When the smoke cleared in Kansas City, the Men in Orange stood tall. Now they set their sights on the Black and Red. The Dynamo will take on D.C. United in a two leg series to determine who'll play for the 2012 MLS Cup.
The Eastern Conference championship is ready to go. The Houston Dynamo upset first seed Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday night, while D.C. United used some late rookie magic to get past the New York Red Bulls.
Houston advanced past Sporting KC 2-1 on aggregate after losing the second leg at Livestrong Park 1-0. The Dynamo defense was under attack the entire match but the men in orange were able to hold tight and knock out the East leaders for the second year in a row.
D.C. United and New York played to a lackluster draw in the first leg - with both goals coming from own goals. The second leg was headed in a similar direction, but late in the second half, things got real interesting and fun. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid fouled Kenny Cooper in the box, awarding New York and penalty and received a straight red card for the foul. Hamid was furious, took his time letting everyone know, and even tweeted about the ejection about 10 minutes after he left the field.
Coopers first attempt was good, but called off due to encroachment from his teammates. Replacement goalkeeper Joe Willis stopped his second attempt and the rest is history. Rookie Nick DeLeon placed a beautifully hit ball past Luis Robles in the 86' to seal the 1-0 win and put DCU through 2-1 on aggregate.
D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo will face off at BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. CST. The game will be nationally broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.
Due to the red card in their United's last game, Bill Hamid will not be available for selection. In addition, winger Andy Najar will miss both legs of the Eastern Conference championship due to a two game suspension handed down from the MLS disciplinary commission for throwing a ball at referee Jair Marrufo.
In three meetings in 2012 between United and Houston, the Dynamo won two and lost one. Both victories for the Dynamo came at BBVA Compass Stadium - a 1-0 win in the inaugural match and a 4-0 game in July where Hamid was also ejected for a foul similar to the one against New York.
Dynamo fans, how are feeling ahead of Sunday's match?