Always kind of worry about the Sunday afternoon game. A Saturday's worth of matches usually supplies its fair share of drama on any given weekend, so depending on who's facing who on Sunday, the MLS weekend can sometimes fizzle out. It's happened before, you know it.
Not today, not for D.C. United and Philadelphia Union.
We made it out to RFK Stadium to find the I-95 Rivalry alive and well in the nation's capital. Below you'll find some of the best images from a crazy, crazy day at RFK.
Shortly after arrival we were waiting in the parking lot when a few D.C. United and RFK staffers came hustling out from under the stadium. Dwayne De Rosario had arrived, along with the NBC Sports Network camera crew filming his edition of MLS 36. Little did anyone know the kind of footage they were about to capture. Oh, and how about this license plate?
The storyline heading into this match was focused on young Danny Cruz. Lovable, bursting with honesty and energy, Cruz had endeared himself to the DCU faithful before being moved to Philadelphia in the week for Lionard Pajoy. After getting off the bus, Cruz walked the pitch at RFK all on his own, taking in the vibe from a place that was no longer home. The emergence of United defender Daniel Woolard caught Cruz's eye, as the two shared a few laughs together before Cruz disappeared into the visitor's tunnel before warmups.
It wouldn't be an I-95 clash without a big group of travelling support, and the Sons of Ben made themselves heard. We caught some video of the chant below, but sadly the footage isn't exactly...umm...deliverable. This should suffice:
The last time we saw Carlos Valdés in the flesh he was representing MLS against Chelsea. Today he did his club proud, turning in another boss performance at the back once he got his captain's armband sorted before walking out for the anthems.
Back to DeRo. Not only is he on 98 career goals, not only was he being filmed for MLS 36, it was also his bobblehead game. We managed to find one near midfield during the second half, after we caught a pretty cool moment between DDR and Olsen before the second half began.
The Sons of Ben were doing their thing in section 317 all game, but one of the iconic images you'll find from attending any United match are the bouncing stands along the sideline. This photo came from when D.C. found themselves trailing. Can't you tell?
Of course we all know what happened at the end of the match, and I'll leave the analysis about what should or should have went down to all of you. But as the seconds melted off the clock, we caught a glimpse of a substituted De Rosario, leaning on the field boards watching the madness unfold just like everyone else at RFK, and the nationwide audience at home. Needless to say, don't miss his MLS 36 episode, because you know it'll be crazy.
John Hackworth said postgame in his press conference that it was a good point for the Union. Olsen's tone was decidedly different. A young coach quite rightly upset, but you feel that Olsen's demeanor rubs off easily on his charges. If I were Frank Klopas, I'd be a lot more worried about going in there on Wednesday.