2012 MLS Playoffs: What happens if weather affects Wednesday's match?

Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

United, Red Bulls preparing for bad weather Wednesday night in New Jersey.

A week after the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy prompted D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls to swap home dates in their MLS Eastern Conference Semifinal, another storm system has taken aim at the New York metropolitan area.

According to weather.com, the forecast for Harrison, N.J. calls for rain mixing with snow until about 5 p.m., with an inch or two of snow expected on the ground by the time the game kicks off shortly before 8:30 p.m. Winds are expected to gust at 30-35 miles per hour, not quite to the level of Sandy, but more than enough to affect long balls, crosses, and corners.

The bad weather forecast already forced the Big East to move their conference soccer tournament from Red Bull Arena to PPL Park in Philadelphia -- where the semifinals will be played Friday and Saturday -- and raises the possibility that Wednesday's game will be affected.

Washington Post soccer writer Steven Goff lays out the situation.

If the field becomes unplayable or the conditions are dangerous for players and spectators, league and match officials have the power to stop play and delay the game as long as necessary. If play cannot resume tonight, the match would re-start, presumably Thursday, at the point of the disruption.

In the regular season, a match is official once it reaches halftime. In the playoffs, the league will make all efforts to play all 90 minutes (or more, if needed).

The match will be aired on NBC Sports Network, with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. For more coverage, check out Black and Red United or Once A Metro.

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