Revs Reach Final

Published: 8/9/2016 9:31:24 AM
Modified: 11/30/2014 12:00:00 AM
Foxborough, Mass. — Jay Heaps is taking the New England Revolution back to the MLS Cup — this time as the head coach — still looking for his first win.

Charlie Davies scored twice to give the Revolution a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls on Saturday and a 4-3 victory in the two-game, aggregate goals Eastern Conference finals. New England will play in the MLS Cup on Dec. 7 against the winner of the Western finals between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders.

“It’s so rewarding for me,” said midfielder Chris Tierney, who joined the team in 2008, just after its streak of three straight losses in the title game. “We just hope that we can make good in the final and take it all away.”

Tierney assisted on both goals to twice tie the score after the Red Bulls took the lead.

Tim Cahill and Peguy Luyindula scored for the Red Bulls, who are expecting to say goodbye to captain Thierry Henry. The 37-year-old French star’s contract is up, and he is expected to return to Europe to finish his career.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a player in the league that has what Thierry has,” Red Bulls coach Mike Petke said. “I’m honored to have played with him, coached him and been with him every day in practice. Whatever he decides to do, he’ll be successful.”

Heaps played for the Revolution from 2001-11 and helped the team reach the MLS Cup four times, in ’02 and again from 2005-07.

Each time they lost.

Heaps took over as head coach in 2012 after back-to-back years missing the playoffs. After one more rebuilding year, he had them back in the postseason last year and now back in the championship game.

“We wanted to build something championship-worthy,” Heaps said, “to get back to where the club was in ’05-07.”

Davies scored in the 41st minute to tie it, and then again in the 70th. Henry had a chance to give the Red Bulls the series in the 89th minute, but his shot from outside the box was blocked by Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.

Sounders Must Play Catch-Up

Seattle — This is not where the Sounders wanted to be.

“We talked about three scenarios: winning the game, tying the game and worst case is getting out of there with a 1-0 loss against us,” Seattle midfielder Brad Evans said.

Worst case it was. The Sounders lost the first leg of the MLS Cup Western Conference finals 1-0 in Los Angeles a week ago. The second leg is today in Seattle.

Seattle’s only other appearance in the Western Conference finals came in 2012 when it came home for the second leg against Los Angeles facing a 3-0 deficit.

The Galaxy are trying to extend the professional career of Landon Donovan for one more week and erase the memory of last year’s Western Conference final when they let a 1-0 lead against Real Salt Lake slip away.

If the Galaxy play as well as they did in the first leg last Sunday, they likely will be playing for a fifth league championship at home.

“It just creates an environment around our club where we’re focused on winning championships, and we’re a couple of games away from doing that,” Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena said during a conference call this week. “We’re on the same page. We believe that that’s a charge of our club: to win championships, and our focus each and every year is on the MLS Cup.”

Seattle — trying to become the first team to win the MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup in the same season — could force extra time with a 1-0 win in regulation. But any goal by the Galaxy would make a Seattle comeback even more difficult thanks to the implementation of road goals as a tiebreaker in the MLS playoffs this season.

Seattle certainly didn’t have problems scoring in the regular season. The Sounders scored the second-most goals in the league (65), but in the playoffs their only goal came on a header by Osvaldo Alonso in the first leg of the conference semifinals against Dallas.

Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins have been silenced in the postseason, although the pair created a number of opportunities — in the semifinals against Dallas and last weekend against the Galaxy.

The Sounders need to “make sure that when Oba and Clint push forward, we’re supporting them,” Evans said. “We tend to sit back, work really hard defensively and watch these guys take off because we know that they’re going to get something out of it.”

Seattle will try to match what it did against Los Angeles in the regular-season finale, a result that clinched the Supporters’ Shield. Two goals by Marco Pappa in the final 15 minutes brought a 2-0 home victory. That same score Sunday would put Seattle in the league championship game for the first time.

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