Preview: DC, NY set to write next chapter in rivalry
D.C. UNITED vs NEW YORK RED BULLS
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
April 22, 2012 (WEEK 7, MLS Game #63)
6 p.m. ET (ESPN2/Deportes; GolTV/RDS)
The first meeting of the Atlantic Cup for 2012 will be played before an ESPN2 audience on Sunday evening at RFK Stadium when D.C. United meet the New York Red Bulls. Both teams are riding lengthy undefeated streaks. United stretched theirs to five games at midweek, with a 1-1 home draw with Montreal, while the Red Bulls are unbeaten in four after a 2-2 home draw with San Jose last weekend.
REFEREE: Mark Geiger. SAR (bench): Sean Hurd; JAR (opposite): Joe Fletcher; 4th: Andrew Chapin
MLS Career: 92 games; FC/gm: 26.5; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 18; pens: 31
- D.C. UNITED - OUT: DF Ethan White (R knee surgery); MF Lance Rozeboom (L knee ACL tear); FW Josh Wolff (L hamstring strain); DF Dejan Jakovic (L ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Kurt Morsink (L foot neurectomy); DF Emiliano Dudar (L hamstring strain)
- NEW YORK RED BULLS -- OUT: FW Juan Agudelo (L knee surgery recovery); MF Teemu Tainio (R knee sprain); DF Wilman Conde (groin strain); DF Roy Miller (L knee effusion)
ESPN2 previews Atlantic Cup matchup
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: NY: Rafa Marquez (through May 5)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Maicon Santos
ALL-TIME (56 meetings): United 30 wins (1 shootout), 108 goals ... Red Bulls 19 wins (1 shootout), 81 goals ... Ties 7
AT RFK (29 meetings): United 17 wins (1 shootout), 61 goals ... Red Bulls 9 wins (1 shootout), 46 goals ... Ties 3
RETURN MATCHES: 6/24: New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United, 7 p.m. (NBC SN); 8/29: D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. (Galavision)
LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/21: DC 0, NY 4 (Henry 12, 38; Lindpere 76; Agudelo 90)
7/9: NY 0, DC 1 (De Rosario 61)
- United won 1-0 last July 9 at Red Bull Arena, ending a three-game winless stretch against New York. In that match, D.C. scored for the first time vs. the Red Bulls since their last win, a 2-0 triumph June 4, 2009.
- The Red Bulls have won their last two visits to RFK Stadium in dominant fashion, scoring six goals without reply. The Red Bulls' 2-0 win in May 2010 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 have won the Atlantic Cup the last two years, with three wins in the 10 years it has been contested. New York first won in 2003. Goal difference is the first tie-breaker, followed by away goals; if still tied, the Red Bulls (as holders) will retain the cup.
- Coaches record: Ben Olsen v NY: P2 W1 L1 D0 ... Hans Backe vs. DC: P4 W2 L1 D1
D.C. United stretched their undefeated run to five games, coming back for a 1-1 draw with the Montreal Impact on Wednesday evening at RFK Stadium. United are in third place in the Eastern Conference with 9 points from 7 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: United earn a point against Montreal
- The goals came four minutes apart in the second half. Bernardo Corradi put Montreal ahead in the 69th minute. Freed by Justin Mapp on the right, Lamar Neagle found Corradi at the far post, and the Italian made no mistake with the header from the pinpoint cross.
- But United were level in the 73th minute through substitute Maicon Santos. The Brazilian striker found time and space in the Montreal half, and with the ball on his left foot, fired a shot from 30 yards out that beat Ricketts low inside the left post.
- United head coach Ben Olsen made four changes to the team that recorded a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Chris Korb came into the back four for Dejan Jakovic, and Andy Najar, Chris Pontius and Branko Boskovic came into attacking positions for Danny Cruz, Maicon Santos and Hamdi Salihi.
- D.C. UNITED (4-3-1-2): Joe Willis - Chris Korb, Robbie Russell, Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard (Lewis Neal 85) - Andy Najar (Danny Cruz 72), Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon - Branko Boskovic (Maicon Santos 60) - Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius.
United fans remember Chico Solares
- While United saw their unbeaten run extended to five games (2-0-3), they again missed out on an opportunity to win back-to-back games, something the club hasn't done since June 2009. Following wins since that time, United have lost 10 games and drawn 11.
- "It was a disappointing tie for sure," United manager Ben Olsen said. "They are a good team, but we just didn't have that pep, that anger that we needed tonight." Said forward Chris Pontius: "It's frustrating, but, that's five games in a row where we are grabbing points. It's not like we are dropping points. We have shown resilience the last few games coming from behind."
- After starting the last five matches, Maicon Santos was moved to the substitutes' bench, coming on for the final half-hour. But he still scored his fourth goal in the last four games.
- "He's a handful up there, and he's playing with a lot of confidence right now. We're trying to get him to face goal more right now; we know he hits a stinger. He was great when he came on," said Olsen. "I didn't think he could go another 90 [minutes], we were really grinding him out. He's worked as hard as he has defensively, I think, in his entire career. It's really helped him get fitter, and he's been very good for us."
- With Hamdi Salidi also moved to the substitutes' bench, Dwayne De Rosario partnered Chris Pontius in attack, moving forward from his usual attacking midfield role. Branko Boskovic made his first start since the season opener in the forward midfield role.
