New York Red Bulls vs. DC United | MLS Match Preview

RED BULL ARENA, Harrison, N.J.
August 31, 2013 (WEEK 27, MLS Game #246)
8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)

The Atlantic Cup will be decided for 2013 when the New York Red Bulls play host to D.C. United on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena before an NBC Sports Network audience. The Red Bulls return home having fallen out of the leadership in the Eastern Conference, dropping a 3-2 decision to Chivas USA last weekend. United are on the precipice of playoff elimination, coming off a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC last weekend at RFK Stadium.


REFEREE: Juan Guzman. AR1 (bench): Greg Barkey; AR2 (opposite): Paul Scott; 4th: Mark Geiger
MLS Career: 34 games; FC/gm: 24.8; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 10; pens: 6

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DC: Chris Korb, John Thorrington … NY: Tim Cahill
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Perry Kitchen, Daniel Woolard, Kyle Porter, Dennis Iapichino … NY: Jamison Olave

ALL-TIME (61 meetings): Red Bulls 21 wins (1 shootout), 89 goals … United 31 wins (1 shootout), 116 goals … Ties 9
AT NEW YORK (29 meetings): Red Bulls 11 wins (0 shootout), 38 goals … United 13 wins (0 shootout), 49 goals … Ties 5

2013 (MLS):
3/16: NY 0, DC 0
4/13: DC 0, NY 2 (Henry 29; Olave 36)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave scored first-half goals to lead the Red Bulls to a 2-0 win April 13 at RFK Stadium; they played to a scoreless draw March 16 at Red Bull Arena.
  • The teams have a rich history against each other, dating back to the league’s inaugural season, when United defeated the then-MetroStars in the MLS Cup Playoffs. They’ve met 73 times in all competitions over the years; New York has won 23 and United have won 39, including a 6-1-2 record in the postseason.
  • The teams met in a wild Eastern Conference Semifinal Series a year ago, featuring two own goals in one game and two postponements due to a hurricane and a snowstorm. United took the series 2-1 on aggregate, winning the second leg 1-0 at Red Bull Arena on a Nick DeLeon goal.
  • Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. NY: P7 W2 L3 D2 … Mike Petke vs. DC: P2 W1 L0 D1


  • The game’s two goals came within a seven-minute stretch in the first half. In the 29th minute, Thierry Henry found himself with time and space outside the box and he launched a classy right-footed drive toward the bottom right corner that beat a diving Bill Hamid.
  • Seven minutes later, New York doubled the lead when Jamisón Olave redirected a flick-on header by Brandon Barklage at the tail end of a beautiful service from Juninho for his third goal of the season.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard (Kyle Porter 83) - Marcos Sanchez, Raphael Augusto (Carlos Ruiz 64), Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius - Lionard Pajoy, Rafael Teixeira (Dwayne De Rosario 46).
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-1-1): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Roy Miller - Dax McCarty - Eric Alexander (Kosuke Kimura 86), Juninho, Jonny Steele (Fabian Espindola 65) - Tim Cahill (Ruben Bover 90) - Thierry Henry.

The New York Red Bulls had their winless run extended to three matches, falling 3-2 to Chivas USA on Sunday afternoon at StubHub Center. The Red Bulls are in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with 39 points from 26 matches.


  • Chivas USA opened the scoring in the 30th minute. Julio Morales collected a pass just outside the area and let fly with a left-footed strike that New York goalkeeper Luis Robles couldn’t reach.
  • But the Red Bulls responded immediately when Tim Cahill deposited Thierry Henry’s corner kick with a header from the far corner of the six-yard box.
  • Before the halftime whistle blew, Chivas regained the lead when Erick Torres was brought down in the box by New York defender Ibrahim Sekagya and converted his own penalty kick.
  • Torres hit for his second and double the Chivas lead in the the 81st minute, first to a rebound in the heart of the area before lashing home a shot on the half-turn.
  • The Red Bulls had one final answer when Dax McCarty headed home an Henry free kick floated into the box from the left corner, but they could get no closer.
  • Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke made one change to the team that reached a scoreless draw with Philadelphia Union at Red Bull Arena. Brandon Barklage came into the back four for Jamison Olave.
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage, Ibrahim Sekagya, Markus Holgersson, Roy Miller (Kosuke Kimura 40) - Eric Alexander, Dax McCarty, Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele (Marius Obekop 76) - Fabian Espindola (Bradley Wright-Phillips 58), Thierry Henry.


