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MLS Gamethread: PLAYOFFS! Conference Semi-Final Return Legs

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Your Gamethread and National TV Listings for the Three Conference Semi-Final Game 2's before Monday.

Is this Henry's last hurrah?
Is this Henry's last hurrah?
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

National TV Listings:

New York Red Bulls at D.C. United
NBC and Univision Deportes (Spanish), 11:30 AM Saturday

Columbus Crew at New England Revolution
ESPN2, 2:00 PM Sunday

Real Salt Lake at LA Galaxy
ESPN2, 4:30 PM Sunday

FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders
NBC Sports Network, 7:30 PM Monday

Three Big Storylines (one per game makes this a chronological commentary):

  1. Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls reportedly are bringing 1,000+ away supporters to RFK Memorial Stadium to take on the Eastern Conference Champions.  They bring with them a 2-0 lead from the first leg.  Henry had both assists in the opener and looks like an engaged participant in what is likely his last MLS playoff campaign.  DC United has made news this week in that there has been significant progress towards their new stadium site; thus you get to experience two sporting legends possibly on their last legs.  Both might still have a little gas left in the tank, expect RFK to be shaking.
  2. Rumors are already swirling out of Columbus about Federico Higuaín not being happy that new manager Gregg Berhalter stripped him of the Captaincy heading into the start of this season, giving the armband to newcomer Michael Parkhurst.  With Mix Diskerud to the Crew rumors picking back up, there might be something to the rumored discontent.  What does this have to do with the Gamethread you might ask?  Well these are the sort of stories that percolate when you lose your  playoff opener 4-2 at home.  The Revs dominated the match in Columbus in front of a very disappointed and disappointingly sparse home crowd.  The scoreline was even a bit flattering as the second Crew goal, providing a sliver of hope, came from a soft penalty deep into stoppage time.
  3. The Galaxy host RSL in the non-Sounders marquee matchup of the weekend and they will need to solve the Rimando riddle in order to advance.  Jaime Penedo matched Rimando save for save for a 0-0 result in Utah.  It was a match that was marred by very strong winds affecting both sides.  This has the chance to also be Landon Donovan's last ever professional game of soccer.  With the winner of this game taking on the winner of the Sounders v Dallas, expect a big local Seattle TV number for ESPN2 as the Seahawks should be finishing off the New York Giants at about the same time this game kicks off.

From a Sounders point of view, the Galaxy versus RSL will be of particular interest.