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Red Bulls Host Earthquakes In MLS Cup Playoffs Tonight

The New York Red Bulls try to advance to the semifinals of the MLS Cup playoffs tonight when they host the San Jose Earthquakes at Red Bull Arena. This is the second leg of the home-and-home, total goals quarterfinal series. The Red Bulls lead, by a goal after a 1-0 victory over San Jose in the first leg, meaning the Earthquakes must win by two goals tonight to advance to the semifinals.

Designated player Thierry Henry, who sat out the first leg with a knee injury, will be available for the Red Bulls tonight.

Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to see.

[Red Bulls coach Hans] Backe's plan is to continue to attack despite having the lead, and with the inclusion of Henry, the Red Bulls look set to provide additional pressure on the Earthquakes defense. The Red Bulls must absorb the early pressure that the Earthquakes will provide as they search for the early goal. With Henry in the lineup and the Earthquakes pressing for the goal, Backe's men will find space against an over-stretched San Jose defense. 

For San Jose, the game plan is to pile on pressure early in search of the equalizer. For the Earthquakes to upset the Red Bulls at home, the Quakes will need options other than Wondolowski to step up. Wondolowski has scored more than half of San Jose's goals this season, but the Earthquakes need their other offense weapons like Geovanni and Bobby Convey to succeed if they are to reach the Conference final.

Another New York forward, Salou Ibrahim, also missed the first leg and is questionable for the second. Joining him on the injury report are midfielders Luke Sassano and Brian Nielsen, who are out with knee injuries.

San Jose will be without midfielders Andre Luiz and Joey Gjertsen, and defender Ike Opara because of injuries.

(The Sports Network contributed to this report)