MLS Playoffs Live: HOU vs. PHI & LAG vs. NYRB

Another fight card this evening:

The undercard showcases a Union team that out-thought rather than misplayed themselves on Sunday. The Dynamo probably just need a single goal to tget through on this one.

The main event is the matched hoped for at MLS headquarters for the Finals, only the team from New York failed to live up to their expectations.

The Galaxy looking to protect a road goal advantage at home to Rafa Marquez-less Red Bulls.


Metro & Mr. Handball meet yet again…

Set piece battle (caption block)

72 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/03 at 5:32 PM

    How great is it to see Beckham and Henry doing their thing…definitely staying up late for this one.

    Marquez is a good player but hasn’t been fitting in very well. That happens.


  2. Posted by Kevin on 2011/11/03 at 5:46 PM

    You forgot that this is the last ever Houston game with football lines, or in Robertson.


    • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 5:58 PM

      Can’t wait to see Houston’s stadium next year. If you told me 10 years ago that Houston of all places would be building a SSS in downtown and going to sell out games I would have been shocked. Fantastic.


  3. Someone give me a quick breakdown — ESPN3 is messed up in the office and I’m going to miss 1st half.



    • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:07 PM

      Philly trying to play through the middle of the field and look up for it. Brad davis with good service as usual. Back and forth so far.


      • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:09 PM

        Ref is letting things play so far and not too much rough stuff. Philly is trying to get Le Toux involved in a deeper role in the mid field and making late runs.


        • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:12 PM

          Some jawing between Ashe and Paunovic after a long booted ball out. Typical stuff. Then Hainault comes in on Le Toux with philly getting the free kick just outside the center circle.


          • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:14 PM

            Offside on Carr but he puts the ball in the net rounding Mondragon. He was off but Houston didn’t see the flag. Carr is upset and the camera catches a 60 year old lady in a dynamo top screaming at the field. I love it.


            • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:16 PM

              Challenges starting to come in harder now. Cruz goes down in a heap outside the box on the right side of the field and a foul is given. Cue Brad Davis.

            • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:16 PM

              Davis with the ball at his feet and….. a nice ball whipped in near post and headed out for a corner.

            • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:17 PM

              Davis sends the ball in and Hainault throws himself at the ball and it goes wide.

            • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:18 PM

              Houston hasn’t quite quelled the “YSA” except that it is the lovely airs of “PUTO” that linger in the air.

            • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:20 PM

              Philly earn a corner with Le Toux to take. It is sent back post, knocked out and sent back in with Tally Hall collecting.

            • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:21 PM

              Farfan sends a ball for Mwanga that he can’t reach, he kicks it out for a throw at the corner flag. Houston with the throw deep in their own end.

            • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:24 PM

              40th minute

              Some sloppy play with both sides trying to connect passes and failing. Philly playing a bit more counter right now, and not opening up too much, but eventually they are going to have to send more players up field.

            • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:26 PM

              Davis runs through Sheannon Williams Paunovic doesn’t quite close him down and davis whips a ball over the bar from 18.

            • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:28 PM

              Houston with another Corner at 44th minute and Davis whips it in, far post. Mondragon collects sends it out and Mwanga is the only Union player up.

            • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:29 PM

              Er the above should not be whipped in but floated in. Anyhoo…

            • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:30 PM

              +1 added on to the clock and at 45:31 Geoff cameron heaves the ball into play.

            • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:33 PM

              So Valdes makes a stupid foul with his elbow and Davis comes up, sends in a fantastic ball, and Bryan Ching heads the ball into the right side of the goal. No one picks up ching as all the defenders were ball watching. Meanwhile an absolute back breaker for philly RIGHT before the half.

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/11/03 at 6:16 PM

      Nothing of note created in the first 30 minutes. I don’t think either keeper has been troubled.


  4. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/11/03 at 6:13 PM

    It looks like Adidas has recycled the 1990 Netherland’s jersey for Houston!


    • Posted by Kevin on 2011/11/03 at 6:20 PM

      I think it’s kind of a hybrid of that and the white collar kit united wore in the all-star game last year.


