Wednesday, November 2, 2011

MLS Playoff Update

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The Galaxy are loaded with big names- Robbie Keane, David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Juninho... all of whom are capable of delivering goals on offense. On Sunday they relied on a different weapon as the versatile Mike Magee, who has literally played every position for the Galaxy this year, got on the end of a Beckham cross in the 15th minute for the only goal of the game. Josh Saunders and the Galaxy defense took care of the rest as Saunders turned away 5 shots in his first career playoff start en route to his 9th shutout this season. As if there wasn't enough drama in the 1-0 match, a postgame melee broke out after New York's Rafa Márquez appeared to hurl the ball at Landon Donovan following the final whistle. The resulting fracas led to red cards to both Márquez and Juninho, both of whom are out for the next game. The series now heads back to Los Angeles with New York needing a win to advance. The Red Bulls drew 1-1 with the Galaxy in their only trip to L.A. this season.

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The defending champs find themselves in a big hole after the first leg of their conference semifinal matchup against Sporting Kansas City. Teal Bunbury took a pass from Julio Cesar and beat Matt Pickens in the 49th minute to break a scoreless tie, and then added a penalty kick goal ten minutes later to make it 2-0 and that would be it for scoring. Colorado, who lost midfielder Jamie Smith to a torn ACL in Colorado's wild card win over Columbus, lost three more players Sunday- Caleb Folan left with a knee injury, Kosuke Kimura a foot injury and defender Tyrone Marshall was sent off on the play that set up Bunbury's penalty. Now the series heads to Kansas City with Colorado more or less in need of a miracle to advance and successfully defend their title.

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29 year old Calen Carr, who scored just once in four starts during the regular season, picked a great time to score goal number two as he broke a 1-1 tie in the 30th minute giving the Dynamo a 2-1 lead in the first leg of their conference semifinal matchup with the Union. Andrew Hainault headed home a Brad Davis cross in the 5th minute to give Houston an early lead, but Frechman Sebastien Le Toux equalized almost immediately for Philadelphia scoring not even two minutes later. But Carr's goal would put Houston up for good and goalie Tally Hall would take care of the rest making 10 saves in his first postseason start and extending the Dynamo's unbeaten streak to 7 games. Philadelphia must now win on the road as the series heads to Houston for the second leg.

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