Another Brad Davis set piece, another goal for the Houston Dynamo -- and an opportunity to return to the MLS Cup final for the first time since winning titles in the first two seasons following the move from San Jose.
Brian Ching headed home Davis' free kick deep into first-half stoppage to give the Dynamo a 1-0 triumph Thursday night over visiting Philadelphia. That made for a 3-1 aggregate triumph to set up a showdown Sunday at Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference final. The winner there heads to the Nov. 20 MLS Cup championship game at Home Depot Center.
The time for the Eastern final has not been set and likely won't be until Thursday's second game -- New York at Galaxy -- determines the Western Conference matchup.
The Dynamo, who were playing their final game at the University of Houston's Robertson Stadium, won MLS titles in 2006 and 2007.
Robertson Stadium (Houston)
Houston Dynamo 1, Philadelphia Union 0
(Houston advances on aggregate, 3-1)
H -- Brian Ching (Brad Davis) 48+
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe; Danny Cruz (Je-Vaughn Watson, 57), Luiz Camargo, Adam Moffat, Brad Davis; Brian Ching (Carlo Costly, 81), Calen Carr (Will Bruin, 89).
Philadelphia Union: Faryd Mondragon; Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan (Roger Torres, 66); Sebastien Le Toux, Brian Carroll, Veljko Paunovic (Freddy Adu, 66), Michael Farfan; Danny Mwanga (Justin Mapp, 66), Jack McInerney.
Yellow cards: Valdes 30, G. Farfan 51, Camargo 67.
Referee: Ricardo Salazar. Att.: 24,479.
FIRST ROUND, SECOND LEG
Sporting Kansas City 2 (Collin 28, Sapong 76), Colorado 0
+ Sporting Kansas City advances on aggregate, 4-0
Seattle 2 (Alonso pen. 56, Neagle 61), Real Salt Lake 0
+ Real Salt Lake advances on aggregate, 3-2
Houston 1 (Ching 48+), Philadelphia 0
+ Houston advances on aggregate, 3-1
New York vs. Galaxy at Home Depot Center (Carson), late
Western (Real Salt Lake at Galaxy) or Eastern (Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia/Houston) final, 2:30 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)
Western (Real Salt Lake at Galaxy) or Eastern (Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia/Houston) final, time TBA (ESPN or ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes)
Western (New York at Real Salt Lake) final, TBA
MLS CUP 2011
Sunday, Nov. 20
At Home Depot Center (Carson), 7 p.m. (ESPN and Galavision)
Wednesday, Oct. 26
FC Dallas 0, New York 1 (Lindpere 61)
Thursday, Oct. 27
Colorado 1 (Cummings 45), Columbus 0
FIRST ROUND, FIRST LEG
Saturday, Oct. 29
Real Salt Lake 3 (Saborio 41, 53, Grabavoy 88), Seattle 0
Sunday, Oct. 30
New York 0, Galaxy 1 (Magee 15)
Philadelphia 1 (Le Toux 7), Houston 2 (Hainault 6, Carr 30)
Colorado 0, Sporting Kansas City 2 (Bunbury 49, 59)
Note: Western final will be Sunday if at Home Depot Center or Monday if at Real Salt Lake