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DC United vs. New York Red Bulls: MLS Match Preview

D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls - April 13, 2013 (IMAGE)

Photo Credit: 
Gabriel de los Rios / MLSsoccer.com

D.C. UNITED vs NY RED BULLS
RFK STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
April 13, 2013 (WEEK 7, MLS Game #56)
7 p.m. ET (MSG2)

Long-time rivals looking to put aside early-season woes, D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls meet for the second time this season when the clubs face off Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United were shut out for a third time on the road this year last time out, suffering a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City. The Red Bulls weren’t able to build upon their only win of 2013 in their last contest, falling 3-1 to the Chicago Fire on the road.

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REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. SAR (bench): Adam Wienckowski; JAR (opposite): Jason Cullum; 4th: Mark Kadlecik
MLS Career: 146 games; FC/gm: 24.1; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 32; pens: 44

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none 
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD:
ALL-TIME (60 meetings): United 31 wins (1 shootout), 116 goals ... Red Bulls 20 wins (1 shootout), 87 goals ... Ties 9
AT RFK STADIUM (31 meetings): United 18 wins (1 shootout), 67 goals ... Red Bulls 9 wins (1 shootout), 49 goals ... Ties 4
RETURN MATCH: 8/31 -- New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

2013 (MLS)
3/16: NY 0, DC 0

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season, playing to a scoreless draw March 16 at Red Bull Arena as part of MLS Rivalry Week.
  • The teams have a rich history against each other, dating back to the league’s inaugural season, when United defeated the then-MetroStars in the MLS Cup Playoffs. They’ve met 72 times in all competitions over the years; New York has won 22 and United have won 39, including a 6-1-2 record in the postseason.
  • The teams split their regular season series last year, each winning once at home with a second match at RFK Stadium a draw.
  • The teams met in a wild Eastern Conference Semifinal Series a year ago, featuring two own goals in one game and two postponements due to a hurricane and a snowstorm. United took the series 2-1 on aggregate, winning the second leg 1-0 at Red Bull Arena on a Nick DeLeon goal.
  • Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. NY: P6 W2 L2 D2 ... Mike Petke vs. DC: P1 W0 L0 D1

LAST MEETING

  • The Red Bulls outshot United 24-5 on the day. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid was called upon to make seven saves, several of them superb, while Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles made two saves.
  • The key moment in the match came in stoppage time when Red Bulls fullback Brandon Barklage sent a deflected header from a corner kick that seemed at first glance to cross the goal line. Hamid was there to pull off an incredible one-handed swat; replays were inconclusive as to whether the ball did in fact clear the line.
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Heath Pearce - Dax McCarty - Eric Alexander (Connor Lade 89), Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele (Juninho 68) - Fabian Espindola, Thierry Henry (Armando Moreno 90).
  • D.C. UNITED (4-2-3-1): Bill Hamid - James Riley, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Chris Korb - Perry Kitchen, Marcelo Saragosa - Chris Pontius, Dwayne De Rosario (Marcos Sanchez 76), Nick DeLeon - Lionard Pajoy (Carlos Ruiz 71).

D.C. UNITED
D.C. United saw their road losing streak extended to start the season, Sporting Kansas City hitting for a late goal to snatch a 1-0 victory at Sporting Park on Friday evening. United are in a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 4 points from 5 matches.

KEYS TO THE MATCH: How DC United can get the upperhand on RBNY

LAST MATCH

  • The game's only goal came with a minute remaining in regulation time. Soony Saad stole possession of the ball on the left flank, then nutmegged United's Marcelo Saragosa at the byeline before cutting the ball back to Claudio Bieler just outside the 6-yard box, and he buried a left-footed shot inside the far post.
  • It was one of just two shots on frame for Sporting, while KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen had to make just one save.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made three changes to the team that suffered a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium. Dejan Jakovic came into the back four and Marcos Sanchez and Raphael Augusto started in midfield, in place of James Riley, Nick DeLeon and Dwayne De Rosario.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard - Marcos Sanchez, Raphael Augusto (Carlos Ruiz 72), Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius - Lionard Pajoy, Rafael Teixeira (Marcelo Saragosa 65).

