MLS Playoffs: Match Night Commentary

The final two spots in the MLS conference finals will be determined tonight in Harrison, New Jersey and Sand, Utah as the New York Red Bulls take on D.C. United at Red Bull Arena and Real Salt Lake faces the Seattle Sounders at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The Red Bulls head into tonight’s match (7:30pm, NBC Sports) with the advantage after holding D.C. United to a 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium in the first leg. Luis Robles was outstanding that night, but there was little else to feel overly positive about for the Red Bulls.

D.C. United didn’t play much better, and will need to be much better to leave Red Bull Arena with a victory. Chris Pontius will be looking to atone for the penalty kick he missed, and add to the five goals he has scored against New York this year.

Real Salt Lake also held Seattle scoreless in the first leg, and will look to eliminate the Sounders from the playoffs for the second straight season. RSL will have to break out of their recent attacking funk though, especially with Seattle expected to have Eddie Johnson back for tonight’s match.

SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight’s playoff games so please feel free to follow along with the action here. As always, feel free to send questions our way, and share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. You can also follow our comments on Twitter at @soccerbyives.

Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump):

This entry was posted in Featured, MLS Playoffs, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- Seattle Sounders. Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to MLS Playoffs: Match Night Commentary

  1. JRP says:

    Correction: Sandy, UT.

  2. Citronomics says:

    No high pressure from DCU and Lade taking up offensive positioning on the right flank early on. Not digging this approach from United so far.

  3. DC United Ran says:

    Man that was a really awful call. How was that a foul on Rafa, he got the ball and then got kicked…

  4. ThaDeuce says:

    GOOOOOOOOO D.C.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    nil nil, everything to play for 2nd half!

    goal from pontius.

  5. DC United Ran says:

    I hate MLS commentators. Pay attention to Arlo White. You notice how he doesnt act like the viewer has no idea what they’re watching? Yeah. White treats the viewer as a knowledgeable soccer fan.

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      In the playoffs and championships of all sports commentators “dumb down” their commentary because there are more casual fans watching who might now know all the rules, players, history, etc. This is nothing new, and not soccer-specific.

  6. Citronomics says:

    Class once again by Rafa. What an f***ing terd.

  7. elgringorico says:


  8. deepvalue says:

    Class save by Hamid!

  9. RS says:

    Bye Bye Bill

  10. deepvalue says:

    Should not have jinxed Hamid. That was a mistake.

  11. Chicago Fire says:

    And that’s why Bil Hamid is a complete joke.

    And then further embarrasses himself screaming at the officials. Dude, you wrecked Cooper.

  12. Chicago Fire says:

    Mark Geiger should never officiating another match. What an embarrassment.

  13. Brent McD says:

    bye bye Rafa! hahahaha

  14. Mwing09 says:

    Does any RBNY fan actually like rafa?

  15. Patrick says:


  16. Chicago Fire says:

    Wow, replay shows a DC United player also encroached with NY players. Referee made the wrong decision.

    This official needs to be gone. Forever.

    • Paul says:

      You sir, are wrong. From FIFA Law 14: “If a player of both the defending team and the
      attacking team infringe the Laws of the Game, the kick is retaken.”

  17. a says:

    on that last replay did anyone else notice Henry look directly at the Ref after the PK had been scored

  18. MemRook says:

    God this game is hella entertaining. So happy I tuned in for this one. I truly love mls post-season.

  19. deepvalue says:

    Thierry knew he encroached badly.

  20. MemRook says:

    Lol @ that Hamid tweet just now. He’ll prolly catch some heat for it but who doesn’t love the drama?

  21. Citronomics says:

    DE LEON!!!!

  22. A says:

    Bil Hamid is acting like a complete child. Can’t take responsibility for anything.

  23. Citronomics says:

    Roy Miller takes the free kick? Thank you NYRB

  24. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    How does Henry not take that?

  25. el paso tx wants NASL says:

    Ill say it again- rsl vs dc in mls cup and it will be a crazy series……..dc with young blood and rsl with experience.

  26. A says:

    Thierry Henry just shook his head when Roy Miller took that. It looked like he couldn’t even imagine it.

  27. Tony in Quakeland says:

    The Red Bulls are cursed. There is no two ways about it….