  • The Red Bulls lost for a second consecutive match on the road, and have won just once on their travels since May.
  • “I apologize for that loss,” Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said to MSG. “We lost to one of the worst teams in the league. We had many chances, we didn’t capitalize on them, made some mistakes and had no creativity in the second half.  We looked like we were confused out there.”
  • Said Thierry Henry: “We keep on talking about the same thing every time since I’ve been here. It’s not just me saying it. You just have to look at the results and the way we play away from home, everybody, every single one of us.”
  • Henry was credited with a pair of assists in the loss at Chivas USA, his fourth multiple-assist game since coming to MLS.
  • “Great crosses, good finishes. Thierry [Henry] is good with the ball on set pieces and guys like [Tim] Cahill, [Markus] Holgersson, Dax [McCarty], this is proven, can get on the end of them,” said Petke. “We got to two of them, that was nice, but it wasn’t three or four, which could’ve been a win or a tie.”
  • The Red Bulls were without center back Jamisón Olave after he was forced off late in the Philadelphia match with a quadriceps injury, then lost fullback Roy Miller before halftime in the Chivas USA game with an Achilles tendon injury.
  • “Olave, he’s doing good,” Petke said. “Whether he’ll be a part of the game or team this weekend is still up in the air, but there is a chance. We’re looking at getting him involved in close to half-training tomorrow, being warm-up, a little ball work, maybe a possession game and that’s the plan as of now.
  • With Miller out, Petke said David Carney or Kosuke Kimura could come in at right back. “He played 60 minutes in the reserve game yesterday, which was good, and he played today,” Petke said of Carney. “As the week goes on, we’ll figure out if he’s fit enough and available to play. With Roy out, we have to make an obvious adjustment there. It’s about seeing what’s the best fit for us.”
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips made his Red Bulls and MLS debut, coming on for the final half-hour in place of Fabian Espindola.
  • “We had many opportunities, especially in the first half, could’ve been up 4-0 in the first half; no disrespect to Chivas, they’re definitely in a rebuilding year,” Petke said. “It’s no disrespect to them, but we’re a better team than them. And this is MLS, and the parity issue is proven that any team can win in any day, and they got it today, they got the goals and we didn’t so credit to them.”

D.C. United returned home and ended a two-game losing slide, playing to a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday evening at RFK Memorial Stadium. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 25 matches.


  • United took the lead in the 10th minute. Receiving a ball from Perry Kitchen from the midfield circle, Dwayne De Rosario cut into the center then let loose on a wicked right-footed curling shot that beat TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik into the right upper corner from well outside the area.
  • But the leveler came on the hour when winger Reggie Lambe sent a low, hard cross into the area that found Bobby Convey making a secondary run, and he turned it home from the penalty spot.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made two changes to the team that fell 2-1 to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Jared Jeffrey and Conor Doyle came into the midfield for John Thorrington and Kyle Porter.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-1-1): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Daniel Woolard, Dejan Jakovic, James Riley - Nick DeLeon, Jared Jeffrey, Perry Kitchen, Conor Doyle (Kyle Porter 73) - Luis Silva - Dwayne De Rosario.


  • United came away with their second consecutive home result, following their 3-1 win vs. Montréal on Aug. 3.
  • United are also on the verge of official elimination from the playoff chase. With a loss to New York, and a combination of wins by New England and Houston, or a Philadelphia win or draw (any two of those), United will be eliminated from playoff contention.
  • Dwayne De Rosario scored his first goal since June 15 – and his first from open play since May 11 – in the draw with Toronto FC.
  • “I think the last two months, he’s been hungry,” United coach Ben Olsen said after the match. “He’s played with a different look in his eye. He’s also getting healthy again, he’s getting stronger. He’s had two groin injuries, one early in the season, and he hasn’t had a good stretch when he’s fully fit and healthy.”
  • De Rosario and Luis Silva were paired up top for a second consecutive match, and for a third time in all since Silva’s arrival from Toronto FC.
  • “Him and [Luis] Silva’s relationship is coming along. It was hit or miss tonight. We were looking to be more of a threat in behind but it allowed them to continue to push their line higher and it was tough to find them. They did a good job closing up the lanes to get the ball into them,” said Olsen. “Overall, great goal and Silva still has the ability to make a play at a moment’s notice.”
  • Said Silva: “We’re two sort of similar players and I’m just trying to learn from him. Us rotating in the middle helps him—come check in the midfield or I go out wide or vice versa. I’m a team player.”
  • Perry Kitchen recorded an assist for a second consecutive match and now has three for the season, adding to his single-season career-best in his third pro season.
  • After not featuring in the Montréal match on Aug. 17, Jared Jeffrey returned to the starting lineup in the center of midfield, his fourth MLS start.

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