This was billed as the big match up in the Eastern Conference as number one Sporting KC and number two New York Red Bulls were ready to do battle in the Midwest, as the first round of three was at Livestrong Sporting Park. And it would start in favor of Kansas City within the first five minutes of the match.
It looked harmless enough as a ball was sent by Graham Zusi from the midfield to spring Teal Bunbury at the New York area. The defenders looked to be in a good position to try and stop the attack yet Bill Gaudette came off his line and ran outside the top of the area and allowed a free shot.
It was some quick thinking by Bunbury to chip the ball towards Kei Kamara who leapt high and headed the ball into an open net for the early lead. Some would say that it was another breakdown by the Red Bulls defense, but to be fair Gaudette intentionally put himself into no man’s land and caused the error.
But what Kamara did for his side in Sporting Kansas City, he would accidentally do it for the Red Bulls. It was a free kick on the near side of the field and Sebastien LeToux would deliver a great ball into the area. Tim Cahill would sneak in to try and disrupt the defenders, but Kamara headed in the ball into his own net.
The match would end in a draw, but there was plenty of hacking and whacking going on from both sides on the field and to be honest you felt that handbags were going to be pulled out at ten paces, but not this time around with first place on the line.
As the match proceeded in the second half it looked as if the Red Bulls might sneak in a second goal and take the full three points as they were held to zero shots on goal. Inside the final four minutes of stoppage time that moment might have become real as LeToux was sprung into a break away.
With two defenders coming back and holding up his run, he got some help from Dax McCarty trailing the play. It was a good ball that got to McCarty but sadly the touch failed him and as he was trying to get the ball back he was knocked down in the area. Grejada wouldn’t even call the penalty as it wasn’t much of a foul
So after a wild night in Kansas City both sides would remain at their places on the Eastern Conference table as Sporting is still at the top, while the Red Bulls are two points behind them. Thierry Henry was unavailable for the Red Bulls as he stayed to keep company with his second child. His wife gave birth to a baby boy in New York City, but Henry will be available with the mid-week game at DC United.
This coming Wednesday and the weekend will be the final games before the international break starts for World Cup Qualifying so get ready for some fun when the USA takes on Jamaica twice in a month.