Saturday, October 29, 2011

New York, Colorado Advance to MLS Conference Semifinals

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New York lives to fight another day. Thanks to second half goals from Joel Lindpere and Thierry Henry, the Red Bulls season gets extended for at least two more matches. Lindpere forced Kevin Hartman to make a diving save on a shot from distance in the 61st minute, but New York was able to control the rebound and Mehdi Ballouchy found a cutting Lindpere who beat Hartman for the game winner. Henry, who scored 14 goals during the regular season would add a late insurance goal in stoppage time and Red Bull keeper Frank Rost made 8 saves in securing the 2-0 shutout win. The win by New York sets up a very intriguing semifinal matchup between the Red Bulls and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Several interesting dynamics in that matchup as two of the league's most well known international talents, Henry and David Beckham will square off against one another. And there's also the face of American soccer, Landon Donovan, taking on the potential future of American soccer, Juan Agudelo. Not to mention the natural rivalry between the league's two biggest markets. New York hosts the first leg on Sunday.

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The defending champs are going to stick around a little bit longer it seems. A year after winning the MLS Cup, the Rapids needed to beat the Crew just to qualify for the Conference Semis. They were up to the task though as veteran Jamaican striker Omar Cummings scored just before halftime and Matt Pickens and the Colorado defense were able to handle everything Columbus threw at them as the Rapids held on for a 1-0 win. Colorado will now face the Eastern Conference Regular Season Champs, Sporting Kansas City in the Conference Semifinals. The first leg is set for Sunday in Colorado.

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