WASHINGTON – Just a week after snapping a club-record 15-game winless streak, D.C. United took the field on Saturday evening and snapped another dubious mark, winning back-to-back matches for the first time since October of 2012.
Davy Arnaud’s first-half strike would be enough for United, who rode the goal to a 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls, staking an early claim to the Atlantic Cup in front of 12,364 at RFK Stadium.
The Red Bulls – playing without the services of the still-recovering Tim Cahill – fell to 0-2-4 with the loss. The visitors struggled to produce any real chances during an opening half that saw them register just a single shot on goal, though they peppered United goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra – starting again for an injured Bill Hamid – with a bevy of opportunities down the stretch.
United, on the other hand, wasted no time in finding the back of the net.
In the fourth minute, a Fabian Espindola corner kick found center back Bobby Boswell at the near side of the box. Boswell, involving himself in a corner-kick goal for the second time in 2014, rose above Henry and played a glancing header to the far post. Arnaud was right there to finish, his diving header eluding the grasp of New York 'keeper Luis Robles.
New York found their rhythm early on in the second half, nearly leveling the match in the 57th minute. Lloyd Sam made a pacy run down the right flank, cutting back and playing a driven cross to fellow midfielder Eric Alexander at the top of the area. Alexander’s strike, however, would sail inches over the crossbar.
Two minutes later, Dykstra was forced into action, pushing away a near-own goal by Sean Franklin. Peguy Luyindula would get his chance several minutes later, but the Frenchman’s hard-hit attempt clanged off the near post.
New York would press until the final whistle, but attempts by Sam, Henry and midfielder Dax McCarty would all go wanting.
The Red Bulls, now winless through their first six matches, will regroup before welcoming Philadelphia next weekend, while United travel west to face the Columbus Crew.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Chris Rolfe||The former Fire man has been reborn since his trade to DC, adding a welcome dose of dynamism and unpredictability to United's attack.|
|2||Andrew Dykstra||Kept goal with composure in relief for the injured Bill Hamid, including a couple of crucial reaction saves to prevent own goals.|
Surprisingly inaccurate with a few headers, but his combination and hold-up play around goal deserved an assist or two.