for this game

Red Bulls oust defending champion Dynamo

Nov 9, 2008 - 11:51 PM By Jeremy Rakes PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- It's not good to be the Western Conference regular-season champions. For the fifth straight season, the regular-season champs in the West fell in the first round of the playoffs, with the two-time defending champion Houston Dynamo serving as the latest victim.

Dane Richards scored a goal and added an assist and goalkeeper Danny Cepero made several key saves in the second half as the New York Red Bulls eliminated the Dynamo with a 3-0 victory Sunday at Robertson Stadium.

The Red Bulls won the aggregate goal series, 4-1, and advanced to the Western Conference finals Saturday at Real Salt Lake.

"I'm very proud of the boys," New York head coach Juan Carlos Osorio said. "As always, the plan was there, and they executed very well. In the second half, as you know, 2-0 up is still very dangerous, so all they would need is one goal, and they would have the upperhand in the game."

"But, we sustained that, and we swallowed the pressure. When it came to the attack, we were able to finish the game. (I'm) very pleased for everybody."

The loss also ended Houston's bid to become the first team to win the MLS Cup three straight years as New York advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2000, which was its only other appearance in franchise history.

The Red Bulls took a 1-0 lead on Richards' goal in the 25th minute.

Sinisa Ubiparipovic sent a pass from the left side at midfield ahead of Richards, who beat Dynamo defender Wade Barrett to the ball and put a shot past goalkeeper Pat Onstad to the upper left corner from 20 yards out.

"Everything I try to do, I try to do the best that I can," Richards said. "Today was just my day. I just wanted to play my game, and I thought I did. We knew we had a chance today. I just kept going on my goal. I knew that if they touched me, it would be a penalty kick."

The Red Bulls added a goal on Juan Pablo Angel's penalty kick in the 36th minute. Houston's Ricardo Clark was whistled for a hand ball on a cross into the box, and Angel nailed the penalty kick into the upper left corner for the tally.

Houston had several scoring opportunities throughout the contest, including a number of chances over the first 30 minutes of the second half. But Cepero was up to the task, making five saves on the day to maintain the shutout.

"It's kind of shocking right now," Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis said. "It's just not setting in. Obviously, we did not prepare for (how to react to losing). If we could do it all over, I would bet everything I have on the fact that we would come out with a win.

"We are still a great team and we still have a great group of guys here. We have really grown a lot as a team and gone through quite a lot this season and this is just another thing. We are going to be upset for a little while, but I think we will come through it."

The Red Bulls put the match away in the 80th minute on goal by John Wolyniec. Richards carried up the right side and into the 6-yard box where he laid it off to Wolyniec, who deposited the easy goal into the net for a 3-0 lead.

"It's very overwhelming. We battled so hard and had an up-and-down year," Wolyniec said. "To defeat the defending champs on their home field, it's a really good feeling. The guys came in and they started thinking about next week. We have a great opportunity."

Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear felt his team play well enough to win, saying it was one of the most lopsided 3-0 games he has ever seen. His squad held a 16-7 advantage in shots.

"But you have to score to win games, and that is very evident today," Kinnear said. "I feel sick. I feel sorry for them. That is an easy question to answer. No, we got caught going forward a couple of times, and we had enough chances today to win three or four games."

Kinnear said he didn't like the way the game was officiated, and it started before the game even started.

"I think the thing about the center official (Baldomero Toledo), he set the tone of the game," Kinnear said. "When I saw him approach our player (Kei Kamara) before the game and their player (Angel) before the game, where he is having an argument with Kei before the game and he goes up and practically hugs Juan Pablo Angel, literally sprints across the field to shake his hand.

"I thought that was kind of odd, and I kind of think that set the tone for how the game was reffed."








  • WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINAL
    MLS NY RED BULLS 3
    HOUSTON 0 FINAL

    Nov 9 5:01 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    NY RED BULLS 3
    HOUSTON 0
    NY RED BULLS GOAL: John Wolyniec in the 80th minute

    Red Bulls 3, Dynamo 0  2nd - 80'Nov 9 4:45 PM
  • 5
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Red Bulls 2, Dynamo 0  HalfNov 9 4:00 PM


  • WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINAL
    MLS NY RED BULLS 2
    HOUSTON 0 HALFTIME

    Nov 9 3:54 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    NY RED BULLS 2
    HOUSTON 0
    NY RED BULLS PENALTY GOAL: Juan Pablo Angel in the 36th minute

    Red Bulls 2, Dynamo 0  1st - 36'Nov 9 3:42 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    NY RED BULLS 1
    HOUSTON 0
    NY RED BULLS GOAL: Dane Richards in the 25th minute

    Red Bulls 1, Dynamo 0  1st - 25'Nov 9 3:32 PM


  • WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINAL
    MLS NY RED BULLS 0
    HOUSTON 0 44:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Red Bulls 0, Dynamo 0  1st - 1'Nov 9 3:06 PM