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Three Thoughts: D.C.-Red Bulls Second Leg

The Red Bulls lost 2-1, but still go through on aggregate 3-2. Three thoughts on the result.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


As NBC's John Strong noted several times during this afternoon's broadcast, the Red Bulls have won an MLS playoff series just twice heading into the second leg.

Not anymore.

It might not have been pretty, and it certainly wasn't easy on fans' hearts, but the New York Red Bulls went into RFK, got their away goal and head back up I-95 Eastern Conference finalists. For just the third time in their history.

Oh, it was also the first time the MetroStars/Red Bulls have beaten D.C. in the playoffs ever.

It's a sad fact, but it's one that can put into context just how big this series win was for fans.

That away goal

We wrote earlier in the week about how important away goals are. Get one, and your chances of winning the series increase exponentially.

So when Peguy Luyindula -- whose finishing has been suspect during his Red Bulls tenure (to say the least) -- knocked home a Thierry Henry cross to tie the game it was huge. It took D.C., who was down by a goal on aggregate, and set them back, essentially, three goals.

There are no two-point goals in soccer, unless you're playing in some horrid proto-MLS American soccer league, but Luyindula's goal is as close as you can get.

Henry is a man on a mission

Henry has four assists in three MLS Cup playoff games.

We wrote before the playoffs got underway that when Henry gets his eye of the tiger thing going on, no one can take over a game like he does. He makes things happen in a way no one else in MLS can.

Today might not have been spectacular like in the first leg, and he wasn't quietly the best player on the field like he was in the play-in game against Sporting Kansas City, but -- as noted above -- his assist was huge.