MLS has requested that D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls swap home legs for their upcoming Eastern Conference Semifinal clash in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which has left much of the Newark, New Jersey area without power. Now, D.C. will host the first leg on Saturday, November 3 despite being the second seeded team in the East, while third seeded New York will host the second leg on Wednesday, November 7.
Red Bull Arena is in the Newark suburb of Harrison, which does not have power and while the stadium is running off of generators right now, the club concluded that the generators could not produce enough electricity to hold a match. Otherwise, the stadium did make it through the hurricane in fine shape, avoiding flooding or any other major damage.
The match joins Thursday's now-postponed NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks as sporting events altered by Sandy. Power is expected to return to the area by next week, which would allow them to host the second leg.
The date change is a massive inconvenience to the fans who made plans to go to the games on the originally scheduled date, but neither team will gain a competitive advantage from the change. Each side will still play 90 minutes at home and even if it goes to extra time, the road team has won three of the six two-legged ties to go to extra time in MLS history.
The times for the matches has not changed, with both set for 8 p.m. ET and they will still be televised on NBC Sports Network.