Preview: NY, DC United square off at Red Bull Arena
After kicking off their two-game homestand in style, the New York Red Bulls entertain D.C. United on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena in the second Atlantic Cup meeting of the season. The Red Bulls returned home from a four-game swing and cruised to a 5-0 victory against Toronto FC at midweek. United have played to three consecutive draws, conceding a late equalizer in the last two, most recently a 2-2 with Philadelphia last weekend.
REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. SAR (bench): C.J. Morgante; JAR (opposite): Corey Rockwell; 4th: Jose Carlos Rivero
MLS Career: 115 games; FC/gm: 24.9; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 28; pens: 40
NEW YORK RED BULLS – OUT: MF Carl Robinson (R knee contusion); DF Rafael Marquez (R hamstring strain)
D.C. UNITED – OUT: MF Branko Boskovic (L ACL tear); MF Brandon Barklage (concussion); DF Devon McTavish (concussion); MF Santino Quaranta (concussion); DF Jed Zayner (L knee sprain); DOUBTFUL: DF Dejan Jakovic (L hamstring strain); PROBABLE: DF Marc Burch (R hamstring strain)
NY: Teemu Tainio (caution accumulation; through July 10)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
NY: Luke Rodgers
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
NY: Carlos Mendes, Roy Miller
- ALL-TIME (55 meetings): Red Bulls 19 wins (1 shootout), 81 goals … United 29 wins (1 shootout), 107 goals … Ties 7
- AT NEW YORK (28 meetings): Red Bulls 10 wins (0 shootout), 35 goals … United 12 wins (0 shootout), 46 goals … Ties 4
- Thierry Henry scored two goals and set up another as the Red Bulls rolled to a 4-0 victory against United in their first meeting this season, April 21 at RFK Stadium.
- The Red Bulls have won their two visits to RFK Stadium in dominant fashion, scoring six goals without reply. The Red Bulls’ 2-0 win last May was their first in the nation’s capital since 2005. United had won five of the seven intervening meetings at RFK Stadium.
- The Red Bulls won the Atlantic Cup last year for just the second time in the nine years it had been contested, the first since 2003. Goal difference is the first tie-breaker, followed by away goals; if still tied, United (as holders) will retain the cup.
- Coaches' records: Hans Backe vs. DC: P3 W2 L0 D1 … Ben Olsen v NY: P1 W0 L1 D0
LAST MEETING (MLS):
- 4/21: DC 0, NY 4 (Henry 12, 38; Lindpere 76; Agudelo 90)
- New York took the lead in the game’s 12th minute on a well-worked goal. Dane Richards flicked a long ball into space for on-rushing right back Jan Gunnar Solli, who lofted in a cross that Henry headed past United goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
- In the 38th minute, Henry doubled New York’s lead. Richards found Solli in an advanced position once again. Solli took the ball inside the box, muscled D.C. defender Marc Burch off the ball, and his deflected cross ended up in front of Henry, who powered it home.
- The visitors made it 3-0 in the 76th minute. Thierry Henry collected a ball out of the back near the midfield stripe and sent a long ball over the top to Joel Lindpere. The Estonian dribbled into D.C.’s box, got rid of Clyde Simms with a nifty move, and beat a sprawling Hamid.
- With the game in stoppage time, the Red Bulls launched a final attack that ended in a Goal of the Week candidate from Juan Agudelo. Solli again blazed forward along the right flank and sent a low cross into the box. The teenage forward flicked the ball up on the roll and in the same move half-volleyed inside the far post to finish off the rout.
- D.C. UNITED (4-1-3-2): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb (Santino Quaranta 70), Dejan Jakovic, Perry Kitchen, Marc Burch - Clyde Simms - Fred, Dax McCarty (Branko Boskovic 46), Chris Pontius - Josh Wolff, Charlie Davies (Joseph Ngwenya 60).
