The addition of an extra playoff match also added one more layer of yellow card jeopardy; players were thusly afforded one extra opportunity to collect that dreaded, second post-season yellow card earlier in the process.
As for the contest in Houston today, this might be the one and only area where we make the call for “advantage D.C. United.” Here are the players who have been cautioned once already, who will miss the second leg if they are booked at BBVA Compass today:
- Houston Dyanmo: Corey Ashe, Calen Carr, Brad Davis, Boniek Garcia, Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie
- D.C. United: Andy Najar, Lionard Pajoy
Clearly, United has done well in avoiding the cards, a real achievement considering the white-knuckle nature of the series triumph over New York.
Houston had that extra match (the elimination contest up in Chicago) in which to collect a booking. Davis (pictured), for instance, picked up a silly and unnecessary card for grabbing a shoulder in a situation that really wasn’t so threatening, as his club held a 2-0 lead in the 67th minute. So Houston’s dead ball expert, who is also so critical in helping the men in orange keep possession, must be extra careful today in Houston.
Not having Andy Najar to deal with will assist Davis is this regard.
Hall, Houston’s starting goalkeeper, collected a wholly unnecessary caution for stalling against Chicago – and he was. Stalling that is. So he’s got to get on with the goal kicks today, no question about it.
Important to remember: The players are more or less in the clear after today’s match. Bookings are wiped out after the conference finals. If any of the names listed above are cautioned in the second leg, they’ll not sit out the final.