WASHINGTON – It might have taken seven matches, but New York Red Bulls finally delivered a performance worthy of their preseason hype.
Thierry Henry’s 29th-minute goal was followed seven minutes later by Jámison Olave’s deflection as the Red Bulls cruised to a 2-0 victory over D.C. United on Saturday at RFK Stadium.
New York (2-3-2, 8 points) also dominated the first meeting of the season between the clubs at Red Bull Arena, but came away with one point in a scoreless draw. This time, they made the most of their scoring opportunities.
United (1-4-1, 4 points) continued to flounder offensively as D.C. generated three shots on target. Through six matches they have scored two goals and have lost three in a row, including their last two at home.
The Red Bulls, meanwhile, have won two of three.
In the 29th minute, Henry found himself with time and space outside the box and he capitalized. Defender Chris Korb allowed Henry just enough cushion to launch a classy right-footer toward the bottom right corner that beat a diving Bill Hamid. The goal was Henry’s second of the year and it came amid arguably the best half of soccer from New York this season.
Seven minutes later, shortly after Hamid made a point-blank save on a Tim Cahill header, New York scored again when Olave redirected a header by Brandon Barklage at the tail end of a beautiful service from Juninho for his third of the season.
United played the first half with captain Dwayne De Rosario on the bench, but he subbed on at the half. The 2011 MLS MVP missed the club’s previous match at Sporting Kansas City with an adductor strain. In addition, D.C. continue to play without winger Nick DeLeon and John Thorrington, two key midfield pieces.
The hosts' best opportunity of the game came in the 71st minute when De Rosario took a free kick from just outside the box that was saved by Luis Robles. Carlos Ruiz was quick to the rebound, but Robles somehow managed to deflect the ball out of harm’s way. In stoppage time, Chris Pontius rifled a free kick inches above the crossbar as part of a stronger second-half effort from United.
In front of Robles, Olave and Markus Holgersson did well to clear a number of potentially dangerous crosses by United while Dax McCarty managed the game well in the middle.
New York’s next match will come Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City at home while United will play host to Philadelphia on Sunday, April 21.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Thierry Henry (NY)||Majestic performance by Frenchman, who was involved in every offensive sequence RBNY put forward.|
|2||Jámison Olave (NY)||Scored a goal with his thigh, but as usual, big Colombian was a dominator on defensive side of the ball.|
|3||Dax McCarty (NY)||Especially through first hour, holding mid disrupted DC's rhythm; his simple lay-off to Henry was genius.|