Paul Frederiksen-US PRESSWIRE
D.C. United faces a familiar opponent in its first trip to the playoffs since 2007. The hated Red Bulls will host the opening leg of this playoff series, with the second round coming at RFK Stadium.
There are lots of reasons why D.C. United vs. the New York Red Bulls should be considered the premier series in the Conference Semifinal round of the 2012 MLS playoffs. It's the oldest rivalry in the league. The Red Bulls are always full of intrigue this time of year because we're always wondering how they're going to manage to screw things up despite having the most talented offense in the league. But perhaps the most interesting storyline is that of Ben Olsen, the legendary player-turned-coach who has completely turned his team around in two years and has had his biggest success now without his best player.
Whatever the reason, the D.C. vs. New York series is being treated as the premier series so far in the playoffs, as both games will be broadcast in front of a national TV audience on the NBC Sports Network. The first match will be Sat. Nov. 3 at Red Bull Arena, with the second match coming on Sat. Nov. 7 at RFK Stadium. Both matches will kick off at 8:00 PM.
If United manages to advance past the Red Bulls, the team will move on to face the winner of the playoff series between Sporting Kansas City and the play-in match victor (either the Houston Dynamo or Chicago Fire) in the Eastern Conference Finals. If the Sporks take that series, United would host the first match on Sat. Nov. 10. United would then be heading to Kansas City to play on either Nov. 17 or 18. If either Houston or Chicago beat the Sporks, United would get to host the return leg on the 17th or 18th. No matter where the Nov. 10 match is or which team is playing, it is confirmed to be broadcast on NBC (like, the real NBC).