  5. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/03 at 6:26 PM

    Did anyone see Brad Davis pull of an elastico and break Sheanon Williams’s ankles in the process? LOL


  6. Posted by dth on 2011/11/03 at 6:29 PM

    Can we move beyond a day when our announcers go “ARGHHH NO TWO STRIKERS UP TOP” reflexively whenever something goes wrong?


  7. Posted by Union on 2011/11/03 at 6:33 PM

    1-0 Houston. I said this in the other thread, but why does Nowak bring Adu back into the MLS, only to sit him on the bench like he did when the kid was 14. I mean, it blows my mind. Can someone who watches the Unionplay more often fill me in on this? Freddy played for 10 min in the last game and almost had 2 assists.


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/11/03 at 6:37 PM

      Because Peter Nowak’s ego is more important than the team. I’m more worried about him ruining Mwanga, Torres, Okugo, and McInerney than Adu.


      • Posted by Union on 2011/11/03 at 6:47 PM

        It’s really too bad that Freddy got stuck on Nowak’s team again. No one can convince me that guys like Nowak and Backe are good for the league. Too many retreads.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/11/03 at 6:49 PM

          Backe isn’t really a retread–it’s his first MLS job. And his foreign record was really darn good. His first year was really good. Don’t want to belabor the point, but he’s been awful this year and it’s very strange.


          • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:50 PM

            Some of the comments Backe has made about scouting teams and his preperation are just bizarre. It is hard to tell if he cares or not this year. Then again, coaching Rafa Marquez would wear anyone down….


    • Posted by dth on 2011/11/03 at 6:38 PM

      Paunovic NEEDS HIS PLAYING TIME, Union. He’s only got a hamstring problem slowing down an already slow man.


  8. Posted by Kevin on 2011/11/03 at 6:35 PM

    El capitan with a goal. To be fair I dont know why the Union left Ching so unmarked.


    • Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:37 PM

      Everyone for Philly on the line was ball watching instead of marking their man. Ching just snuck up on the shoulder and out jumped everyone.


  9. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/11/03 at 6:35 PM

    I wasn’t listening too closely, but I’m pretty sure Twellman pronounced “mannerism” as “manuerysm”.

    Love that he straight up said that NYRB are better without Marquez, though.


    • Posted by mbw on 2011/11/03 at 8:34 PM

      Likewise wasn’t listening that closely, but I think John Harkes just called Robbie Keane “young.”


  10. Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 6:38 PM

    Incidentally, Sporting KC can beat both of these teams right now.


  11. Posted by Crow on 2011/11/03 at 6:40 PM

    A disgusting first half from the Union- Nowak starts Paunovic after Adu and Torres looked so good in the 2nd half of the 1st leg. 0 shots on goal. Le Toux is withdrawn and invisible. And the Union keep giving up silly set pieces and can’t defend them. I almost wish the Union missed the playoffs so Nowak could be fired. Losing to a team like Houston is a joke, even for a marginal playoff team like the Union.


    • Posted by Kevin on 2011/11/03 at 6:48 PM

      I’m sorry but how is losing to Houston a joke? I might agree if you said that losing to Houston with the on paper quality Philly has, but as a team comparison, I don’t understand on what grounds you base your statement on. I would also agree if you called it disappointing, but a joke?


      • Posted by crow on 2011/11/04 at 5:48 AM

        A joke that the Union had never lost to this team in franchise history even with their horrible expansion team. Sorry but i don’t think Houston has any real talent other than Davis, Cameron, and Hall.


        • Posted by Kevin on 2011/11/04 at 10:21 PM

          Well yeah you say franchise history but that’s like me in 2008 saying we were undefeated in playoffs. That’s not the point. What matters are the teams on the field and how they play. Like I said, on paper it’s definitely dissappointing to lose to us, but Houston has always prided itself on being the team that works hard and it shows on the field. Philladelphia and Houston is a good matchup in my opinion and just remember that the last time you played us we just got Moffat, and Cameron was still playing attacking midfield.


  12. Posted by Crow on 2011/11/03 at 6:42 PM

    Must give credit to Brad Davis, though. Yet another key assist and he so nearly had a GOLAZO (I’m sure Matt would have approved that designation) just a little before.