  28. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    I only follow MLS casually, and I haven’t seen him play much, so I’m wondering – is it fair to say that Tim Cahill has been a bust in MLS? He hasn’t stood out in the few games that I have seen him play, and I never hear his name mentioned by anyone.

    • SD says:

      yes you are correct….he appeared injured but wanted to stay in so not subbed and he did absolutely nothing, even though he tried….backe should have pulled him off….had he done so mcarty could’ve moved to the middle and would have been able to get to the ball that holgersson goofed that lead to dc’s goal……i’m so fed up…i just can’t anymore…..

      • Bob L says:

        Cahill has not been the CAM he was billed to be but he has been very steady CM and has saved our bacon on may a ball in the air on D as well and has had more than his share of near misses up front. Get a different XI to start and you might see a different Cahill. Where he plays he’s got the job done.

        • SD says:

          You are right, I should have made it more clear that I was speaking about tonight’s performance….

    • atd says:

      It might be a bit too early to say. Henry came in about the same time of year and didn’t really get going until the following April.

  29. SD says:

    Somebody please explain why the heck roy miller is taking that free kick????? Henry paid millions but totally suckered out????? Tough being a red bull fan…….

  30. el paso tx wants NASL says:

    By the way-dc is better without de rosario and he would of hurt dcs chances. Rsl vs dc equals historic crazy game

    • fischy says:

      You obviously don’t know DC United. If you’ve been watching them without DeRo, they’ve been winning, yes — haven’t lost yet — but they have been outplayed in almost every game. Even TFC outplayed them.

      • Jake says:

        Outplayed in some of those games. Some wins should have been ties. They play very differently without him, but they’ve played well. I’d love to have him back in this series, even if its just off the bench for 20 minutes each game.

    • Chupacabra says:

      RSL is out. Bet DC doesn’t make it past Houston.

  31. Bro says:

    Rafa Marquez must go. Didn’t like him before. Don’t like him now. He wasn’t the only player to lose tonight’s game for NYRB, but this guy has always been a cancer on and off the field. He screwed his team out of a crucial man advantage just cause he can’t keep his temper in check when he plays. Cut the fat NYRB!

  32. fischy says:

    Hey Metros — How many titles have you won?

    Not a one. Not a one.

  33. fischy says:

    Kasey Keller has been eaten by a baseball pitcher….or maybe he killed one for his moustache, anyway.

  34. Travis says:

    Keller with a terrifying moustache. Also what is the deal with all the streamers on the field? Has to be irritating for all the players and makes it look trashy.

  35. heff says:

    Trying not to be bitter but it is so hard after watching this team crumble year after year in the playoffs. Wish I could give credit to DC but they were thoroughly outplayed and were given the win. Such a poorly led team (management, coaches, “Leaders” on the field).

    Til next year…once again.

    I guess I will continue to be bitter for a few more minutes.
    Henry/CL: Why encroach in the first place?
    KC: Why stutter again and go to the same place again (Any goalkeeper knows on a stutter, you hold your ground and react to the shot as it is always a low power shot)?
    Everyone: Why let Roy Miller anywhere near the field?
    Henry: Why give him a shot on that free kick (no you most likely wouldn’t have scored it either from that close but not pushing Miller and his approach aside, thats not the arrogant man we all have come to know)?
    HB: Why not sub off an ineffective, hobbling liability like Marquez when he is carrying a yellow already?
    RM: Why if you have a yellow do you make that tackle when the player was not even close to running free on goal?
    Me: Why do I continue to think things will improve year after year?

    Ok, now off to another long winter, at least marquez and backe will be gone when we return.

  36. MiamiAl says:

    And thus closes the Hans Backe chapter…Who’s up next? Ruud Guillet? LOL!!!!


  37. ibtd3 says:

    There is no curse. The Red Bulls fell due to their own mistakes.