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Bouna Coundoul – Jan Gunnar Solli, Rafael Marquez, Tim Ream, Roy Miller - Teemu Tainio - Dane Richards (Mehdi Ballouchy 67), Dwayne De Rosario, Joel Lindpere - Luke Rodgers (Juan Agudelo 75), Thierry Henry (Carl Robinson 81).
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls returned home and put an end to a four-game winless streak in a rampage, defeating Toronto FC 5-0 on Wednesday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls have 25 points from 18 games, back atop the Eastern Conference.
- The Red Bulls took lead after 33 minutes. Fullback Jan Gunnar Solli swung a low cross into the area and the ball squirted through the defense to an unmarked Thierry Henry. The Frenchman made no mistake, sidefooting past Stefan Frei from close range.
- Four minutes later, the Red Bulls again made Toronto FC pay. This time Solli dribbled towards the right side of the penalty area laid a simple pass to Rodgers in the center of the area. He popped the ball to himself, volleying his shot past a diving Frei.
- In the 52nd minute, it was 3-0. Dane Richards carried the ball from the halfway line into Toronto’s penalty area and slipped a pass between the Reds’ defense, and from there that Joel Lindpere curled a left-footed shot into the back of the net.
- Second-half substitute Juan Agudelo then put the finishing touches on with two late goals, acrobatically heading home a Lindpere corner kick in the 66th minute, then sneaking into the six-yard box and sliding home Lindpere’s precision cross (89).
- Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made three changes to the team that came back for a 2-2 with the San Jose Earthquakes at Stanford Stadium. Greg Sutton replaced Bouna Coundoul in goal, and Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers started up top in place of Juan Agudelo and Mehdi Ballouchy.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-1-1): Greg Sutton - Jan Gunnar Solli, Tim Ream, Carlos Mendes, Roy Miller - Dane Richards, Dax McCarty, Teemu Tainio (Mehdi Ballouchy 80), Joel Lindpere - Thierry Henry - Luke Rodgers (Juan Agudelo 56).
- Once again, the Red Bulls strike force led the way, with four of the five goals coming from listed strikers. When the Red Bulls first faced D.C. United this season, three of their goals came from strikers (Henry 2, Agudelo 1).
- “I must say we have been really effective today. I haven’t looked at any stats or any finishes we had today, but we looked pretty effective scoring five,” said Red Bulls coach Hans Backe. “I think most of the time we got a hold of the ball, our possession and the decision making was to go forward. That was probably the key to winning this game. And of course Toronto came here trying to win this game and played open. So you’ve also got time and space in our attacking game.”
- In each of the four games on the road trip, the Red Bulls scored first, only to drop points on each occasion (three draws, one loss). That was not the case against Toronto.
- “It’s a mentality we’re going to keep the ball, keep possession, dictate the play,” midfielder Dax McCarty said. “When we create as many chances as we did tonight, we’re going to be tough to beat.”
- It was the first time in nearly a month that Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers were able to start together on the front line.
- “If you look at our record on goals, it is more than impressive. And today if Agudelo did not score the last one, it would have been 4-nil with four different goal scorers. The other day Joel (Lindpere) scored two. One time it was Mehdi (Ballouchy) for us. Another time some other players,” Henry said. “I do not think it has anything to do with Luke and I. Today we defended well with some luck sometimes, as I said. Even there at the end it hit the post. I think that was the key to what we did today.”
- Rodgers made a triumphant return to the lineup after missing the last four games with a heel injury, scoring his first goal since May 28.
- “He is always inside and running in behind and creating,” defender Jan Gunnar Solli said. “He is a player with a lot of energy and you can see that and it affects our whole team. He puts pressure on their defenders every time he runs in behind them and wants to go into the box.”
- Juan Agudelo scored his first league goal since April 21, and hit for multiple goals in a game for the first time in his MLS career.
- Backe was able to run out nearly a full first-choice side for the first time since mid-May, missing only center back Rafael Marquez, still recovering recover from a hamstring injury suffered in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. “It’s almost a full team,” Backe said. “I hope and expect we can be a team that can control the game.”
