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MetroStars still kicking

FOXBOROUGH -- The Revolution held a seemingly insurmountable advantage over the MetroStars July 12, but the MetroStars rallied from a three-goal deficit to earn a tie. It was the start of a midseason slump that nearly cost the Revolution a playoff berth.

The Revolution and MetroStars are in a similar position in the playoffs. The Revolution have won the last four meetings but the MetroStars have a chance to recover when the two-game first-round playoff series concludes today at Gillette Stadium.

The Revolution lead the aggregate-goals series by two, and will advance with a victory, tie, or loss by one goal. If the series is tied after 90 minutes, a 30-minute, golden-goal overtime will be contested. If the overtime is scoreless, the series will be decided by penalty kicks. The winner will advance to a one-game conference final against Chicago or D.C. United.

"I haven't even thought about how many times we have beaten them, only that we have played well against them, and if we play well we have a good chance of winning," said Revolution defender Rusty Pierce.

Revolution defender Joe Franchino (left quadriceps) and midfielder Brian Kamler (left hamstring) will be replaced by Marshall Leonard and Jason Moore.

In a Western Conference semifinal last night, Igor Simutenkov had a goal and an assist as host Kansas City beat Colorado, 2-0, to win its series, three goals to one. FRANK DELL'APA

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