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D.C United-Red Bulls opener moved due to Sandy

The SportsXchange

The first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night has been moved to RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. due to Hurricane Sandy.

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber made the announcement because power had not been fully restored to New York's red Bull Arena.

D.C. United, the No. 2 seed, earned the right to play host to the second leg, but now must rally to get its fan base to attend the first leg on short notice.

"I'd like to impress up on everybody that when we made the decision, we took into consideration all the issues that will impact all involved and made the best decision we believe is in the best interest of all parties," Garber said.

"This will have a competitive impact on D.C. We understand that and deeply appreciate their support. And also understand that it will impact their fans and we will try to do things to minimize that impact."

Delaying the start of the series wasn't feasible due to a "tight schedule," and the league even looked at moving the first leg to PPL Park.

"Our club worked very hard to try to earn home-field advantage in the playoffs and we're proud that we've achieved that," D.C. United president Kevin Payne said. "But there are times in which circumstances override competitive concerns, and this is clearly one of those times.

"This is not something that any of us would have liked to have foreseen, but it's something we have to be able to accommodate. I'm absolutely certain our fans will respond as they always do and we will see a great crowd at RFK Stadium on short notice on Saturday."
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