 1st leg 2-0 at LA, but recovered to win series 5-4 on agg.
2003: NY lost 1st leg 2-0 at home to New England and lost series 3-1 on agg.
2003: DC lost 1st leg 2-0 at home to Chicago and lost series 4-0 on agg.
2004: KC lost 1st leg 2-0 away to San Jose, but recovered to win series 3-2 on agg.
2004: NY lost 1st leg 2-0 at home to D.C. United and lost series 4-0 on agg.
2005: San Jose lost 1st leg 3-1 in LA and lost series 4-2 on agg.
2011: Colorado lost 1st leg 2-0 at home to Sporting KC and lost series 4-0 on agg.
2012: Sporting KC lost 1st leg 2-0 away to Houston and lost series 2-1 on agg.

TEAMS FACING THREE-GOAL DEFICITS AFTER 1st LEG IN MLS PLAYOFF HISTORY:

2011: Seattle lost 1st leg 3-0 at RSL and lost series 3-2 on agg.