Donovan, Galaxy 1 win away from MLS Cup
The first leg of the MLS Conference Finals is complete for both the Eastern and Western Conference. The New York Red Bulls hosted the New England Revolution in Harrison, New Jersey as the first part of the Eastern Conference Finals and the Los Angeles Galaxy hosted the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference Finals. After the first leg of the two Conference Finals, one of the matchups has a team that has dug themselves quite a large hole and the other matchup is still very much in the air.
The Red Bulls suffered a huge loss to the Revolution, falling 2-1 at home. Teal Bunbury scored an early goal in the 17th minute for the Revolution, though Shaun Wright-Phillips tied it up a little more than ten minutes later as he buried the equalizer in the 28th minute. However, the Revolution were the aggressors in the second half and Jermaine Jones came up with the big game winning goal in the 85th minute. Jones was on the receiving end of two beautiful passes from Lee Nguyen and Bunbury, setting him up to score the second goal of the game for New England into an empty net.
The Red Bulls are now in a very difficult position heading into the final leg as they have given up two road goals and will need to score at least two goals next game to have a shot at winning.
The second and final leg of the Eastern Conference Finals will take place Saturday at Gillette Stadium. The average ticket price is currently $85 on the secondary market, though tickets can be found for as cheap as $38. The Red Bulls will need to pull off quite an upset to advance to the MLS Cup, so they will need as many fans as possible to come up from the New York-New Jersey area and infiltrate Foxborough to give the team some support.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy and Sounders met in Los Angeles for the first game of the Western Conference Finals. The Galaxy held on for the victory, taking the first match 1-0. The first half was scoreless with both teams trading a few scoring options, but the Galaxy capitalized early in the second with Marcelo Sarvas scoring in the 52nd minute to give the team a 1-0 lead that they would keep for good.
Though the Galaxy are in the driver’s seat, this matchup is far from over. The Sounders have one of the best home crowd advantages in the league and will expect 40-60,000 fans in attendance for next Sunday’s match. Currently, the average ticket price for Galaxy vs. Sounders tickets is $105 with a get-in price of $45. So even with the total quantity of tickets available being significantly higher than what can be had at Gillette, tickets to CenturyLink Field have a higher average ticket price.
After this Saturday and Sunday, we will have our final two teams for the 2014 MLS Cup. A betting man would definitely have the Revolution as one of the teams, but the Red Bulls still have a shot if they can get on the board early. And in the West, the Sounders are most likely a slight favorite since they will be hosting. Nonetheless, the Conference Finals should be very, very interesting.