Hey, hey, ho, ho, here we go. Pre-game rounds up the usual suspects of plot lines. Now we're watching goals of the season. Nice stuff. Kerry Zavagnin may never score a better goal than that.
Houston's Stuart Holden looks like such a baby in in interview, but he is enthusiastic about the match. Craig Waibel is interviewed next - the tough defender admits speed is not his forte, but explains he is able to out-think most opponents.
I'm glad that DeRosario dances when he scores. I think that's a nice touch of flair more players should try. I wish I liked his dance better, though.
Kevin Hartman! The Wizards goalkeeper is interviewed. He gives a shout-out to his daughter, Chloe. He says that the team is ready for the pressure. EJ is on talking about how his team gets "no respect".
Word on the street is that EJ is moving to England. I hope he gets more playing time than Bobby Convey or Benny Feilhaber are getting right now.
Hey, it's Lalas at the Ruud Gullit presser. Now they're showing the Dynamo cheerleaders. Oh, and a Brian Ching interview. He says the team is excited. They should be. They have a sell-out crowd on hand. His playoff beard is still pretty sparse, but hey, it didn't matter last year.
Teams march out to the field. The crowd looks great - a lot of orange. Gullit would feel comfy.
Maybe it's just me pulling for the underdog, but I think that the Wizards could pull this game out.
Clips from the misty night where Kansas City held off Chivas USA. Hartman and Pat Onstad are being profiled. Onstad is a success story from the USL. Heartwarming stuff.
2- Wizards seem to have conceded the midfield. They have two forwards, but everyone else is back.
3- Mullan is on the ground - EJ's cleat caught his leg. He's back up.
5- Hartman with an acrobatic push of the ball from a corner - saving a goal, perhaps.
10- On both ends, teams have chances, but shots are blocked.
12- FK for Wizards - Johnson had a shot, because the deflection fell to him. He was wide of the goal by a few feet. He'll regret that one. Going the other way, DeRosario puts one over the ball that he'll aslo regret. Yikes. The goal was open on that one.
15- Houston working the ball around very comfortably. They don't seem panicked. Jaqua finally shoots, but it's wide.
16- KC the other way - EJ misses the sliding shot. A cross to Ching in front of the goal barely misses.
21- Hatman comes way off his line to punch a ball out - looks like he might have hurt his shoulder.
23- Ching had another shot - wide. He's mad at himself now.
25- It's weird to see Houston play without Rico Clark. I keep expecting to see him. Dom Kinnear is getting really chatty with the officials. He's not happy about something.
29-Crazy - Houston had seemingly six players in the box and couldn't get the shot off. Ching tries another shot, but this one is also wide. The Dynamo are all over the Wizards, but the scoreboard doesn't show that yet.
32- Dynamo players are doing a good job of pushing the ball up in front of the attack, but they hesitate in front of the goal and the Wizards keep poking the ball away. They can't keep getting away with that kind of last-ditch defending. Can they?
34- DeRosario shot - Hartman parries. Good on both counts, but again, it took too long for DeRosario to pull the trigger.
35- GOAL! Jaqua can use his his freaking head! Eddie Robinson distracts and Jaqua elevates to put the ball in.
38- Game opens up a bit. Kansas City is finally moving up - which leaves space for Houston to counter.
40- EJ should not be dribbling the ball upfield. Where is Carlos Marinelli?
41- Jair Marrufo pulls a yellow for Jaqua after he fouls Jack Jewsbury. That was a hard forearm- could easily have been a red and changed the game completely.
44- Jewsbury could be unconcious. He's been down for minutes. He finally walks off the field. Chris Sullivan diagnoses a tweaked neck from the booth.
45+ NO GOAL - Hartman spilled the ball from Mullen's shot, but DeRosario was offsides on the follow.
The game has nearly been all Houston, but I wonder - considering how the earlier series against Dallas changed so much after the Arturo Alvarez red card, what would have happened if Marrufo had pulled the red card on Jaqua?
50- Marinelli is on. KC still doesn't look terribly dangerous, though.
54- Kansas City was really an attacking team early this season, but I simply don't see that now.
56- Nick Garcia gets a yellow. He argues with Marrufo, because it sure looked like he was the one who got kicked. In the but, no less.
57- Mullen comes in from behind on Harrington, but there's no call. KC is going to complain about the calls after this game.
58- Marinelli with a pretty pointless yellow. I guess KC figures they're not getting the calls, they're going to get revenge.
61- KC with a nice little sequence, but it doesn't quite cumulate in a shot on goal.
63- CK for Houston - finally ends up in a goal kick for KC.
65- KC can't get a touch on the ball in front of goal, though it's bouncing all round then.
69- Dvis crosses in front of goal, ball is loose, but it is finally corralled by Hartman. Ching is down on the grass, but he looks just shaken up. Actually, I was wrong. Ching limps off and Joe Ngwenya comes in.
73- FK from way out. Marinelli takes, it sneaks wide of the far post.
74- Apparently Ching complained of a "pop". It could be his tendon, which is bad, but it could be an exhausted muscle, which is no biggie.
77- Conrad nearly scores an own goal - he cuts off DeRosario's cross, and nearly puts it into net. The corner kick yields an awkward bicycle kick from Jaqua, but KC finally gets a goal kick.
80- DeRo nearly reaches a long pass, but it gets cut off.
81- GOAL! Houston gets the ball back and DeRo slots a low shot past Hartman. I'm watching the game with three other people. "Too slow," says one of Hartman. "Too old," says another. "Too lazy," says one. Any which way, Hartman's reflexes weren't up to snuff there.
84- KC is going for a goal of honor here.
86- Shot of KC's assistant coach looking super-pissed on the sidelines about the calls versus KC.
87- Columbano with a chip pass to EJ, but EJ can't connect. He's just not playing with confidence right now.
90- Weirdly, KC is dribbling away from goal. Oh, finally the ball goes in. And gets cleared out. Falls to Johnson outside the box and he fires over the goal.
90+ It's all over but the shouting. Holden on the break - Babyface gets fouled. FK. Davis doesn't even shoot for goal. They're just looking to secure the win, running out the clock.
Arnaud with a fed-up foul on Davis. Ngwenya takes the ball to the corner, running out the clock.
REMATCH. NE and Houston for the Cup. It's deja-vu all over again in RFK.