  13. Posted by Kevin on 2011/11/03 at 7:01 PM

    Not Watson… Anyone but Watson.


  14. Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 7:02 PM

    Nice shot by Paunovic and Nice Save by Hall


  15. Posted by John on 2011/11/03 at 7:20 PM

    Just want to make a point about MLS here. Houston’s atmosphere in the supporters group is something that you would unequivocally never see in England. It may not be the loudest in MLS or the most organized necessarily, however it happens to be a magnificent example of why MLS has the capability of being amazingly diverse, eclectic, and thoroughly engrossing. The melding of latin rhythms, singing, mexico traditions, horns are something that has really made me enjoy watching the growth of soccer in that region. So kudos to the fans of all kinds for expanding MLS in a way that Garber and company probably didn’t expect.


  16. Posted by mbw on 2011/11/03 at 8:27 PM

    Damn, Tainio is off — game changer.


  17. NYRB are looking loosey-goosey right now.


  18. Posted by dth on 2011/11/03 at 8:33 PM

    Annals of Harkes:

    “Robbie Keane, still a young player…”


  19. Posted by John henry on 2011/11/03 at 8:52 PM

    I know it’s a dead horse but HARKES shut up!


  20. Posted by Eric on 2011/11/03 at 8:54 PM

    Just me or is Ream kind of looking like his old self so far? I think he’s been playing very well tonight.


  21. Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/11/03 at 9:00 PM

    I’ve heard him make comments like that before with other established players who have had better careers than he. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to use his “good player” phrase while watching Messi play. It’s like he’s trying to maintain his own distorted sense of superiority. The man drips condescension.


  22. Posted by Union on 2011/11/03 at 9:05 PM

    Watching the NYRB brand of soccer is sad. Henry is so much better than anyone else on the field. Its like when you play in a rec league and everyone on your team sucks, but that one guy who played D-1.


    • Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/11/03 at 9:11 PM

      Or he’s just French, and naturally exudes a sense of superiority.


    • Posted by Bode on 2011/11/04 at 7:13 AM

      Henry reminds me of the ex-D1 player at the pickup game who has already been playing for an hour or two by the time the game starts. When he decides to try, he usually breaks the game open– but he normally just lazily drifts around, makes no real runs, and doesn’t play a lick of defense.

      And every time I think that, he tries again and does something awesome (in this case, it was laying on Rogers’ goal)


  23. Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/11/03 at 9:10 PM

    Ream has looked good, positioning has been pretty decent.

    Gonzalez needs a call-up. I know he doesn’t fit the distrubting CB prototype that Jurgen is looking for, but he’s a freaking tank in the back. Also, for all the comments that he’s not fleet of foot, a man that size is capable of covering a lot of ground quickly nonetheless, and watching him I’ve seen him close down really from behind. So long as he snuffs out plays and links quickly with a holding mid, he doesn’t need to be silky smooth on the ball.


    • Posted by scweeb on 2011/11/03 at 10:01 PM

      is this the same gonzalex who let in the first NYRB goal?


    • Posted by kaya on 2011/11/03 at 11:32 PM

      Hah! I was wondering if somebody would mention that Gonzalez was responsible for the 1st, and almost a 2nd NYRB goal. There’s always a lot of noise made about him, so I was a little surprised when I finally got to watch him tonight.
      I also figured I’d be seeing (re)calls for Ream’s mad distrbution skillz.


  24. Posted by Union on 2011/11/03 at 9:38 PM

    Roy Miller sucks.


  25. Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/11/03 at 9:43 PM

    Mind-blowingly awful tackle.


  26. Posted by Crow on 2011/11/04 at 5:59 AM

    So Nowak told the press that Philly played better than Houston in both games. Are you serious? I am so tired of this clown. Nowak got outcoached so bad it isn’t even funny. My favorite Nowak moment of the night was the shot of him staring into space on the bench in the 62nd minute. Was/Is he even coaching? What was his halftime speech like because the 2nd half was one of the most listless performances from the Union I have ever seen. It didn’t even looked like they cared. I was incredulous when there were no halftime substitutions made. I said before Ching’s goal, that Paunovic better be subbed out at halftime. Then you need two goals and Nowak didn’t make any changes until nearly the 70th minute.


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