Once again, Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo are battling it out for a place in MLS Cup.

Sporting KC overcame a 2-1 first-leg deficit against the New England Revolution Wednesday night with a 3-1 win at home, thanks in large part to the efforts of midfielder and US Men’s National Team player Benny Feilhaber.

“They didn’t intend to sit back with their lineup,” Feilhaber said on SiriusXM FC’s Counter Attack with John Harkes and Tony Meola. “But at the same time, it’s one thing to plan that and then once you get into that stadium [Sporting Park] and our team is raring to go, it’s tough.”

A self-proclaimed Baltimore Ravens fan, Feilhaber did his best Ed Reed impression on the game-winning play, sniffing out a bad pass from Revs goalie Matt Reis with about five minutes left in extra time. That led to a goal by Seth Sinovic.

“When I made a play for the ball, it was all or nothing because if he [Reis] got it past me, then there’s probably a good counter attack.” Feilhaber said. “I was dead tired at that point in the game, but I just thought, I’m literally just going to sprint as hard as I can into the box and see what can happen.”

It was the first playoff win for Feilhaber, who began his career in England and Germany before spending the previous two years in Major League Soccer with New England, and now this year with Sporting KC.

“It’s not a competition like the World Cup, but the intensity is there,” Felihaber said. “I’ve never played a game with that kind of intensity when all the home fans are with you. It’s definitely one of the top-five experiences I’ve had in my life.”

Now, Sporting KC is out for revenge against the Houston Dynamo, the same team that ousted them from the playoffs each of the last two years. The Dynamo upended the MLS Supporters’ Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls, thanks to a late goal from Omar Cummings. Harkes and Meola were joined by Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear, who described how the team beat New York Wednesday night, 2-1.

“You need good goalkeeping like in hockey, you need timely goals, and you need a little bit of luck,” Kinnear said on Counter Attack. “Overall you need hard workers and we have that throughout the team.”

The play of Boniek Garcia in the win stood out to Kinnear.

“I appreciate watching Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry play, but Boniek Garcia was the best player on the field,” Kinnear said. “He does it every day, not just in games, he practices like that. As soon as he went into the middle, he controlled the ball. He never gets rattled.”

The Dynamo and Sporting KC have played each other three times this year, all of them closely contested. Is there comfort in such familiarity?

Not according to Kinnear.

They’re [Sporting KC] a team that does not let you rest. You have to be mentally and physically on your game to play against them. They’re not afraid, home or away, to try and press you high […] It’s really all about second balls and what you do with those second balls, because there are a lot of clashes around the field that can lead to something good or something bad.

There’s no love lost between these two Eastern Conference powers, but Feilhaber wouldn’t add any fuel to the fire.

“Both teams respect each other,” Feilhaber said.

The two teams played to a scoreless draw in the first leg on Saturday night. Catch the second leg of the MLS Eastern Conference Finals and all of the playoff action on SiriusXM FC, Channel 94. Follow the channel on Twitter @SiriusXMFC.

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