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3 Thoughts: Red Bulls draw first blood in Eastern Conference semifinal

RBNY beat DC United 2-0 in the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal. Here's the quick reaction...

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The King leads the way

The captain had a great night, the highlight of which was his assist on the opening goal in the 40th minute.

He started the move in RBNY's own half, picking up a lay-off from Bradley Wright-Phillips, stepping into DC territory, playing the ball square to Lloyd Sam, charging into space as the defense spread to cover every runner except the man wearing 14 - who had enough room to hold his arms out wide: PASS TO ME.

Sam obliged, Henry took a touch and switched the point of attack with a deft back-heel for Peguy Luyindula, who leaned into his marker and let it pass to BWP. 1-0.

By midway through the second-half, the New York Red Bulls' King of Goals was visibly gassed. In the 73rd minute, he received another pass on the halfway line - but this time there was no surge forward.

He punched the ball to Roy Miller BWP, who gave it right back to a static Henry. Not inclined to run, he looked for another outlet, spotted Luyindula on the move, took a step away from oncoming pressure and launched a high ball over the top. Peguy did the rest: 2-0.

Those two assists were the 46th and 47th of the captain's RBNY career. Alongside the 52 goals he scored himself in that time, he's directly contributed to 99 goals for this club.

As has been the case since he arrived, he's only interested in one type of achievement for this team: the type that puts silverware on display for next season. As has been the case since he arrived, he's doing as much as he can and leaving it all on the field to make it so.

We don't know if this is going to work out. But it is riveting to watch.

All hail Peguy Luyindula, part 2

After his cameo in the opening game of these playoffs resulted in two goals and big win for RBNY, Peguy returned to Mike Petke's good books and the starting lineup. He did not disappoint.

His part in the first goal was sublime. He didn't touch the ball, but without his heads-up decision to lean into Chris Korb, BWP never gets the chance to take his shot.

As for the second goal: what happened to the guy whose constant bungling in front of goal led to him dropping back to midfield in the first place?

Luyindula has long been a good player for this team. If keeps up this level of performance, he is getting dangerously close to being great.

It's only half-time

A two-goal lead is a wonderful thing, and twice as many goals as the Red Bulls managed against D.C. United in three regular-season meetings.

But it is only half-time in the series, and DC will surely regroup and come out firing at RFK next week. The longest 90 minutes of the season lies ahead.