The weather in New England is wet, wet. Hurricane Noel is in town. I'm going to blog until I have to leave to go to the stadium for the Chivas USA-Wizards game.
Did anyone see Reading/Fulham? Clint Dempsey scored the second goal for Fulham, helping his team out in there. Let's see if his former teammates can put away the Red Bull threat.
Gritty Joe Vide has earned the start for New York, Francis Doe out - even as a sub. I'm not sure why, unless he's injured. I thought he looked dangerous last week, though he had trouble connecting with the other attackers at times. NE goes with their usual lineup.
The announcers are giddy reviewing the great playoff games on Thursday and Friday. Folks, that just doesn't happen with a single table. Shoot, that rain is coming down sideways. And people want to change the MLS season to play through the winter. Huh.
Shalrie Joseph is being interviewed - he's got a great island accent. He says the team is confident. Matty Reis pitches in his two cents. If it comes to penalties, he's a beast at taking them and stopping them.
What is with Christopher Sullivan's plaid tie? However, I like the details he adds to games - his background as a soccer trainer and former player probably helps him add informative tidbits.
Ralston isn't so excited about playing in this weather. Is that a playoff beard he's sporting? They're all the rage these days.
Streamers slowing kickoff. They fly more in a noreaster.
1- We're off. New England into NY territory first. Jozy and Angel are attacking together.
4- Neither team has much rythm - of course, the game just started. Nice attack for NE - but when Khano Smith crosses in, Taylor Twellman can't reach it. Announcers say that Twellman has a groin injury, while Pat Noonan is slightly hobbled by a gimpy hamstring.
6- High balls are victims of the wind. Both teams are trying to play the ball on the ground.
8- Well Thompson on a long run, but he can't pass to anyone and NY clears all the way back to Reis.
9- Latest NE attack gived up an NY counter that Angels holds up, drawing a foul. Free kick comes to nothing.
10- Ralston combines well with Thompson, but the shot goes wide.
11- Jozy down - he went up for a high ball versus Reis. That's dangerous, as Alecko Eskandarian will tell anyone.
13- Joseph bundles Jozy off the ball. Lengthy Red Bull free kick, and Angel can't put it on frame, though he struck it well.
16- More of a two-way game now - it's not just New England, but more back and forth from both teams.
18- Twellman and Noonan definitely don't look as effective as they normally do. Wells Thompson is trying to pick up the slack - a penetrating run leads to a short pass to Noonan, who crosses to Twellman, but it's too high.
21- NE earns free kick, Ralston hits long shot to goal, but Jon Conway catches.
22- Twellman flicks a ball on for Lawrentowitz, who shoots, beats Conway, but goes wide.
24- Heaps can't get a ball for a throw in. That's not cool, they're the home team.
25- Van Den Berg with a hard shoulder charge on Wells Thompson in the box. Abbey Okulajah is never going to call that.
27- Claudio Reyna out! Probably an injury flare-up. Mr. Metro, Clint Mathis, comes in. Reyna looks miserable, much like his season this year.
29- Angel gets Reis to give up a corner with a tricky header. Mathis takes it, but Angel can't quite make good contact.
31- NY is actually putting more pressure on now that Reyna is out.
32- NE get caught on the counter - Joseph takes down Van Den Bergh and gets a yellow.
33- NY CK, Reis collects the second header.
35- Vide returns the favor on Joseph, hitting him late with a yellow card tackle.
36- Chance for NY - Altidore crosses in front of goal and Van Den Berg nearly reaches it. Another corner for NY comes to nothing.
39- Mathis interchange with Freeman leads to nearpost shot from close range. He nearly makes it. NY just looks more dangerous with him on the field.
41- Shot just outside the box by Thompson, Conway parries. NE have their first corner. It gets cleared.
42- NE with a flurry before the break. Announcers mention the rain has stopped. Twellman nearly gets to a pass in the box.
43- NE with a CK, Ralston sends it too far.
44- Altidore in the box, crosses in, NE clears.
45- Reyna doesn't even look like he's watching the game. He's just staring.
45+ Wells Thompson earns a FK, Ralston hits the service too far.
Tie game still.
90+ Did you miss me? I'm at the HDC now. New England scored the goal that they needed. They are defending their lead with savvy.
Full time. Arena looks grim.
So New England awaits Chicago, while Houston will face the winner of this Kansas City/Chivas USA series.
The hard-core New England fans who weathered the storm were rewarded. It would suck to come out in to support your team in these kind of conditions if they lost.
Stuff I missed in while in traffic - Juan Pablo Angel left the match with a concussion. New England scored after he left.