MLS Playoffs 2012: Conference Finals [Multiple R]

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by Ismitje, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    The games:

    Sunday 11 November

    DC at Houston, 4:00, NBCSN
    Seattle at Los Angeles, 9:00, ESPN

    Sunday 18 November

    Houston at DC, 4:00, NBCSN
    Los Angeles at Seattle, 9:00, ESPN
    edwardgr and profiled repped this.


  2. profiled

    profiled Moderator Staff Member

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  3. redinthemorning

    redinthemorning Member+

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    I'll be interested to see how the Dynamo and Galaxy hold up. Houston definitely seemed to have fatigue issues last match. With Carr out, Kandji really has to step up after a questionable performance at KC. In spite of Houston's higher gear come playoff time, DC just seems to have a "team of destiny" thing going for them; I've counted that team out at least a hundred times by now, but they just keep fighting through it. Will be a great series.

    Honestly, I only half-watched the LA-SJ match, but it seemed like the Gals were holding up pretty well energy-wise. Anyone with a bit of perspective on LA? I have no clue what to expect out of Seattle. Hanauer just has that team clicking.
  4. TrickHog

    TrickHog soccernurd.com

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    The two things that help the Galaxy are they played a day earlier in San Jose and they have the first leg at home. So they were already home when Seattle played and don't have to travel. Seattle has to go from Salt Lake City back to Seattle, then down to LA tomorrow. Or perhaps travel directly tto LA today. So LA has played an extra game, but Seattle has more travel and one day less rest before the first leg.

    Then LA gets a whole week to recover before they have to fly up to Seattle. I think the only player really hurting right now is Beckham, and Bruce subbed him out of both semi games to help manage his minutes. Donovan has spent a lot of time up top, which also helps him conserve his legs. Sarvas has split his time with Beckham so he's not too run down either. Keane appears able to run forever...

    And Mike Magee and Juninho are super-human and laugh at puny humans who need time to recuperate...

    All that said, it should be an excellent series.
    Hachiko, profiled and yellowbismark repped this.


  5. Peter Bonetti

    Peter Bonetti Member+

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    DC will be without Najar or Hamid (and probably Korb as well) and they will be emotionally exhausted after a huge game just 3 days before. I would not look for DC to be too impressive in the first game. I think that they will be thrilled to end the first match in Houston without the series being essentially over. Houston have a golden opportunity on Sunday, but they will want to deliver the knockout blow because DC United have proven themselves to be a team that you do not want to let hang around. They have developed a habit of squeaking out results when other teams allow them to. The key is that, so far, other teams keep allowing them the opportunities.
  6. GreatGonzo

    GreatGonzo Member+

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    Yeah, I've got to think that DC will be happy with a tie or a 1-goal loss in the first leg. Considering that DC doesn't have a lot of offensive options, I've got to think that Houston is the favorite to move on at this point. Sorry Knave. Given what happened in the DC-NY series, I still think the gods should look down and smile at DC, but things look a little bleak for them at the moment.

    And since I hadn't seen a link anywhere else, here's confirmation that Najar is indeed out for both legs of the Eastern Conference Championship: http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/11/09/mls-suspends-dc-uniteds-najar-eastern-championship
  7. Autogolazo

    Autogolazo BigSoccer Supporter

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    The reason Kandji looked poor at SKC is that he was put in to defend the flank as Houston shifted to a 4-5-1. His defense ain't the best and he was clearly under orders not to get caught too far forward. Mac Kandji is simply not at his best playing in that sort of restrained role, you have to let him be himself or he's no good at all.

    Being without Najar vs. Houston, as I posted in another thread, might be a blessing in disguise. Robbie Russell matches up much better on set pieces with the Dynamo and I would trust him to put in an honest 90 closing down Brad Davis more than Najar would. He's older, and fatigue might set in, but don't forget he was the one bombing forward to set up DeLeon for the winner in the 88th minute last night.

    Salihi was a basket case when he came on last night--he couldn't even waste time properly.

    Those who slag on Pajoy--yes he's too ornate inside the area and is maddening at the chances he passes up or takes too long with, but further from goal, I think his movement and passing are excellent.
  8. yellowbismark

    yellowbismark Member+

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    When does DeRo come back?

    What do DC fans think of Pajoy? I thought he was useless earlier in the year, but he did a couple nice things on the pitch yesterday. Still though, Pajoy as a lone striker up top? Doesn't exactly have me quivering in my boots.

