Henry, Donovan seek final glory in MLS Cup playoffs

Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:47pm EDT
 
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By Simon Evans

(Reuters) - Major League Soccer's playoffs kick off in earnest on Saturday with two of the league's best known players, Landon Donovan and Thierry Henry, seeking to end their careers on a high note.

LA Galaxy forward Donovan, the league's all-time top scorer, has announced he will retire at the end of this campaign while former France and Arsenal striker Henry's contract with New York Red Bulls runs out at the end of the playoffs.

The 37-year-old Henry has given no indication of his plans after this season but club officials have made it clear that even if the Frenchman does continue to play it is very unlikely to be in New York.

Henry joined the Red Bulls from Barcelona in 2010 and while his time in MLS is widely viewed as successful, he has not been able to bring New York, founding members of the league, the title which has eluded them so far.

On Thursday, a 90th-minute winner from English forward Bradley Wright-Phillips, the league's top scorer with 27 goals in the regular season, ensured New York beat defending MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City in the knockout "play-in" round.

New York host D.C. United in the first leg of their Eastern Conference semi-final at Red Bull Arena on Sunday.

D.C. United were the worst team in MLS last year with just three wins from 34 regular season games but having kept faith with coach Ben Olsen they went from worst to first in the Eastern Conference.

The other East match-up sees Columbus Crew, New York in the 2008 final, up against the New England Revolution, who have finished runners-up in MLS Cup four times but have yet to get their hands on the silverware.   Continued...

 
Oct 25, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan (10) and Seattle Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall (14) fight for the ball during the first half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports