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Recap
Leg 1
11/23 5:00pm
LA
SEA
ESPN
Recap
Leg 2
11/30 9:00pm
SEA
LA
ESPN
Western Conference Championship
Recap
Leg 1
11/23 1:30pm
NY
NE
NBC
Recap
Leg 2
11/29 3:00pm
NE
NY
NBCSN
Eastern Conference Championship

RSL make second trip to Houston

and the first road victory of their history.

  • Despite Houston's domination of the first half, Real capitalized on an error to take the lead. A pass back escaped center back Eddie Robinson and Jeff Cunningham quickly raced onto it, carrying into the penalty area before hitting a bouncing shot that beat Pat Onstad inside his right-hand post (57).
  • But it took Dynamo just three minutes to equalize. Brad Davis whipped in a corner kick from the right, and Craig Waibel shook his marker and rose up alone at the top of the goal area to powerfully head home.
  • Then six minutes from time Houston hit for the winner. A long ball from midfield from Robinson was chested down by Brian Ching to De Rosario in full stride, and he thundered into the area before coolly slotting home under the dive of Scott Garlick to return Dynamo to their winning ways at home.
  • Here's Dominic Kinnear's team (4-3-1-2): Pat Onstad - Craig Waibel, Eddie Robinson, Adrian Serioux, Wade Barrett - Brian Mullan, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis - Dwayne De Rosario - Brian Ching, Alejandro Moreno (Ronald Cerritos 78) [Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Cochrane, Kevin Goldthwaite, Kelly Gray, Stuart Holden, Marcus Storey, Zach Wells]
  • Here's John Ellinger's team (3-4-1-2): Scott Garlick - Carey Talley, Eddie Pope, Daniel Torres - Chris Klein, Kenny Cutler, Douglas Sequeira, Mehdi Ballouchy (Atiba Harris 46) - Jason Kreis - Andy Williams (Ryan Johnson 74), Jeff Cunningham. [Substitutes Not Used: Nelson Akwari, Chris Brown, Christian Jimenez, Jay Nolly, Kevin Novak]

    HOUSTON DYNAMO

    Houston Dynamo were held to a draw for the third time in five matches, trading first-half goals with the New York Red Bulls as they played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening at Giants Stadium. Dynamo remain in second place with 18 points from 11 matches, six points behind FC Dallas in the Western Conference and a point ahead of the Colorado Rapids.

    LAST MATCH

  • The New York Red Bulls hadn't won in two games while Dynamo hadn't lost in two games as the Houston club made its first-ever trip to the Meadowlands.
  • Jean Philippe Peguero put the Red Bulls into the lead after just two minutes, the quickest goal in New York club history. An early service into the area from Youri Djorkaeff was met by Peguero and Dynamo 'keeper Pat Onstad at the same time, and the Red Bulls striker corraled the loose ball as Onstad fell and slid into the empty goal.
  • But Dynamo pulled level just 17 minutes later. Ricardo Clark let fly from well outside the area and his shot took a slight deflection on its way toward goal, leaving Tony Meola wrong-footed as it fell inside his left-hand post.
  • It was New York's seventh draw in 10 games and the sixth time they squandered a lead. With less than a third of the season gone, the Red Bulls have more than half of the Columbus Crew's MLS-record 13 ties recorded in 2004, and are already approaching the club record of 11 set last year.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear kept his starting lineup the same as the one that got a late goal to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 at home the weekend before.
  • Here's Kinnear's team (4-3-1-2): Pat Onstad - Craig Waibel, Ryan Cochrane, Eddie Robinson, Wade Barrett - Brian Mullan, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Kevin Goldthwaite 35) - Dwayne De Rosario - Ronald Cerritos (Julian Nash 76), Alejandro Moreno. [Substitutes Not Used: Kelly Gray, Stuart Holden, Patrick Ianni, Zach Wells, Chris Wondolowski]
  • You always want to come on the road and get a positive result and a tie is a positive result. I think the way the game was played, we were unfortunate not to get the win. We had more than enough chances to get the second goal and due to some good goalkeeping and a little lack of sharpness in front of goal, we only came out with one [goal]," Kinnear said. "But the guys were excellent tonight, really held the ball well and moved it and the movement off the ball was good, so I thought it was a good performance by us."

