New England Soccer Today

Red Bulls Await Revs in EC Final

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

After defeating the Columbus Crew 7-3 on aggregate in the Eastern Conference Semifinal, the New England Revolution have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2007.

Similar to the Conference Semifinals, the winner will be determined by the aggregate score between these two matches, with road goals acting as a tiebreaker. In the event both games in the exact same score, meaning the aggregate score and away goals are both tied, a 30-minute extra time period at the end of the second leg will be employed, followed by penalty kicks if the game remains tied after extra time.

The Revolution hold the historical advantage in the postseason over the Red Bulls (formerly the MetroStars) with a 3-1-2 record and advancing in all three of their postseason series in 2003, 2005, and 2007. However, the Revolution lost both regular-season match-ups between the teams, including a painful loss on August 2nd when the Red Bulls came back to win 2-1 from a 1-0 halftime deficit while being down a man from a red card. The Revolution have also never won at Red Bull Arena with a 0-5-1 record.

The Red Bulls are led by Bradley Wright-Phillips, who led the MLS with 27 goals during the regular season, which tied the MLS single season record. The Red Bulls also have former Arsenal and Barcelona player Thierry Henry, who led the team with 14 assists while contributing 10 goals. Henry’s 14 assists are tied for second in the MLS.

The Red Bulls made the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. They defeated defending champion Sporting Kansas City in a comeback effort in the Wild-Card game at Red Bull Arena, 2-1, with two goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips in the 77th and 90th minute. The Red Bulls then knocked off the #1 seed DC United with a 2-0 victory in the first leg at home, and a 2-1 defeat at DC United, advancing 3-2 on aggregate. The Red Bulls got goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Peguy Luyindula in the first leg, and Peguy Luyindula scored the lone goal for the Red Bulls in the second leg.

The Red Bulls will be short-handed as defender Roy Miller was red-carded in the second leg of the DC United series, and he will be suspended for both legs of the Conference Final. The Revolution will come in without suspensions, but right back Andrew Farrell missed the last match with a leg injury, and his status is unclear.

Another interesting note regarding the Red Bulls-Revolution series is that Thierry Henry has never played at Gillette Stadium, due to the artificial turf at the stadium. With the critically important second leg taking place at Foxboro, it will be interesting to see if Henry plays on the Gillette Stadium turf for the first time, and how his performance will be affected.

The first game of the two-leg series will take place on Sunday, November 23rd at Red Bull Area, while the second match will be played at Gillette Stadium the following weekend on Saturday, November 29th at 3pm.

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