HARRISON, N.J. – Fans went to a Theirry Henry hype event on Saturday night, and a MLS game broke out.
Amid the flurry of banter about the rumored signing of Henry and the celebrity sightings at Red Bull Arena – Henry’s pal NBA star Steve Nash was on hand – the Red Bulls churned their way to a scoreless result against D.C. United on Saturday.
Early chances clearly tilted the home side’s way, with the Red Bulls spraying the United goal with several opportunities, including a 15th minute Seth Stammler shot from distance that whizzed wide of the goal.
The Red Bulls attacked numerous times down the left flank, using the overlapping runs of Danleigh Borman to stretch the United wing. A golden opportunity came in the 23rd minute when Juan Pablo Angel forced United’s keeper Troy Perkins into a leaping save on a 30-yard free kick.
Three minutes later, Sinisa Ubiparipovic sent a through ball to a streaking Joel Lindpere down the left side. With one touch, Lindpere found himself in the box and centered a pass to an on-rushing Angel. With a United attacker making a good recovery, Angel got to the pass first but sent his shot inches wide of Perkins goal.
It seemed like the away team was playing for a draw from almost the onset, with 10 men behind the ball much of the half and United willing to play counterattack.
Part of the reason for the defensive style was due to United’s attack being limited throughout much of the first half as the midfield struggled for meaningful possession. Forwards Santino Quaranta and Danny Allsopp were dropping back to the midfield to get the ball, and when they were in the attacking third, they often found themselves with their back to goal and with little support.
The United attack was little better in the second half with the halftime substitution of Jaime Moreno providing some spark, but the visiting side was having a hard time linking the midfield with their forwards.
It was largely one way traffic, much like the first half. The Red Bulls came close in the 53rd minute to the game’s first goal when Salou Ibrahim narrowly put a Lindpere pass wide of the United goal. Then, in the 68th minute, second half insertion Tony Tchani got his head on an Ubiparipovic corner kick but sent the effort straight into Troy Perkins’ waiting arms.
Despite conceding the wide player, the United back line held strong to give Troy Perkins just his second shut-out of the season.
D.C. United 0, at New York Red Bulls 0
Red Bull Arena
D.C. United (3-9-3)
New York Red Bulls (8-5-2)
D.C. United -- Troy Perkins, Devon McTavish, Dejan Jakovic, Julius James, Jordan Graye, Andy Najar (Thabiso Khumalo 88), Stephen King, Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius, Danny Allsopp (Jaime Moreno 46), Santino Quaranta (Adam Cristman 72).
Substitutes Not Used: Kurt Morsink, Carey Talley, Barry Rice, Bill Hamid.
New York Red Bulls -- Bouna Coundoul, Chris Albright, Carlos Mendes, Tim Ream, Danleigh Borman, Dane Richards (Macoumba Kandji 76), Seth Stammler (Tony Tchani 56), Joel Lindpere, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Juan Pablo Angel, Salou Ibrahim (Roy Miller 57).
Substitutes Not Used: Mike Petke, Luke Sassano, Conor Chinn, Greg Sutton.
NY -- Salou Ibrahim (caution; Reckless Foul) 51
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee's Assistants: -Philippe Briere; Eric Proctor
4th Official: Mark Kadlecik
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-81-degrees