DC United vs. Houston Dynamo: 5 Key Battles to Watch in MLS Playoff 2nd Leg

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DC United vs. Houston Dynamo: 5 Key Battles to Watch in MLS Playoff 2nd Leg
Bob Levey/Getty Images

When the Houston Dynamo walk into RFK Stadium this Sunday, an appearance in the 2012 MLS Cup is there for the taking.

After a hard-fought regular season, DC United is now faced with the daunting task of overcoming a two-goal deficit in order to stave off elimination. A more concerted effort by United will be necessary if it wants to continue its Cinderella run.

Unfortunately for DC, the pesky Dynamo continue to dominate in the playoffs, especially on the road. 

Houston’s 3-9-5 road record and -12 goal differential in the regular season are the most irrelevant stats in MLS.

As much as United fans continue to champion those statistics and transform them into some sort of rallying cry, the fact remains that Houston is a much better road team come playoff time. The Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City can attest to that.

Given the tactical acumen of Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear, a two-goal lead is almost insurmountable for a bruised and battered United team, but it is not impossible.

RFK has been more than friendly for DC all season. With a desperate team on the ropes, Houston should expect and prepare for everything (including the kitchen sink). 

United is more than capable of turning the tide in the East. The 37 total goals scored at home during the regular season and +20 goal differential was second only to the San Jose Earthquakes.

We are 90 minutes away (an extra 30 if we’re lucky) from crowning an Eastern Conference champion. With Sunday’s match just two days away, here are the five key battles to watch in the second leg of the Conference Final.

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