New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls | MLS Cup Playoffs Match Preview
EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP, LEG 2
NEW YORK RED BULLS VS. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
3 pm ET, Saturday, November 29
TV: NBCSN | NBC Sports Live Extra | UDN | TSN2 | RDS2
After a rough-and-tumble first leg Sunday at Red Bull Arena in which 10 yellow cards were handed out in the New England Revolution’s 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls, the scene in the Eastern Conference Championship of the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs, presented by AT&T, shifts to the Revs’ Gillette Stadium for the deciding game. Jermaine Jones and Teal Bunbury scored for New England, bookending a Bradley Wright-Phillips goal for the Red Bulls. If the Revs are able to hold onto their one-goal advantage, they would advance to the MLS Cup title game for the first time since 2007, when they lost to the Houston Dynamo. A win by two or more goals for the Red Bulls would put them in the title game for the first time since 2008, when they lost to the Columbus Crew. They will, however, be without leading scorer Wright-Phillips, due to a suspension for caution accumulation.
REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo.
AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Ian Anderson;
4th: Silviu Petrescu
SUSPENDED: NY: Roy Miller (through 11/30); Bradley Wright-Phillips (yellow card accumulation; through 11/30)
NY 22 wins (2 SO), 105 GF ... NE 26 wins (3 SO), 106 goals ... Ties 15
2014 HEAD-TO-HEAD: NY 2 wins, 4 GF ... NE 0 wins, 1 GF ... Ties 0
AT GILLETTE STADIUM:
6/8: NE 0, NY 2 (Alexander 17; Luyindula 76)
MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: NE 4 wins, 9 GF ... NY 1 win, 4 GF ... 2 ties
- WATCH: Henry ready for first game on New England turf
- WATCH: Instant Replay highlights key moments from first legs
- How Lee Nguyen, America's forgotten No. 10, made it to MLS
- WATCH: How Thierry Henry's shifting role saved Red Bulls' season
- Counting down the Top 5 moments in New England vs. New York history
- WATCH: FIFA 15 predicts close second leg in NE-NY
- 10 minutes with analyst Paul Mariner on the Revs' formula and second-guessing referees
- Play MLSsoccer.com's Annual Thanksgiving Trivia: Conference Championship Edition
- Red Bulls coach Mike Petke does impromptu Thanksgiving Twitter Q&A
- Revs' Jose Goncalves: If we control the game, it'll be very tough for Red Bulls
- Turning back the clock: New England find familiar formula in old winning ways
- Red Bulls "surprisingly calm" despite deficit heading into ECF showdown
- SIDELINE: Revs' supporters' culture profiled as part of filmmakers' soccer journey
- Achilles Heel: New York star Thierry Henry's tricky relationship with artificial turf
- Red Bulls confident in Tim Cahill's ability to replace suspended Wright-Phillips
- WATCH: Where on the field will Tim Cahill play for RBNY?
- USMNT's Tim Howard picks winner of LA-Seattle series to win MLS Cup
- MLS Cup Pick 'Em: Which teams will advance to MLS Cup after the second legs?
- Armchair Analyst: Tactical preview -- #NEvNY, Eastern Conference Championship Leg 2
- WATCH: NE vs. NY: It all comes down to this
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
- The Revolution have won their last seven home matches at Gillette Stadium, including a 3-1 win in the Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Columbus. The Revs last lost at home on July 26; overall, they have lost just once in their last 15 matches.
- Teal Bunbury scored a goal and added an assist in the first leg, the second consecutive match where he's had a goal and an assist in the same game.
- "I thought Teal showed not just his pace, but you saw the movement to get open on the goal. I thought ëthat's Teal Bunbury.' When you get him a little bit of space, he can create and I think he's been excellent for us," Heaps said. Added Charlie Davies: "I think in the Columbus game, I said that was the best game I've ever seen him play. He might have topped it. Positionally, now he understands where he needs to be to be effective for the team, both offensively and defensively, and that stepover and the finish with the left was phenomenal."
- Jermaine Jones added his first career goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs for the late game-winner; since his arrival in mid-August, the Revolution have posted an 11-1-1 record over all competitions.
- "He's such a presence in the midfield. Breaking up plays, he's such a presence. They never really got comfortable. He was phenomenal again for us," Davies said.
- While Lee Nguyen had his goalscoring streak snapped of six games over all competitions, he did record his second assist in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Nguyen has been involved in four of the Revolution's league-leading nine postseason goals.
- "Every time [Lee] touched the ball there was someone on him so we have to go to the drawing board a little bit to get Lee a little bit more of the ball," Heaps said.
- Since the two-game, total-goals series were introduced in Major League Soccer beginning in 2003, the visiting team has won the first leg on 12 occasions. Just three times has the visiting team in the second leg overturned the deficit in the return match to advance, last by San Jose in 2012.
- "We know that there's a whole other round left, a 90-minute game," Davies said. "When they have Thierry Henry anything can happen. We know Bradley Wright-Phillips isn't going to be a part of their squad next game, but they have Tim Cahill who's probably going to step in and that's his normal position so they're going to be just as dangerous.
NEW YORK RED BULLS
- The Red Bulls lost for a second consecutive match in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Just twice in MLS history has a team lost twice in the postseason and still reached MLS Cup -- LA in 2001, and Chicago in 2000.
- Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his fourth goal of the playoffs in the first leg, and has 31 goals across all competitions this season. But he will miss the second leg, suspended after receiving his second yellow card of the postseason.
- "I didn't know the rules of the yellow card accumulation. ... I'm angry obviously, I'm angry. Stupid yellow card and now I have to pay," Wright-Phillips said. Said Tim Cahill: "We've just got to believe. Bradley's been the heart and soul of this team all season. It's going to be tough, but this tie is far [from] over."
- Petke made just one substitution during the match, as Tim Cahill came on for Eric Alexander with a quarter-hour remaining.
- "His ability in the air, his ability to get forward with 20 minutes left and with 20 minutes left he should have the stamina to get forward and get back. He had a great week of training so we thought perhaps that would pay off for us," Petke said. Said goalkeeper Luis Robles: "As much as it hurts not to have [Wright-Phillips], we have guys that can battle, we have got guys that have ability. I feel like our depth will definitely be tested but there's no reason why we can't still pull it out."
- With Roy Miller suspended for both matches of the conference championship, Ambroise Oyongo came in at left back -- just four days after he started for Cameroon in an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Ivory Coast.
- "It was difficult and a quick transition between the two," Oyongo said. "It took a little bit more time to recover, took a little bit lighter training, and the travel time was really long from Cameroon. But going into the match, I felt good and felt that I properly recovered."
- For the first time in his MLS career, Thierry Henry is expected to play on the artificial surface at Gillette Stadium. "The only thing is if ... my Achilles don't last, then I will be on holiday if we don't go through," Henry said. "I'm sure guys wouldn't care if I can walk or not after that. That's just the way it is."