The New England Revolution and Los Angeles Galaxy both took their first step towards the MLS Cup, as each took a victory in the first leg of the Conference Finals on Sunday against the New York Red Bulls and Seattle Sounders, respectively.
The Revolution traveled to New York to face Thierry Henry and the Red Bulls, and earned a massive 2-1 victory. The visitors struck first on this magnificent strike from Teal Bunbury:
But the Red Bulls leveled the score just 10 minutes later when a possibly offside Bradley Wright-Phillips found himself in the right place to head home a rebound off an effort from Péguy Luyindula:
While the Red Bulls dominated much of the proceedings in the second half, it was the Revolution who came away with the match’s third goal when U.S. international Jermaine Jones finished a fantastic move forward from Lee Nguyen and Charlie Davies:
If the cumulative score of the two-leg playoff does not decide a winner, the first tiebreaker is away goals. Thus, the Revolution now head home needing only to avoid conceding two goals in order to advance to the MLS Cup.
In the other match (the final home contest of Landon Donovan’s illustrious career), the Galaxy got a deflected goal off the boot of Marcelo Sarvas to take a 1-0 victory and hold serve at the Home Depot Center:
The Galaxy still have a tall order ahead of them, needing a tie or win over the Sounders at CenturyLink Field in order to advance to the MLS Cup. The Sounders went 12-4-1 at home this season, and given the stakes the crowd will be especially fired up for their final home game of the season.
The Revs and Red Bulls will meet at Foxboro, Mass.’s Gillette Stadium next Saturday at 3 P.M., and the Galaxy and Sounders will play on Sunday at 9 P.M. in Seattle.