For the first time since 2008, the New York Red Bulls have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals of the MLS playoffs. Riding a late-season wave of wins that included victories over last year’s champions Sporting Kansas City and the MLS’s over-exposed poster team, the Seattle Sounders, the Red Bulls topped Sporting in the one-game playoffs qualifier, and most recently dispatched with their biggest rivals, DC United, over a two-leg home & away series. Today, the Red Bulls start another two-leg series against the New England Revolution, which includes U.S. Men’s National Team player Jermaine Jones (he of the Messi-esque goal against Portugual in the World Cup). However, New York has Bradley Wright-Phillips, the league’s top goal-scorer, and Thierry Henry, who at age 37 is likely in his final season as a Red Bull — but remains probably the most skillful footballer the league’s ever seen. New York swept the season series against the Revs, winning 2-0 at Foxboro and 2-1 at Red Bull Arena, but MLS playoffs have historically provided the setting for upsets. If they win this two-game series, they advance to to the MLS Cup final on December 7 and will face either the LA Galaxy or the Seattle Sounders.
Sun., Nov. 23, 2014