MLS Conference Final Previews
Eastern Conference Final
Houston Dynamo V Sporting Kansas City 9 November
After seeing off the Supporters Shield winning New York Red Bulls 4-3 on aggregate after extra-time Houston move on to face Sporting Kansas City who got the better of the New England Revolution in another tight encounter 4-3 after their home and home games. The three game season series between theses two sides has being very tight with Sporting victorious in one and the other two ending in draws. The first time their paths crosses was back in May with the Dynamo’s holding home advantage. It was Sporting though who left with the spoils however as they won by a single goal scored by Aurelien Collin. Their second meeting took place a couple of weeks later with Sporting on home turf. Brad Davis had given the visitors the lead before Kei Kamara, who now turns out for Middlesbrough in the Championship, getting the equaliser to gain his side a share of the spoils. Their final encounter took place in October in Texas and the game ended in a scoreless draw. The clubs have also met in the playoffs the last two years with the Dynamo’s coming out on top both times. In 2011 it was at this stage that they met with Houston winning 2-0 and last year it was in the Conference Semi Final with the score ending 2-1. The 2nd Leg takes place in Kansas on November 23 due to the International games which are slated to be played next week.
Western Conference Final
Real Salt Lake V Portland Timbers 10 November
After seeing off the LA Galaxy 2-1 on aggregate after extra time Real Salt Lake move on to face the Western Conference Champions Timbers who overcame the Seattle Sounders 5-3 after their two legged encounter. Apart from their final match which was played in Oregon in October and ended a scoreless draw the previous two had produced lots of goals and excitement. They first squared-off back in August when the sides share the spoils in a six goal thriller. Portland took the lead through Rodney Wallace, before strikes from Nat Borchers and Javier Morales put RSL up at the break. The Timbers then claimed the advantage with strikes from Diego Valeri and Kalif Alhassan. RSL looked to be dead and berried when Yordany Alvarez was sent-off late on, but in stoppage time they rose-up to grab an equaliser Cole Grossman. Their next meeting eight days later in Utah was equally entertaining as the host came out on top 4-2. Luis Gil and Joao Plata had given then the advantage, before Darlington Nagbe halved the deficit going into the break. Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio regained the home side a two goal lead before Sal Zizzo grabbed one back for the Timbers. The second leg of this tie takes place in Portland on 24 November.