The seeds, records and venue say the New York Red Bulls’ 2-0 victory over FC Dallas was an upset, but was anyone really surprised about the outcome of the first MLS wild-card playoff match?
Joel Lindpere scored on reserve Mehdi Ballouchy’s wonderful cross in the 61st minute, the visiting Red Bulls overcame a red card to defender Jan Gunnar Solli in the 79th and Thierry Henry applied the finishing touches in the final seconds to set up a second-round showdown with the Supporters’ Shield winner Los Angeles Galaxy. The first of two legs will take place Sunday at Red Bull Arena (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
Dallas, the highest-seeded wild-card team but in a late-season rut, failed to take advantage of the man advantage, then lost defender Zach Loyd (head injury) for all eight minutes of added time. The Red Bulls are 4-1-1 in their past six matches.
New York’s victory means Sporting Kansas City, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, will face the Columbus Crew or Colorado Rapids in the next stage. Those clubs will face one another Thursday night in snowy Commerce City, Colo.