- "I thought he did fine. There were some really good minutes from Branko. You can tell that technically he's really sound. He knows how to play that position," Olsen said. "I think he got a little leggy there; that was his first real long span of minutes, so we wanted to get Dwayne [De Rosario] back in there and, more importantly, get Maicon [Santos] on the field."
- After coming off the bench for four consecutive games and scoring his first goal of the year in New England, Chris Pontius returned to the starting lineup against Montreal.
- "Chris is pretty versatile. I think he can play up top, I think he can play out wide," Olsen said. "He didn't get the looks at goal that we wanted, but he did a lot of work. He worked his tail off underneath. In particular, second half, he was a little better. It's a new spot for him, he hasn't played there much, but I thought he did OK."
- Andy Najar also made his first appearance for United since March 18, after missing a number of games while on international duty with the Honduras U-23 national team that qualified for the London Olympics. "I thought Andy had an OK day. I was looking for more out of Andy in the first half that I saw in the second half. He came out with a little more buzz about him," Olsen said.
- Perry Kitchen recorded his first career assist when he found Maicon Santos with his ball out of midfield.
- Lewis Neal also made his MLS debut, coming on late in the match. "It was more of an attacking move. We tried to get him up more forward, and he swings a great ball.," Olsen said. "That left side, and the right side, was pretty open as far as the pass getting forward. We wanted to see if we could get him forward and whipping balls in, but I thought he did fine. It's good to see him in the game."
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls saw their winning streak halted at three games but still came away with a point, playing to a 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls are in second place in the Eastern Conference, with 10 points from 6 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Red Bulls get the draw against SJ
- It took the Red Bulls only six minutes to score the opener and it was the tandem of Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper that combined. Henry slipped a ball inside the penalty area to Cooper, who beat an offside trap and finished with a low shot past goalkeeper Jon Busch.
- The Earthquakes pulled level in the 15th minute through a goal from Rafael Baca. Chris Wondolowski played a ball behind the Red Bulls back line that allowed San Jose's Khari Stephenson to exploit the space. He then dribbled forward before squaring a pass to a wide-open Baca to side-foot home.
- New York reclaimed the lead eight minutes later when Dax McCarty scored his first-ever goal with the Red Bulls. Winger Dane Richards whipped in a low cross from the right flank that Kenny Cooper flicked up for McCarty to volley into the lower right corner.
- But the Quakes again pulled even in the 35th minute. Steven Beitashour collected a long ball on the right flank and floated a cross into the area that Shea Salinas flicked back to a diving Wondolowski, who headed home from close range.
- Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made two changes to the team that posted a 4-1 victory against the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Ryan Meara - Jan Gunnar Solli, Stephen Keel, Markus Holgersson, Roy Miller (Connor Lade 59) - Dane Richards (Victor Palsson 92+), Dax McCarty, Rafa Marquez, Mehdi Ballouchy (Joel Lindpere 61) - Thierry Henry, Kenny Cooper.
Red Bulls preview DC match at adidas Store
- While the Red Bulls saw their three-game winning streak put to an end, they are still unbeaten in four games. New York still has yet to keep a clean sheet this season.
- "It's not only individual mistakes, today it was ball-watching," Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe said. "We know Wondolowski's movements in the 18-yard [box]. We have looked at video and things like that, so it's frustrating that we give away goals like that." Said Red Bulls fullback Jan Gunnar Solli: "It's not good enough. We make easy mistakes. We concede two easy goals. Scoring two at home should be enough to take home the win."
- Kenny Cooper extended his goalscoring streak to four games with his goal in the 2-2 draw vs. San Jose, moving into a tie for the MLS Golden Boot with teammate Thierry Henry and San Jose's Chris Wondolowski. The four-game streak is a new career-long.
- Thierry Henry saw his three-game goalscoring streak (with seven goals in that time) come to an end against San Jose, but still collected his fifth assist of the season.
- Midfielder Rafael Marquez was suspended for three matches and fined an undisclosed amount in a ruling by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for violent conduct and blatant disregard for the safety of his opponent, following the clash with Shea Salinas late in the first half of the San Jose match.
- "Especially at this time - we have Roy [Miller] with a slight injury, [Wilman] Conde with an injury, I just said bye-bye to Teemu [Tainio] still on his crutches - so it's not a good time to lose a player that's healthy," said Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler.
- With Marquez out, Joel Lindpere could slide inside to the center of midfield, though Hans Backe has indicated he does not consider Lindpere or Mehdi Ballouchy central midfield options, instead preferring to play them on the wings.
- "I've been in the center all my life and I miss it, and one day I would love to play there fully again," Lindpere said. "But if the team needs some players to stay playing in the middle over outside [or the other way around], players have to do it and manage because we are one team."
- Left back Roy Miller was forced from the field for the final half-hour with a knock to his left knee, and is now expected to miss a few weeks. Home Grown Player Connor Lade made his full professional debut in the San Jose game, coming on for Miller.
- "He was involved in some good actions," Backe said. "He has a lot of pace, he's a tough guy. I have no problem to play Connor Lade as a left back in MLS. I would say I was quite surprised the whole preseason with his performance, and he is a guy that can definitely play well in MLS."