MLS Playoffs 2011: New York Red Bulls Lose To LA Galaxy, 1-0

The first leg of the Western Conference semi-finals kicks off on Sunday with the LA Galaxy heading to Red Bull Arena.

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MLS Cup Playoffs: Rafael Marquez And Juninho Receive Red Cards For Post-Match Actions

Rafael Marquez of the New York Red Bulls and Juninho of the LA Galaxy were given red cards for a post-match altercation following Sunday's 1-0 victory by the Galaxy in the first leg of an aggregate playoff series between the two teams at Red Bull Arena.  Both players will be suspended for Thursday's second leg of the series.

Marquez caused the altercation by throwing a ball at a Galaxy player after final whistle ended the game. The referee in charge of the game, Alex Prus, handed down the red cards to Marquez and Juninho for their parts in the post-game scuffle. Marquez, while having a disappointing year, is still an integral part of the Red Bulls midfield. He has a great game IQ and it will be missed in what surely is a must win game. Juninho has been a key member of the Galaxy midfield and will be missed when the Galaxy host the Red Bulls at home on Thursday. 

The winner of the series will be determined by the aggregated score of the two matches. Without Marquez the Red Bulls will have an even more difficult time generating the offense they will need to advance.


MLS Cup Playoffs: Red Bulls Fall To Galaxy, 1-0

The second half of the game opened up with the Red Bulls immediately threatening with multiple shots on goal. Dane Richards was the first to strike in the opening minute but was unable to convert. In the next minute Thierry Henry attempted a bicycle kick that went just wide. Then two minutes later Joel Lindpere had a great shot that just went over the cross bar when Saunders got enough of a hand on the ball to send it high. 

The Galaxy pushed forward in 56th minute with Landon Donovan threatening with an open goal. Red Bulls keeper Frank Rost got a hand on it and sent the ball wide. Luke Rodgers was the next player to shoot on goal for the Red Bulls but he couldn't get enough leg on the ball and it was easily saved by Saunders. The Red Bulls had their final chance in the 89th minute when Carlos Mendes sent a header just high of the cross bar. The Galaxy were victorious, winning the game 1-0 on the road.

The game did not end without some controversy as Red Bulls Midfielder Rafael Marquez threw the ball at a Galaxy player which resulted in a bit of a scuffle. 


It is almost a certainty that there will be disciplinary action coming from the league in the upcoming days. No word on if it will be on the Red Bulls players who were obviously flopping without being hit at all. 


MLS Cup Playoffs: L.A. Galaxy At Red Bulls First Half Update

The New York Red Bulls play host to the Los Angeles Galaxy this afternoon at Red Bull Arena. The Northeast was hammered with a snowstorm and there were some concerns that the game would be delayed due to field conditions as Red Bull Arena wasn't built to handle snow well. There were also questions if Luke Rodgers would be healthy enough to play as he was dealing with a nagging knee injury for much of the season and sat out of the wild card game on Wednesday against F.C. Dallas. 

The Red Bulls almost went ahead in the fifth minute off a corner kick but couldn't convert. L.A. was the first to draw blood with a Magee goal in the 16th minute of play. Thierry Henry almost evened up the game in the 21st and 22nd minutes but the ball just went wide. Finally in the 37th minute Joel Lindpere took a shot on goal that just missed. The half closed with Thierry Henry receiving a yellow card for tripping David Beckham in the 44th minute.

Continue to follow SB Nation New York for more updates for the first leg of the Semi-Finals. 

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