Not only did the New York Red Bulls win over the Philadelphia Union to close out the regular season generate some excitement and momentum heading into the playoffs, now we know those three points will also guarantee the Red Bulls home field advantage through the remainder of the playoffs if they advance tonight against D.C. United.
With the Houston Dynamo holding off Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on aggregate and the LA Galaxy exploding in the first half for three goals to come from behind and defeat the Supporters' Shield winning San Jose Earthquakes, the Red Bulls are not only playing to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Dynamo, but for the chance to host MLS Cup 2012 against the Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, or Real Salt Lake.
Had New York lost their season finale to Philadelphia, they would still have home field advantage against the Dynamo for the Eastern Conference finals but would have to head west for an incredibly tough road match to decide the league champion.
The home-field road to MLS Cup may provide added incentive for New York tonight but DC United is in the same position. Hard as it is to imagine, DC would host MLS Cup at RFK Stadium if they advance out of the East.
Do you think New York can make it past DC and Houston to host MLS Cup at Red Bull Arena? Who from the West would you most want to see? Let us know in the comments below and enjoy the game tonight!