Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
Due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the New York metropolitan area, the two Eastern Conference rivals have swapped home dates in their MLS playoff tie.
D.C. United announced Wednesday that the home dates in their MLS Eastern Conference semifinal against the New York Red Bulls have been switched due to the effect of Hurricane Sandy on the New York metropolitan area.
The first leg of the two-legged tie was scheduled to have been played Saturday night in Harrison, N.J., with United hosting the second and final leg November 7 at RFK Stadium. Due to the revised schedule, RFK will now host Saturday's first leg, with Red Bull Arena hosting the return leg next Wednesday.
United had earned the right to host the second leg due to their finishing in second place in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of third-place RBNY. The winner of the aggregate series will advance to the Eastern Conference Final later this month.
D.C. United President Kevin Payne had previously expressed opposition to the date swap, telling The Washington Post's Steven Goff, "I wouldn't support that." A conference call had been scheduled for Wednesday between representatives of United, the Red Bulls, and Major League Soccer to discuss contingency plans, after which Payne changed his tune.
Saturday's match will kick-off at 8 p.m. and be aired on the NBC Sports Network, as will Wednesday's second leg match. Tickets purchased bearing a November 7 date will be honored for Saturday's match.