    TEAM NEWS

  • Dynamo fired 14 shots at Meola, but only four were on target. Five were from De Rosario, including two in the opening five minutes of the second half. But Meola made a stunning kick save in the 46th minute and De Rosario's attempt four minutes later was wide of the net. There was another chance in the 63rd minute, but that ball also missed the target.
  • "I just think it was one of those days. That's the only way I could explain it because those goals would [normally] go in the back of the net," De Rosario said. "Tony [Meola] made a great save on the first one but even in saying that, he shouldn't have had a chance to make a great save. I have to keep my head up and score next week."
  • Dynamo wanted to utilize their strength on the wings with Brad Davis and Brian Mullan against New York's 3-5-2 formation. But there was a hiccup in that game plan when Davis exited in the 35th minute with a left quadriceps strain. He was replaced by Kevin Goldthwaite. Davis was out two weeks ago in New England with a left knee sprain and was instrumental in both Dynamo goals against the Galaxy the week before.
  • In his first game back at Giants Stadium since being claimed by San Jose on Jan. 14, 2005, former MetroStars first round draft pick Clark leveled the score in the 19th minute.
  • "It came to me in a spot where I was going to shoot it every time and I think that ball was on a lot in the first half," said Clark, who played in front of a large group of extended family. "I shot it and I thought it was on frame but luckily it got a deflection, the wind was with me and it went in."
  • Said Kinnear: "I thought overall, he was excellent tonight. That was one of his best games this year. I thought if you looked at both sides, he was the best player on the field tonight."
  • It was a third consecutive draw on the road for Dynamo. "We played a great game tonight and just really disappointed we didn't come away with three points. I think we were the better team and I think anybody who was watching the game would say the same thing," said Eddie Robinson. "But, we still have only lost one on the road, so that's a pretty good record."

    REAL SALT LAKE

    Real Salt Lake saw their club record unbeaten streak come to an end at four matches, falling 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids in Denver in the second Rocky Mountain Cup clash of the season. Real are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 11 points from 11 matches, two behind fourth-place Chivas USA and three ahead of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

    LAST MATCH

  • The second Rocky Mountain Cup meeting of the season was on display after the teams battled to a 2-2 draw two weeks earlier in Salt Lake City. But Real came in riding a four-game unbeaten streak - the longest in club history - while the Rapids hadn't lost to their mountain state rivals in the last four meetings.
  • The game's lone goal came courtesy of Nicolas Hernandez in the 16th minute. He latched on to the rebound of attempted through ball that was blocked by a Real defender, skipping past a pair of RSL defenders before hammering a wicked drive over a stranded Scott Garlick.
  • The win kept the Rapids perfect in Rocky Mountain Cup games on their home ground, with three wins in three encounters, five goals scored and just one allowed.
  • Real head coach John Ellinger made no changes to the team that defeated the Chicago Fire 3-1 the weekend before at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
  • Here's Ellinger's team (4-4-2): Scott Garlick (Jay Nolly 46) - Kevin Novak, Nelson Akwari, Daniel Torres (Nikolas Besagno 13/Ryan Johnson 71), Willis Forko - Chris Klein, Kenny Cutler, Carey Talley, Mehdi Ballouchy - Jeff Cunningham, Jason Kreis [Substitutes Not Used: Chris Brown, Atiba Harris, Christian Jimenez, Andy Williams]
  • "We're better when we play out of the back and better when we play quickly through the midfield, and we weren't doing that in the first half," said Ellinger. "At the end (of the game) we would create some good shots but we just kind of got nothing, the finishing wasn't there. We had a couple of point blank shots and they went right to Joe."

    TEAM NEWS

  • It was another disappointing performance away from home for Real, who still have just one victory on their travels in club history - and now face four of their next six games away from Rice-Eccles Stadium.
  • "I don't think we ever got in our rhythm offensively," Chris Klein said. "They didn't have all that many chances, but we didn't have all that many either. It's one game, and we're not going to hang our head over this one game." Said Ellinger: "The first half, they were pretty much always closing, blocking balls, and having balls bounce their way and running through it and we're watching them run through it. Just getting beat to the ball kind of things. Basic crap."
  • Scott Garlick is expected to be available after being taken off at halftime when he suffered back spasms. He returned to full training during the week. Colorado native Jay Nolly - who made five starts as a rookie - came on for the second half.
  • "Definitely I was excited to get in the game," said Nolly. "Coach said it was my job to keep the shutout in the second half because we've been a pretty good second half team scoring."
  • There was another significant change in the first half when Daniel Torres was taken off after suffering a mild concussion. The referee had him taken out of the match for his own safety when he all but blacked out. "Danny means a lot to our team, when you lose someone that early it kind of throws your rhythm off because he's one of our leaders at the back," said Klein.
  • Torres is also expected to be available for the Dynamo match, a key addition to the Real back line. "To be honest, we've only got one shutout in the past six games," said Nelson Akwari. "There's got to be a point in time where our defense says 'All right, no matter what we're going to get a shutout.' We can't keep giving up goals every game and hoping we get bailed out in the last 25 minutes of a game."
  • 17-year-old Nikolas Besagno - the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 SuperDraft - came on for Torres in his first appearance of the season and just the third of his career. Besagno was taken off in the 72nd minute as Ellinger gave his side more of an attacking look. "He did well, he was very composed, had some timely tackles and won some balls in the air," said Ellinger.


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