D.C. United edged into the MLS Eastern Conference final Thursday night following a 1-0 victory in the second leg of their conference semifinal match-up against the New York Red Bulls. The win gave United a 2-1 decision on aggregate and set up another two-legged meeting with the Houston Dynamo beginning Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium.
As commentator Arlo White repeatedly pointed out on the NBC Sports Network broadcast, the tie had everything. There was a venue switch due to Hurricane Sandy; two own goals and a sending off in the first leg; a winter storm that postponed the second leg by a day; and two more sendings-off in the second leg as well as a penalty which was scored the first time, disallowed by the referee, re-taken, and then saved by the substitute goalkeeper, who had just come on seconds before.
That'll raise anyone's emotional level, and here's a sampling of D.C. United's emotion and exultation, beginning with the below tweet from United's expelled goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who fired this off while the game was still going on (and later deleted it).
RT @billhamid28: Great leap.. GREAT LEAP.. He jumped right over me.. Hey Kyle martini please please please see your optometrist tmrw..— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) November 9, 2012
Bill Hamid: "I had no idea Kenny Cooper wanted to go out for the Olympic trials. I think in diving." #dcu #mls— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) November 9, 2012
Kevin Payne: "Money can't buy character, and this team has a lot of character." #dcu #mls— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) November 9, 2012
DeRo: "We stayed strong, we stayed in it, we stayed united." #dcu #mls— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) November 9, 2012
Hamid's next sentence: "But I have five words: They can’t hold us back. That's all I gotta say. Thank you very much."— Craig Stouffer (@CraigStouffer) November 9, 2012
Ben Olsen on Geiger...(wait for it): "It was a big call. It was the right call. I thought he was good all night long." #DCU #MLS— Craig Stouffer (@CraigStouffer) November 9, 2012
Olsen: "I don't think these fans will ever work again, they're gonna follow us to Houston and beyond. They'll probably get fired." #mls #dcu— Pablo Maurer (@DCist_Pablo) November 9, 2012
"We're the most successful club in #mls history. Not New York, not Los Angeles. We are." #dcu #rbny -Kevin Payne— Pablo Maurer (@DCist_Pablo) November 9, 2012
Yeah, like we said, an emotional night.