Even with the emotion of one last historic night at RFK Stadium, D.C. United couldn't close the season on a high note.
Michael Murillo and Gonzalo Veron scored seven minutes apart in the second half, and a New York Red Bulls side minus several of its stars sent D.C. to a 2-1 defeat Sunday before a crowd of 41,418 who came to the final MLS game ever to be played at RFK.
The Red Bulls took the Atlantic Cup back from D.C. in the process as they look toward facing the third-seeded Chicago Fire in the 2017 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Black-and-Red talisman Luciano Acosta was sent off between those goals for kicking out at Alex Muyl, reducing the last-place hosts to 10 men in the late stages against a side that had nothing to play for in terms of playoff seeding.
Paul Arriola scored his first goal for D.C. off Acosta's cross just before halftime, completing a dominant opening 45 minutes that should've resulted in a more comfortable lead.
- DC: Bill Hamid, a spectator in final RFK match, reflects on his European move
- NY: After spoiling RFK party, Red Bulls believe they can pull off Chicago shock
- POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE: D.C. may have endured misery throughout the 2017 season, but the supporters roared and the stands bounced in RFK Stadium’s final MLS afternoon in a manner reminiscent of the atmospheres during some of the Black-and-Red’s best moments at RFK. There was also tifo galore before the match.
- FIGHT ANOTHER DAY: With a Knockout Round game in the 2017 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs looming and the sixth seed locked in, Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch fielded a starting XI split between regular starters and reserves. Of particular note, attackers Bradley Wright-Phillips, Sacha Kljestan and Daniel Royer were not on the gameday roster, while Felipe, Tyler Adams and Connor Lade began on the bench.
- THE LEGENDS HAVE IT: Most of the greats in D.C. club history competed in a legends game prior to Sunday’s finale. The Black team beat the Red team 5-4, with Luciano Emilio setting up Freddy Adu for what would be the eventual winner. Dwayne De Rosario searched hard for an equalizer, but was twice denied by Louis Crayton and also had a late penalty shout dismissed. And Jamil Walker hit this absolute screamer:
- DC: End of Season
- NY: Wednesday, Oct. 25 at Chicago Fire (8:30 pm ET | FS1, UniMas, TSN 3/5)