WASHINGTON -- Worst met first at RFK Stadium on Saturday afternoon and from that viewpoint, the result was a predictable one.
The Eastern Conference-leading New York Red Bulls had to sweat for their 2-0 victory over D.C. United at RFK Stadium as they absorbed the home side’s first-half pressure, but they powered through with second-half goals from Salou Ibrahim and Juan Pablo Angel.
The result gives New York a rare triumph over their Atlantic Cup rivals and extends United’s misery to club-record levels as Curt Onalfo’s side remains rooted in the MLS cellar with five losses, zero wins and only two goals in league play.
United enjoyed plenty of possession in the early going, and forced. Red Bulls goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul into several saves. He parried a goal-bound Clyde Simms header in the 17th minute, and just after the halftime scampered back to palm wide a nifty Simms chip.
The visitors drew first blood moments later on a fluid counterattack orchestrated by Angel. Taking possession near midfield, the Colombian striker laid a measured through ball for Dane Richards, who cut inside defender Rodney Wallace and played a low ball into Ibrahim at the near post.
The big Ghanaian’s first shot was blocked by Juan Pena and onrushing goalkeeper Troy Perkins, but the rebound sat up nicely for the Red Bulls striker, who stretched to tap the loose ball home just before it slipped over the endline.
The Eastern Conference leaders doubled their advantage nine minutes later when Estonian midfiedler Joel Lindpere lofted a long free kick into the United box and Angel outjumped United captain Carey Talley, flicking a seeing-eye header past a flatfooted Perkins. It was classic Angel, and the strike quieted the home fans and battered D.C.’s confidence.
Now forced to chase the game, United coach Curt Onalfo threw on his two most recent acquisitions, striker Luciano Emilio and midfielder Stephen King. But clear chances were few and far between for the Black-and-Red as Tim Ream and Mike Petke marshaled the RBNY back line superbly.
The Red Bulls now stand at 5-1-0—matching their win total for all of last year. United plummet to 0-5 on the year—the worst start in franchise history.
NY -- Salou Ibrahim 2 (Dane Richards 1, Juan Pablo Angel 1) 51’
NY -- Juan Pablo Angel 4 (Joel Lindpere 2) 60’
NY -- Mike Petke (caution; Tactical Foul) 34’
DC -- Santino Quaranta (caution; Simulation) 39’
New York Red Bulls -- Bouna Coundoul, Jeremy Hall, Mike Petke, Tim Ream, Roy Miller, Dane Richards (Danleigh Borman 73), Carl Robinson, Joel Lindpere, Seth Stammler, Juan Pablo Angel (Conor Chinn 89), Salou Ibrahim (Tony Tchani 72).
D.C. United -- Troy Perkins, Jordan Graye, Carey Talley, Juan Manuel Pena (Luciano Emilio 66), Rodney Wallace, Andy Najar (Jaime Moreno 56), Santino Quaranta, Kurt Morsink, Clyde Simms (Stephen King 75), Christian Castillo, Adam Cristman.
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee's Assistants: Daniel Belleau; Claudio Badea
4th Official: David Gantar
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-85-degrees