The Philadelphia Union host the Houston Dynamo in their first ever playoff game tonight at PPL Park. The game time has been move from 4pm to 5pm and the match will be show live on ESPN2. Despite being the home team in the first leg, defender Danny Califf claims that the Union are the Underdogs against the more experience Dynamo.
"I think certainly Houston is probably coming in here as the favorites," said Califf. "We’re playing that underdog role and that’s good for us."
Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear played down the idea that his team was playing the role of favorites.
"When it comes to the playoffs, there are no favorites, especially when it’s just one-and-one [home-and-away]," says Kinnear. "Over 180 minutes there is no clear favorite."
Kinnear is probably more accurate in his assessment that there's no clear favorite in this matchup. Houston finished just one point above the Union and score just one more goal all season. Philly has been the better defensive team, but even that isn't a huge gap with Houston conceding just five more goals all season.
Actually, if you had to favor any result in this first leg, it's probably a draw. Houston has the second most away draws in MLS (9) while the Union led the league in home draws (10). A draw in this game would have to be seen as somewhat of a defeat for the Union in the two legged format of this round. Each team plays a game at home and the team with the more aggregate goals win. It's a lot like how the Champion's league works in Europe, only there is no away goals rule in MLS. So if the Union draw tonight, it becomes a winner take all scenario in Houston in the second leg.