HARRISON, N.J. — Dwayne De Rosario came back to haunt his former team in heroic fashion Saturday night, scoring the game-winning goal early in the second half as D.C. United beat the New York Red Bulls 1-0 at Red Bull Arena.
De Roasrio's winner was his first for DC since he was traded from New York two weeks ago, and his fourth of the season. With the win, United improve to 5-5-7, good for 22 points. The Red Bulls suffered their second loss in their last three games, dropping their record to 6-4-10 as they stay on 28 points. The two Atlantic Cup rivals split the season series, with New York winning the first game at RFK Stadium earlier this year.
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The goal came as the Red Bulls were building pressure in the attacking third and seemed ready to score. But United grabbed the game’s lone goal on the counterattack in the 61st minute thanks to steady work from Andy Najar.
The DC midfielder fed a ball to De Rosario, who dummied his run to elude midfielder Dax McCarty, the player shipped to New York in exhange for De Rosario in the recent trade. The ball ended up on the foot of forward Josh Wolff, who fed a streaking De Rosario in the box, and the five-time MLS Best XI selection promptly buried a left-footed shot off the far post and in.
New York, typical for their style, held the edge in possession, but the majority of their chances came in the game’s opening 20 minutes. In the sixth minute, Joel Lindpere sent his shot from the edge of the area well over goal and two minutes later, a Thierry Henry effort from 12 yards away slowly rolled past Bill Hamid’s far post. Then in the 17th minute, a Red Bulls corner kick was partially cleared by United and Hamid managed a save on a knuckling Jan Gunnar Solli shot.
Despite their underwhelming time on the ball, the visitors seemingly won every second ball, giving them a small handful of chances.
The best chance of the first half for either side came in the 43rd minute from United’s ability to quickly hit on the counterattack. Collecting a feed from Chris Pontius, Charlie Davies was sent in alone on Sutton’s goal. Davies rounded the hard-charging keeper but he ended up carrying the ball towards the byline. With a sharp angle, Davies fired towards the open net but his effort was cleared by a diving Tim Ream.
The second half saw a more determined and cohesive attack from the Red Bulls, with Hamid doing well in the 50th-minute to save a Thierry Henry shot from 12 yards out. Just minutes later, he snuffed out a deflected Mehdi Ballouchy shot before Luke Rodgers could re-direct it. Shots by Henry and Lindpere in the 57th minute were blocked as well by a United defense that was forced to scramble throughout the second half.
D.C. United travel to Texas on July 16 to play MLS Cup runner-ups FC Dallas, while New York make their final trip of the regular season to California when they play Chivas USA the same night.
DC -- Dwayne De Rosario 1 (Josh Wolff 5) 61
NY -- Dane Richards (caution; Tactical Foul) 82
DC -- Charlie Davies (caution; Reckless Foul) 85
NY -- Roy Miller (caution; Dissent) 85
D.C. United -- Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen, Ethan White, Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard, Andy Najar, Dwayne De Rosario, Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius (Fred 79), Charlie Davies (Blake Brettschneider 87), Josh Wolff (Joseph Ngwenya 74).
Substitutes Not Used: Marc Burch, Chris Korb, Steve Cronin, Stephen King.
New York Red Bulls -- Greg Sutton, Jan Gunnar Solli, Carlos Mendes, Tim Ream, Roy Miller, Dane Richards (Austin Da Luz 82), Mehdi Ballouchy (Juan Agudelo 66), Dax McCarty, Joel Lindpere, Luke Rodgers, Thierry Henry.
Substitutes Not Used: Mike Jones, Matt Kassel, Stephen Keel, John Rooney, Bouna Coundoul.
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: C.J. Morgante; Corey Rockwell
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear and 87 degrees