[MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: New York-D.C. United] The two legs were switched because of Super Storm Sandy. The second leg was delayed a day because of Winter Storm
Athena. The series featured own goals and missed penalty kicks by both teams. Three players were sent off in the two legs. The D.C. United-New York series, decided in D.C.'s favor on Nick DeLeon's 88th-minute goal in the second leg, will go down as probably the most bizarre playoff series in MLS history.
-- With the score tied on aggregate 1-1, the series seemed to have been decided in New York's favor when D.C. goalie Bill Hamid was sent off for a foul on Kenny Cooper in the penalty area in the 69th minute. Cooper converted the ensuing penalty kick but the Red Bulls were whistled for encroachment in the area -- replays showed three Red Bulls had been faked out by Cooper's stutter step and stepped into the area -- and Hamid's replacement, Joe Willis, stopped Cooper's second attempt. It was Cooper's first miss in 11 attempts in MLS.
-- New York's advantage was negated four minutes later when Rafael Marquez was ejected for his second yellow card, marking the second year in a row the Mexican star's playoff run was cut short by a red card.
-- Veteran Robbie Russell, who had not started since July and was only on the starting lineup because Andy Najar had been red-carded in the first leg, set up the winning goal with a run from his right-back position and ball into De Leon's path. The rookie out of Louisville put the ball past goalie Luis Robles at the near post.
-- The series win was a reward for the several hundred D.C. fans who attended the game a day after the second leg was postponed because of a snowstorm. An estimated 700 fans had made the trek from Washington on Wednesday.
-- The loss extended New York's futility in the MLS playoffs. It has yet to win at MLS title in 17 years.
-- Marquez, who has one year left on his contract, said he wants to return in 2013. “I want to try and be a champion,” he said. “It’s my last year and I want to be a champion here in MLS. We have everything but we need to work. Myself, I start [by trying] to be in good shape.”
Nov. 8 in Harrison, N.J.
New York 0 D.C. United 1. Goal: DeLeon (Russell) 88.
New York -- Robles, Lade (Miller 91+), Holgersson, Marquez, Pearce, McCarty, Cahill, Tainio, Lindpere (Digao 91+), Cooper, Henry.
D.C. United -- Hamid, McDonald, Russell, Jakovic, Neal, DeLeon, Kitchen, Saragosa, Boskovic (Willis 72), Pontius (Dudar 92+), Pajoy (Salihi 91+).
Red Cards: New York -- Marquez 75; D.C. United -- Hamid 69.
Referee: Mark Geiger.