    Also, can someone more familiar with DC explain to me why Olsen always subs out Boskovic? I was surprised they took him out when Hamid was ejected. I would have to assume if the penalty is converted, DC would need a goal. Why would take off a good playmaker in that instance? Who am I to question, though. They got it done.
  9. DonJuego

    DonJuego Member+

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    Kandji took a bad knock/ankle roll in the second half and was hobbled the rest of the way. Clearly affected him.
  10. El Naranja

    El Naranja Member+

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    Robbie is also the one earlier this year who was abused by the trio of Davis, Ashe, and Mac, which lead to Hamid being sent off.

    Fatigue is an issue, as are yellow cards for us. Too many are 1 more from suspension.

    I think that if we can get a 2 goal lead, we should be comfortable in DC. Especially since DC won't be coming at us with the superhuman endurance/pace that KC did
  11. redinthemorning

    redinthemorning Member+

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    Injuries, assignments, and competition all contributed to Kandji's performance. That's why I tried to phrase it carefully ("questionable" v. something like "poor" or "lacking") haha.
  12. OnlyOneTInFootball

    OnlyOneTInFootball Member

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    Looking forward to this, especially with the change to a two-leg conference final. Means two straight weekends of MLS playoff soccer.

    Houston getting a chance to be at home first is the thing I'm most interested to watch, and dammit I have to root for Los Angeles.
  13. DC06

    DC06 Member

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    Maybe for the second leg, maybe not at all this year.

    When DeRo went down Olsen changed the style so we are a grinding team. Pajoy's job in this system is to annoy the other side and hold the ball up and let a Pontius or DeLeon get forward. His finishing leaves something to be desired. This club is not designed to be pretty with two CDMs and lone "striker", it is to keep us in matches. Honestly what we have to do anyways in Houston, so just more versed in that style now. A 0-0 or 1-0 loss would be considered job well done by most Sunday.

    I have no clue. None at all. It worked out so Ben is exonerated again. Salihi and Boskovic (who only plays because DeRo is out) are great guys who play well most of the time and seem to fight for every last minute they are gifted. I feel bad for both of them, especially Salihi, and do not think either will be here in 2013. Too much money to be used on guys manager does not seem to fancy.
  14. tambo

    tambo Member

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  15. Golazo

    Golazo Member+

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    Saturday. No game. Tomorrow fun. Greedy for game today.
  16. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

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    Ben Olsen vs the best three coaches in American soccer* today. How many appearances in the MLS Cup Final do Schmid, Arena, and Kinnear have between them? If Olsen ends up in the final, we will have to "follow his career with interest".

    *Yes I am including the USMNT.
  17. CeltTexan

    CeltTexan Member+

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    I've been following our league very closely since April 6th 1996.
    I followed my USL team very closely since April 6th 1996 as my old Houston Hurricanes FC started that same night as well, that team folded after the 2001 season to which many of us in H-Town welcomed MLS to Houston in 2006.
    I will be completely honest when I tell you that I have been waiting all these years for a Houston vs DC United playoff rumble. It is finally here and now that the conference finals are two legs it is going to be terrific footy to be enjoyed.
    Houston has won a trophy at RFK, De Ro plays there now, could return for the second leg, CCL qualification also rests on winning this tie, Olsen I have followed closely ever since he scored against Chile in 2000, so him and Dom are both old U.S.A. footballers now coaches, DCU are the flagship club of our league and are eager to return to glory...the plot lines are thick for this encounter.

    Love me some MLS playoffs and it is laughable how there are soccer fans in our nation that claim to follow the beautiful game yet let all that we enjoy slip right past their fingers thinking all this is not worthy of their time. Well fvck 'em! It's the best time of the year sports fans. DALE DYNAMO!

    I want a return Cup Final out in L.A. with a healthy Brad Davis and will follow that tie closely. Seattle looks in form yet Donovan is playing like a boss right now. Jeez Sunday afternoon can't get here fast enough!
  18. Levy2k6

    Levy2k6 BigSoccer Supporter

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    IT'S GAME DAY!
  19. Sounders78

    Sounders78 Member+

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    Come on Houston! Seattle is supporting you (for purely selfish reasons, of course).
    ImaPuppy repped this.
  20. DCUSKINS

    DCUSKINS Member

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    So damn nervous. I miss that feeling. :)
    Kappa74 and ImaPuppy repped this.
  21. sitruc

    sitruc Member+

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    I forgot to change one of my clocks. I was freaking out for the past 15 minutes.

    Has DC ever won in Houston?
  22. DCUSKINS

    DCUSKINS Member

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    0-8-1
  23. Knave

    Knave Member+

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    Let's not talk about this ...
  24. sitruc

    sitruc Member+

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    Sadly, I was thinking it was worse.
  25. DonJuego

    DonJuego Member+

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    Houston lineup changes: Kandji for Carr; Camargo for Rico Clark

    Not very hot here today. Overcast, windy. (No wind down down on the field)

    Field much improved from ladt game

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