SCARF NIGHT: Check out the scarf that the first 7,500 fans will get at RFK

TEAM NEWS 

HIGHLIGHTS: SKC 1, DC 0

  • For the third time in three games away from RFK Stadium this season, D.C. United were held scoreless. United have scored two goals this season, both coming in their two home games.
  • “We talk about earning the right to play soccer. If you battle and win second balls in this league, you’re ultimately going to have more possession,” said United coach Ben Olsen. “We’re not good enough to start from (goalkeeper) Bill (Hamid) and build out of the back and play like the best team in the world. We’ve got to earn the right to play, and we did that. ... This was our best effort to date. Unfortunately we didn’t get anything out of it.”
  • For the second time this season, United held a quality team on the road before allowing a late game-winning goal; the Black-and-Red opened the season with a 2-0 loss at Houston where both goals came after the 80th minute.
  • I thought it was a great effort from us. I was very proud of the way they went about it,” said Olsen. “We had a long two weeks of getting back to some of our fundamentals and getting back to the right mentality to win games in this league. The way we went about the game was very good.”
  • United have allowed just five goals in five matches – the fifth-best defensive record in the league – but have just four points to show for the season.
  • “It’s frustrating,” said United defender Dejan Jakovic. “We played well defensively and were compact, and they never really broke us down. They tried long balls and playing it short. For a long time we were in great shape, so it’s really tough. Everyone played their guts out. I don’t know what else to say. It’s a tough one to swallow.”
  • With Nick DeLeon injured in the Columbus match, Marcos Sanchez made his second start for United, his first since the home win against Real Salt Lake on March 9.
  • “He’s very, very calm on the ball, good on the ball,” United midfielder Chris Pontius said of Sánchez. “He reads the game well, sees it well. I think the more we get him involved in the game early on, the better. The more touches we get him early on, the better.”
  • Dwayne De Rosario was also unable to feature in the match, missing the contest with an adductor strain.
  • “We’re going to find out about some more guys ... and I look forward to that. I look forward to a challenge right now that our group needs to be together and committed to get a result,” said Olsen.

NY RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls weren’t able to build upon their first victory of 2013, the Chicago Fire storming back for a 3-1 win at Toyota Park on Sunday afternoon. The Red Bulls are in a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 5 points from 6 matches.

W2W4: A look at the storylines of this weekend's DC-NY match-up

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: CHI 3, RBNY 1

  • The Red Bulls took the lead in the 17th minute. A half-cleared corner kick was back into the box by Brandon Barklage, and center back Jámison Olave scored his second goal of the season with an twisting overhead volley.
  • The Fire missed a tremendous opportunity to pull level eight minutes later when Jeff Larentowicz's shot hit Jonny Steele's hand in the penalty area and a spot kick was given, but Chris Rolfe put the attempt wide.
  • But Daniel Paladini brought the Fire back just before halftime. Hunter Jumper swung in a cross from out on the left flank, and Paladini lept in front of Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles and headed the ball into the net.
  • The Fire then snatched all the points with two late goal from substitute Maicon Santos. In the 83rd minute, he took a through pass from Paladini, beat Olave on a cutback move to the inside and poked a shot past Robles.
  • Santos sealed the win with his second goal in the 89th minute, after Larentowicz headed a Paladini free kick across the box, finding Santos open on the back post for a tap-in.
  • Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke made one change to the team that defeated Philadelphia Union 2-1 at Red Bull Arena. Brandon Barklage returned from suspension in place of Kosuke Kimura.
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-1-1): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage (Ruben Bover 87), Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Heath Pearce - Eric Alexander, Juninho, Dax McCarty, Jonny Steele (Thierry Henry 61) - Tim Cahill - Peguy Luyindula (Lloyd Sam 76).

DC-NY CONNECTIONS: Ties run deep between the two rivals

TEAM NEWS

PREVIEW: RBNY look ahead to match vs. DC

  • It was a third consecutive loss for the Red Bulls on the road, and they now have one point from four away matches this season.
  • “I’m very disappointed,” Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said. “We’re going to lose games, that’s inevitable. But how we lost that game ... it was sloppy. The quality that we have, the experience that we have ... if I’m with a team in a rebuilding stage, with players who are rookies in the league, how mad could I be? But I’m with guys who are capable of so much more.”
  • Battling an MCL sprain in his knee, Thierry Henry was able to come off the bench for the final half hour. There is a chance he will be able to feature from the start this weekend.
  • “I think we’re definitely in a position now with us being comfortable and him as well being comfortable with playing significantly more,” Petke said. “Whether that means he’ll start or not is definitely something [we’ll see] throughout this week but obviously he’s a player we would like to start.”
  • Fabian Espíndola missed a second consecutive match with a hamstring injury, but also could be available for the United match.
  • “Espíndola is doing very well,” Petke said. “He got a really good workout in the last couple of days and all eyes are pointing for him to be available for Saturday’s game.”
  • Jámison Olave scored his second goal of the season – his first coming in the season opener, which was his first goal with the Red Bulls. Olave pulled into a tie for the team lead in goal, along with Fabian Espíndola.
  • Peguy Luyindula made his third consecutive start to spearhead the Red Bulls attack, but he could be in doubt for the United match after being forced to come off late in Chicago with a hamstring injury. “He is going to be a decision in the next couple of days, where he’s at,” Petke said.