The New York Red Bulls come into the Home Depot Center on Thursday, needing a goal to survive. If the LA Galaxy can win or draw on Thursday, they move onto and will host the Conference final. Should the Red Bulls win by one goal, the two teams will go into added extra time, two goals and the Red Bulls take the series. Red Bulls coach Hans Backe is high on their chances.
"We totally controlled the game, dictated the game," Red Bulls Coach Hans Backe said. "We had four huge chances to tie the game. If we perform like this on Thursday, we have won before in L.A. and we can do it again."
However, that doesn't really reflect what happened in the game. Sure, the Red Bulls left chances on the pitch, but so did the LA Galaxy. Twice Robbie Keane was in position to give the Galaxy a second goal, and Landon Donovan was all alone on a breakaway as well. That game Hans is referring to, where they won in LA, was the 0-2 victory the Red Bulls enjoyed in September 2010. It was a much hyped game, as the Red Bulls had just signed Thierry Henry but the striker wasn't clear to play. It was Juan Pablo Angel who did the damage for New York.
The series between the Galaxy and New York has been competitive the last two years, with the series tied 2-2-1. The Galaxy shook of a lot of demons getting the result in New York on Sunday, and it was New York that completely lost their composure. Another game like that on Thursday, and the cooler heads of LA will likely prevail.
"I don't think anybody is surprised by what happened," Donovan said. "There was a few plays where they took some cheap shots at us. In all my years in this league I've not played against a cheaper team and they've been doing it all year. We saw it a few weeks ago with Henry kneeing someone in the back."
After the match on Sunday, red cards were issued to New York's Rafa Marquez and LA's Juninho. The video shows a case for those suspensions to be altered, but the Disciplinary committee has yet to issue a ruling.