WASHINGTON, D.C. – Just a week after watching NYCFC march into RFK Stadium and walk away with three points, D.C. United faced another New York-area team with designs on stealing some road points.
The Red Bulls, however, would be sent packing with their tail between their legs.
United looked dominant throughout their 2-0 victory over their long-time rivals, riding a pair of first-half goals from Alvaro Saborio and Patrick Nyarko to the promised land. In an up-and down year, Friday night’s performance was a rarity for this United side: a complete one, from whistle to whistle.
“It’s a rivalry. It’s a team that we hate, and they hate us,” United defender Sean Franklin told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “It was a good game for us to play tonight, bouncing back from our loss against NYCFC. It was just a good performance – we talked about how we can’t be giving up points at home, how we needed a statement game, and I think tonight was the perfect night for it.”
“You’re pleased [at the win],” said DCU head coach Ben Olsen, “but the message is – that’s what we can do. We can’t wait for it to be New York, the Red Bulls [in front of] a packed house. It’s not all on them. It’s on me too. We have to keep as high a standard as possible for each game.”
The Red Bulls never looked particularly competitive yet still managed to put a pair of decent chances on frame, including a first-half attempt that required an acrobatic save from Travis Worra – United’s third-string keeper who now finds himself thrust into the spotlight as US national team ‘keeper Bill Hamid continues to recover from knee surgery.
Worra, seated next to Olsen at the post-game press conference, drew praise from his head coach.
“The man next to me bailed us out once or twice,” said Olsen. “That’ll be understated in this whole deal. I felt, again, [the saves were] huge. The game’s still about moments and he made two for us that kept us in there, kept the lead in the first half.”
“In the run of play, as a goalkeeper, when you make a big save – I don’t even recognize it as a big save,” added Worra. “I just recognize it as keeping the ball out of the net. “