We know that going down two goals in a two-leg series is not a good thing, but what odds, exactly, do teams face in coming back from that deficit?
After falling behind two goals in their Conference Championship matchups, both FC Dallas and the New York Red Bulls seem to have their backs against their wall heading home. They each have less than a 25 percent shot of reaching the MLS Cup according to Soccer Power Index projections, which are provided by ESPN.
Updated SPI projections to reach and win MLS Cup. Columbus is now the title favorite. pic.twitter.com/RrVdR8N23J— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) November 23, 2015
Going back in MLS history, there have been seven instances in which a team has gone down two goals in the first leg and headed home for the second. In just two of those cases has the team down two goals won the series.
One came back in 2003 when the San Jose Earthquakes were down 2-0 to the LA Galaxy. They proceeded to concede two more goals to the Galaxy before scoring five of their own to knock the Galaxy out in one of the most memorable MLS playoff games of all time. The other instance came in 2004 when the then-Kansas City Wizards beat the Earthquakes 3-0 after going down 2-0 in the first leg.
Below you'll find all the times a team has gone down by two goals and headed home for the second leg in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
The difference between these two matchups and six of the seven matchups below is that in this year's playoffs the tiebreaker is away goals. This is different in years previous to 2014, when teams would go to extra time no matter what if they were tied through two legs. This, of course, affects the strategy in which teams played and will play on Sunday.
2003: San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy
Leg 1: LA Galaxy 2, San Jose Earthquakes 0 at StubHub Center
Leg 2: San Jose Earthquakes 5, LA Galaxy 2 (AET) at Spartan Stadium
2004: Kansas City Wizards vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Leg 1: San Jose Earthquakes 2, Kansas City Wizards 0 at Spartan Stadium
Leg 2: Kansas City Wizards 3, San Jose Earthquakes at Arrowhead Stadium
2005: San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy
Leg 1: LA Galaxy 3, San Jose Earthquakes 1 at StubHub Center
Leg 2: San Jose Earthquakes 1, LA Galaxy 1 at Spartan Stadium
2012: Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo
Leg 1: Houston Dynamo 2, Sporting Kansas City 0 at BBVA Compass Stadium
Leg 2: Sporting Kansas City 1, Houston Dynamo 0 at Sporting Park
2012: D.C. United vs. Houston Dynamo
Leg 1: Houston Dynamo 3, D.C. United 1 at BBVA Compass Stadium
Leg 2: D.C. United 1, Houston Dynamo 1 at RFK Stadium
2013: Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake
Leg 1: Real Salt Lake 4, Portland Timbers 2 at Rio Tinto Stadium
Leg 2: Real Salt Lake 1, Portland Timbers 0 at Providence Park
2014: D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls
Leg 1: New York Red Bulls 2, D.C. United 0 at Red Bull Arena
Leg 2: D.C. United 2, New York Red Bulls 1 at RFK Stadium