    They attacked the whole entire game. As usual, the red bulls were scored on during a fast break and unfortunately it came at the end of the game instead of the beginning of the game. They played well, but what matters is getting the goal.
    The game changed when Cooper drew the PK. The team should trust, believe, and know Kenny’s potential at taking penalties, but still you have the people who are considered leaders encroaching the ball. Kenny didn’t do anything wrong, and it is a lot more likely for the pk shooter to miss the second time around especially in such a heated game as that one. Even still, the red bulls came out of the miserable reactions from Henry, Cahill, and Dax with a man ahead and the man saving so many crucial shots out of DC’s goal.
    Marquez needs to chill out. He has the intentions to secretly take out players, but in the MLS that does not work as every little call is called. You should have figured this out by now that the refs are not lenient and see what you are doing. He is an emphatic player when he does not play like with bloodlust. He not only equalized the man advantage, but created a hole in the defense.
    Then the goal was scored because the defense was attacked head on by a counter. The defense who was down marquez, replaced by tainio (why is he starting still), which then made a hole in the center defensive mid position. The red bull defense has very strong players, but when they have to do little to know work throughout their game they are not warmed up enough to take on 3 attacking players and a cheeky move by russell that sealed the deal. They need to play more of a bucket style like DC where the counters are slowed down and forced to the center because the Red Bulls do have fantastic center defense.
    Player wise, Robles did no wrong. Lade should not play right back because he is way too small and you can just see he isn’t always confident in his play. He seemed like he was fighting an injury for the whole game, and that cannot help his mentality at all. Coach should recognize this. Holgersson seemed to have a good game also saving lade a few times. Marquez was doing well until he started to go headhunting as stated before, and Pearce needs to make more runs up the wing like Miller will do, but that is also not his fault as he is a natural center and Backe should recognize that skill in their natural position does not mean they are going to be just as good in another position.
    Lindpere looked solid, but he usually does a lot better at creating when he has a Miller behind him overlapping each other down the wing. Dax as always does well and he had a few shanked chances so he should work a bit on getting over the ball when shooting. Cahill did very well. Even though he isn’t at the end of the spectacular goals, he is getting his body and head in to create those plays. Tainio was great last year when he was doing what Dax was doing, but now I find him to be a waste of creation when it comes to playmaking when we already have Dax out there. That build of three center midfielders, four if you consider lindpere who used to naturally be a center midfielder creates little space for a burst down the line with a proficient cross thus narrowing the field.
    Cooper played well, but I just wish sometimes that the six foot three, 210 pound man would use that size and body when on the ball, take on players, and then instead of blast shots at the goal uncontrollably, he should finesse or at least control his shot. He does that when he has a 15 degree angle towards goal as he scored against philly and does that brilliantly.
    Henry needs to learn how to play with the team. He is the face of the franchise right now and he walks around on the field like he owns the place. Never have I seen that man be happy about anything anybody does. He does not lead the team like he did on Arsenal, he bosses it around. He shows pure disappointment when people have the right idea, and when they do not, he turns his head and flails his arms. There is no team chemistry from the man like the way Tim Cahill shows the team. I love when Cahill embraces his teammates and make it look like everybody is gelled together for once. Henry plays a great game, but I see him as hurtful when it comes to overall team performance.
    Lastly, the coach. You know you are on the chopping block with this game. Why do you not sub your players out who are clearly out of it mentally or have a yellow card and hunting for blood. Take initiative as you are the damn coach. Don’t sub Kaka’s brother who has never played a minute before into the last two minutes of the playoff game, and do not let Roy Miller, a left back, take the free kick 20 yards out with two minutes left in the game when Henry is standing right there. You demand Henry to take that shot as he is the striker who has proven himself over his career how strong of a player he is. You have him take every other free kick and corner the team gets, but not that? Rubbish. The red bulls may have looked like a power house, but their mistakes were the obvious ones that cannot happen. I expect change in coaching, and I expect a change in attitude for this superstar roster.

  38. A says:



    • divers suck says:

      Say what you will about the Seattle announcers. They were admittedly homer when it came to the amazing winning goal just like any other homer announcers would be. The difference was the Seattle announcers were mesmerized and equally as excited at the amazing saves by Rimando and showed as much enthusiasm for play on both sides more than the *cricket* silence I hear on highlights of homer announcers when the opponent scores that I hear on highlights of Goals or Saves of the Week from the likes of RSL, SJ, CRapids or any other announcing team. Keller almost seems more goalkeeper bias than homer bias!

  39. A says:

    I swear to god, NBC has no understanding of how upsetting it can be to have to listen to the other team’s announcers.