- After conceding goals that were questioned in each of the last two matches, Bouna Coundoul gave way to Greg Sutton between the posts. Sutton had started seven consecutive games before Coundoul took back the gloves for the June 26 game vs. Chicago.
D.C. United shared the points for a third match in a row, this time pegged back by a late goal for a 2-2 draw with Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United have 19 points from 16 games on the year, sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
- United took the lead a minute before halftime. A clever ball from Andy Najar found De Rosario on the left side of the box, and after drawing two Philly defenders he slid a square pass to Josh Wolff who stabbed the ball home.
- But Union were even just four minutes into the season when Perry Kitchen's attempted clearance of a Veljko Paunovic cross clattered off his shin and past Bill Hamid into his own goal.
- United took the lead back in the 58th minute through a tremendous individual effort from Najar, who was given time and space to hare forward before letting fly with a shot from 35 yards that sailed past a diving Faryd Mondragón.
- But the visitors again got the goal back, this time with five minutes to play. Sheanon Williams drove a low cross into the area from the right corner and Carlos Ruiz re-directed it past Hamid for the leveler.
- United coach Ben Olsen made two changes to the team that reached a 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo at RFK Stadium. Newcomers Brandon McDonald and Dwayne De Rosario were inserted directly into the team, for the injured Jed Zayner and the departed Dax McCarty.
- D.C. UNITED (4-1-3-2): Bill Hamid - Perry Kitchen, Ethan White, Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard - Clyde Simms - Andy Najar, Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius - Charlie Davies (Blake Brettschneider 57), Josh Wolff (Fred 68).
- D.C. United have played to three consecutive draws, a second in a row allowing a late tying goal after Carlos Ruiz scored in the 85th minute. The week before, Brian Ching scored in the 89th minute to give Houston a share of a 2-2 tie. United have allowed eight goals in the final 15 minutes, the most in MLS this season.
- “Overall I am very disappointed for not getting the three points, but I am pleased with some of the performances out there,” United boss Ben Olsen said. “And it’s not the end of the world. If that [Philadelphia Union] is the No. 1 team in the East, I think we have a good chance. We just have to find a way to close our games when we are up.”
- Acquired from the New York Red Bulls at midweek, Dwayne De Rosario was inserted directly into the lineup, playing in an attacking midfield role behind the front two.
- “These guys understand the game at a high level, and they make quality runs. A guy like Charlie [Davies] impacted the game in different ways, he made a lot of good runs and gave us space out there by drawing a lot of attention. The same with [Josh] Wolff. He made a lot of good runs, and for the goal he cut across the sixyard box and hit [the ball] near post and finished the chance,” De Rosario said. “It’s good to come into a situation like this and to have an immediate impact and help the team. I’m looking forward to continuing an understanding with those guys.
- For the final quarter of the match, Olsen moved De Rosario to become an out-and-out striker alongside rookie Blake Brettschneider.
- I thought Charlie [Davies] had a little trouble getting into the game, and I felt like the game needed a change. Blake came in and gave us some good energy, and then we wanted to push Dwayne up and get him a little closer to the goal, so we brought in Fred,” Olsen said. “Again, it was a long week for Dwayne; so right after the second goal I was going to pull him out for Joe [Ngwenya]. But we needed a goal, and you don’t take De Rosario off if you need a goal.”
- United’s other new boy, Brandon McDonald, obtained from the San Jose Earthquakes, was put right into central defense alongside Ethan White.
- “I thought McDonald was very good too. He was steady and I thought he was a leader back there, and he helped us out defensively,” Olsen said.
- Andy Najar scored a stunning goal from long range, his second goal in four weeks. He also added an assist, the first time in his MLS career he’s had a goal and an assist in the same game (he had two assist May 4 vs. Seattle).
- “It was a great goal, unbelievable. He is a special player and he makes special plays sometimes. Even after that his work rate was very good on both ends,” Olsen said.