Final four set for conference crowns
The matchups and dates for the MLS Cup Playoff Conference Championships are now set as two single-elimination matches next weekend will determine the finalists for MLS Cup 2004 scheduled for Sunday, November 14 at The Home Depot Center (3:30 p.m. ET live on ABC Sports).
The Conference Championship weekend begins on Friday, November 5 with the Western Conference Championship matching the Los Angeles Galaxy (No. 2 seed) against the Kansas City Wizards (No. 1 seed) from Arrowhead Stadium (8:30 p.m. ET). The Eastern Conference Championship will be played the next day on Saturday, November 6 as the surprising New England Revolution (No. 4 seed) will travel to RFK Stadium (7:00 p.m. ET) to take on three-time MLS Cup champion D.C. United (No. 2 seed).
If the Conference Semifinals are any indication, the Conference Championships will not lack drama. The New England Revolution used two penalty kick saves by goalkeeper Matt Reis and a goal by forward Taylor Twellman in Game 2 to topple the team with the best record in the regular season - the Columbus Crew - 2-1 on aggregate. D.C. United will host the Conference Championship after sweeping past the MetroStars 4-0 aggregate on the strength of two 2-0 victories in the home-and-home series. United will be seeking to advance to MLS Cup for the first time since 1999 while the New England Revolution will look to return to the League's championship game for the second time in three years (2002).
In the West, the No. 1 seed Kansas City Wizards came back in surprising fashion to defeat the defending MLS Cup champion San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 on aggregate. A last minute goal by Jack Jewsbury capped the Wizards' 3-0 Game 2 win on Saturday night to complete a dramatic comeback after a 2-0 loss in San Jose a week earlier. The Los Angeles Galaxy moved on to the Western Conference Championship with a comeback of their own on Saturday night, registering a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids and securing a final 2-1 edge on aggregate goals. The Wizards' last trip to MLS Cup came in 2000, when they defeated the Chicago Fire in the title game, while the Galaxy captured MLS Cup 2002 in their last trip to the championship match. A victory by Los Angeles would see the Galaxy play for MLS Cup on their home field (The Home Depot Center) on November 14 against the Eastern Conference champion.
EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
D.C. UNITED (No. 2) vs. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (No. 4)
New England Revolution at D.C. United - Saturday, November 6 @ 7:00 p.m. ET
RFK Stadium - Washington D.C.
HDNet - 7:00 p.m. ET (live)
FOX Sports World - 7:00 p.m. ET (live)
MLS Direct Kick - 7:00 p.m. ET (live)
New England TV TBD
How they qualified:
New England Revolution def. Columbus Crew 2-1 on aggregate
D.C. United def. MetroStars 4-0 on aggregate
WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS (No. 1) vs. LOS ANGELES GALAXY (No. 2)
Los Angeles Galaxy at Kansas City Wizards - Friday, November 5 @ 8:30 p.m. ET
Arrowhead Stadium - Kansas City, MO
HDNet - 8:30 p.m. ET (live)
FOX Sports World - 8:30 p.m. ET (live)
MLS Direct Kick - 8:30 p.m. ET (live)
KWHY - tape delayed at 11:00 p.m. ET
How they qualified:
Kansas City Wizards def. San Jose Earthquakes - 3-2 on aggregate
Los Angeles Galaxy def. Colorado Rapids - 2-1 on aggregate
Individual tickets are on sale for MLS Cup 2004 (via Ticketmaster or by calling 1-800-366-8652) at the following prices: $55 (sidelines), $40 (corners), $32 (upper deck) and $28 (goal line). More information on individual tickets and group sales is available by contacting the Los Angeles Galaxy toll-free at 1-877-3GALAXY or visiting www.lagalaxy.com.