Philadelphia Union Vs. Houston Dynamo, MLS Cup Playoffs 2011: Where Are The Storylines?

Veljko Paunovic #16 of the Philadelphia Union gets between teammate Carlos Valdes #5 and Andre Hainault #31 and Geoff Cameron #20 of the Houston Dynamo at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The game ended 1-1.(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

The Geoff Cameron vs. Sebastien Le Toux battle highlights this conference semifinal tie in the MLS Cup Playoffs

Most playoff match-ups have some really clear storylines. The wild card matches had the disappointing, but intriguing Red Bulls in one and the defending champions in the other. Three of the conference semifinal ties have the Supporters' Shield winners with all the stars, arguably the highest quality match-up the round has ever seen and those defending champions against the up and comers. Then there's that fourth conference semifinal that pits the Philadelphia Union against the Houston Dynamo. Amazingly, it's almost impossible to find an intriguing storyline anywhere.

The Union and Dynamo don't have a single storyline worth talking about. Neither team has any really engaging stars and neither team has any outstanding recent history. Neither team was particularly good this season either. That said, there is quality in each team and several intriguing match-ups as strength goes up against strength.

As far as resurrections go, none have been more sudden than Sebastien Le Toux's in the middle of the season. After a sensational 2010 campaign, he was silent for the first half of the season. Once the backstretch came into view though, the Frenchman was back to his old self. It took until the 25th game of the season for him to score from the run of play, but once he scored he didn't stop. He scored 10 times in the final 12 games of the season to give him 11 for the year. That goes along with nine assists to make him the lead man that the Dyanmo need to mark.

That marking job will fall to Geoff Cameron, who might finally be done moving around the pitch and able to focus on his spot in the center of the defense. At 6'3'' and with quick feet, Cameron has the physical ability to handle just about any attacker in the league. Now that he's starting to get comfortable in the back again, he's added an improved ability to read the game and now he's one of the best defenders in the league. He's in the upper echelon of defenders who can shackle the best attackers in the league, something he'll be charged with doing against Le Toux.

Elsewhere, the emerging Sheanon Williams will have to deal with MVP candidate Brad Davis and the superb central defense pairing of Carlos Valdes and Danny Califf will have to deal with Brian Ching and Carlos Costly. There may not be much in the way of storylines in this tie, but there should be quality play and all that with a spot in the Eastern Conference final on the line.

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