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MLS Playoffs: Red Bulls To Face San Jose Earthquakes

SECAUCUS, N.J. (Oct. 24, 2010) – The Eastern Conference regular season champion New York Red Bulls will face the San Jose Earthquakes in the teams’ two-leg, aggregate goal Eastern Conference Semifinal Series. New York will travel to Buck Shaw Stadium to take on San Jose in the first leg on Saturday, Oct. 30 at a time to be determined before the teams head to Red Bull Arena on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. ET for the second leg (TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3). The winner of the series will take on the victor of the Columbus Crew-Colorado Rapids match-up in the Eastern Conference Final.

Under the semifinal series format, the team that scores the most goals over the two legs will advance to the Eastern Conference Final. By virtue of being the top seed in the East, the Red Bulls, which underwent one of the most significant one-year turnarounds in MLS history and finished with 15 wins - 10 more than a season before - have home field advantage throughout the playoffs and would host a potential Eastern Conference Final at Red Bull Arena.

This season, San Jose was one of six Western Conference teams to book its ticket for the postseason. With the top two clubs in the Eastern and Western Conferences automatically qualifying, four Western Conference Wild Card teams also clinched berths and the fifth and sixth placed clubs – Colorado and San Jose, respectively – moved to the Eastern bracket.

New York is 1-1-0 against San Jose this season. In the teams’ most recent match on Aug. 28, the Red Bulls defeated the Earthquakes, 2-0, at Red Bull Arena behind goals from Dane Richards and Thierry Henry. On May 8, the Earthquakes beat the Red Bulls, 4-0, at Buck Shaw Stadium with New York playing most of the match down a man. San Jose is led by MLS Most Valuable Player candidate Chris Wondolowski, who has a MLS-high 18 goals this season. The teams have never faced each other in the postseason.