Preview: Red Bulls, United to square off on the Eastern front

NEW YORK RED BULLS vs D.C. UNITED
Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.Y.
June 24, 2012 (WEEK 16)
7 pm ET (NBC Sports Network)

One of MLS' original rivalries sparks to life again in front of a national audience, with Eastern Conference bragging rights on the line.

The Red Bulls have enjoyed an up and down season, led by their dynamic striking duo of Thierry Henry (9 goals) and Kenny Cooper (11 goals). With their big stars, including Rafa Marquez, back in play, they are set to contend for the conference title.

But United -- the most successful club in MLS history -- have enjoyed a renaissance in 2012, thanks to the balanced attack featuring Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius, Maicon Santos, and rookie sensation Nick DeLeon. After missing out on the playoffs last year, they are now on top of the conference.  

HISTORY

  • New York and D.C. have met 57 times in history, with United firmly controlling the series. D.C. have won 31, New York have won 19, and they have drawn 19.
  • In 2011, the away team was the star. The Red Bulls ran out 4-0 winners at RFK Stadium in April, before United eked out a 1-0 win back up in Harrison in July.

Winning Ways: D.C. United extended their winning streak to four games with a 1-0 victory at Philadelphia on Saturday. It is the club’s longest since winning four in a row from June 7-29, 2008.

Scorer’s Delight: The Red Bulls and D.C. United collectively boast three of the season’s top five scorers in Kenny Cooper, Thierry Henry, and Maicon Santos, who have combined for 27 goals. As clubs, United and New York rank first and second (tied), respectively, in the same category.

Streak Stoppers: The Red Bulls saw their six-game undefeated streak put to an end in the 3-1 loss at Chicago on Sunday. It was their first defeat since a loss to D.C. in the first meeting this year, a game that ended a four-game unbeaten streak for New York.