    Learn more about footie culture.

  40. PD says:

    how many people were at RB stadium tonite? any estimates?

    • Chupacabra says:

      Who cares? Next season it will be even less. The RB “organization” is chasing away fans by the hundreds.

  41. A says:

    Keller should be ashamed of himself.

    Johnson flopping to the ground. Evans faking an injury. What does Keller say? “Seattle doing everything they can to hang on here, good.”

    • Skeeter says:

      In the NYRB game Twellman was questioning why players weren’t “taking it to the corners”.. whats the dif?

  42. Dennis says:

    Jesse Marsch for RBNY coach, or Richie Williams (kick in the behind to Backe as he leaves)

  43. Travis says:

    as a sounders fan i can get why it is upsetting to listen to the other teams announcers, they are inherently going to be biased. if NBC wants to be serious about soccer they need more than one announcer team, cause as it is right now i believe that only have one.

    • KarenB says:

      As I understand it, the decision to pick up the RSL/Seattle game was a last minute thing. NBC didn’t have a crew there, no time to put one together. The only telecasts scheduled were local & Seattle, so they just took the Seattle feed.

  44. Sounder says:

    Having Keller and arlo in the booth was classic. Totally biased but awesome

  45. g-dub says:

    Massive win for the Sounders. The fan base desperately needed this. The nucleus of the team needed this (Ozzy, Montero, Hurtado, Evans et all). The front office needed thus.

  46. Fred Herbert says:

    Seattle’s desire to improve the roster proved the difference. Like usual, RSL was not active in the transfer market.

  47. 2tone says:

    When the playoffs started I picked DC and Seattle to play in the Championship game, and I will continue to stay with my picks.

  48. divers suck says:

    Thanks Ives for your continuous interruptions of Jason Mitchells commentary of the RSL/Seattle game for silly update commentary of a long since over DC United/Red Bulls game. I thought the RSL/ Seattle game was equally as scintillating and cleaner with (arguably) the goal of the entire play-offs from mone Mario Martinez, ruined by you and your NY Red Bull bias. Suggestion? Make a full blown article on the good/bad of the Red Bulls/United match (which I’d be more than happy to read) vice ruining a running commentary for both Real Salt Lake and Seattle fans and everyone else in the US of A who are not necessarily Red Bull fans.

  49. GJJ says:

    The British announcer for the Seattle/RSL game was terrible, He really treated the audience like they were stupid. He described the RSL/Seattle rivalry as “storied” and Nick Rimando’s performance in a previous game as “one for the ages”. Look, isn’t it time we grew up a bit as a soccer watching nation and took the training wheels off? I and most of the people watching that game, actually know that Seattle and RSL have only been playing each other for four years, not seventy, so the rivalry is hardly storied. It’s not Celtic/Rangers or Barca/Madrid. Rimando’s performance previously was good, but not one for the ages, this was not a WC final where his team was down to 9 men and he made world class save after world class save. MLS is a pretty good middle tier league that hasn’t been around very long but has made amazing strides over that time. I don’t need some announcer who assumes I know nothing about the game around the world or anything about MLS to convince me that it is something that it’s not. As for currently calling any game in MLS a “Super Classico”………….I’m surprised my head doesn’t just pop right off. What’s wrong with the MLS we have? Why do we have to pretend that it’s something it’s not? I like MLS and am very happy with it’s development and could do without the rose colored glasses. I don’t think the league is going to stop growing or fold if MLS and the networks treat the fans like grown ups who have access to view the best leagues in the world, know precisely where MLS stands in the pecking order, and are quite happy with how MLS developiing as a league.

    • divers suck says:

      GJJ, find me any MLS or US Soccer announcing team that DOESN’T treat the audience like their stupid. Don’t blame the Sounders announcers for being a bit homer bias. NBC Sports could have easily opted for the RSL announcers for the national audience but didn’t for whatever reason. Blame it on them, not Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller.

      • GJJ says:

        I knew Keller was a former sounder, but am really surprised that both these guys are the Sounders play by play guys. I did not know that. In a way that makes me whince. NBC won’t even fork out the money to get a crew that calls games all over the country out there? Weird. Thanks for the info.