5 Things We Learned from the United-Red Bulls Debacle

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5 Things We Learned from the United-Red Bulls Debacle
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

As heated rivals D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls prepare for the second leg of their Eastern Conference playoff series tonight, both teams will look back on their first game with regrets over opportunities missed, and with hopes of discerning elusive keys for advancing.

Opportunities missed will haunt New York's Hans Backe and D.C.'s Ben Olsen. Both coaches watched their teams give away own goals. Olsen saw his opponents come out flat for a long stretch, and the most celebrated member among them never get in the game. Backe saw his opponents self implode, and finish the last 20-plus minutes a man down. 

In a way, both Backe and Olsen should feel lucky to head into the second leg with a 1-1 tie. My guess is neither does.

I am not sure I can provide the keys to advancing, but let's review what we the fans have learned from the first leg. Maybe there is a hidden gem somewhere in the mix.

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