Match Preview: D.C. United vs New York, April 12, 2014
D.C. UNITED vs NEW YORK RED BULLS
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
April 12, 2014 (WEEK 6, MLS Game #48)
7 p.m. ET (MSG+)
The quest for the Atlantic Cup kicks off for another season as D.C. United meet the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United put an end to their long, club-record winless streak last weekend, claiming a 2-0 home victory against the New England Revolution. The Red Bulls are still looking for their first victory of 2014, playing to a fourth consecutive draw last Saturday in a 2-2 tie at the Montreal Impact.
REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Corey Parker; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Hilario Grajeda
MLS Career: 34 games; FC/gm: 21.7; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 7; pens: 8
SUSPENDED: DC: Lewis Neal (through April 13)
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (62 meetings): United 31 wins (1 shootout), 117 goals … Red Bulls 22 wins (1 shootout), 91 goals … Ties 9
AT RFK STADIUM (32 meetings): United 18 wins (1 shootout), 67 goals … Red Bulls 10 wins (1 shootout), 51 goals … Ties 4
RETURN MATCHES: 8/31: D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls, 2:30 p.m. ET; 9/10: New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United, 8 p.m. ET
LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/16: NY 0, DC 0
4/13: DC 2, NY 0 (Henry 29; Olave 36)
8/31: NY 2, DC 1 (Sam 8; Cahill 38 – DeLeon 36)
- The Red Bulls have a five-game undefeated streak alive in league play between the teams, winning the final two meetings a year ago. United’s last regular season win vs. New York came April 22, 2012, a 4-1 triumph at RFK Stadium.
- 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 74 times in all competitions over the years; New York has won 24 and United have won 39, including a 6-1-2 record in the postseason.
- Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. NY: P8 W2 L4 D2 … Mike Petke vs. DC: P3 W2 L0 D1
D.C. United put an end to their long winless streak, claiming a victory for the first time in 2014 with a 2-0 defeat of the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United are in a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with four points from four games.
- United took the lead in the 43rd minute when Revolution defender Jose Goncalves knocked a Cristian Hernandez cross past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth into the back of the net.
- United then put the game out of reach in second-half stoppage time. Fabian Espindola sent a 40-yard cross over a stretched Revolution backline and the pass found substitute Chris Rolfe in stride, and he made no mistake, striking a powerful first-time shot at Shuttleworth, who couldn’t quite hang on to the attempt.
- United head coach Ben Olsen made one change to the team that reached a late 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire at RFK Stadium. Davy Arnaud started in midfield in place of Luis Silva.
- D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Andrew Dykstra - Sean Franklin, Jeff Parke, Bobby Boswell, Cristian Fernandez - Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, Davy Arnaud, Lewis Neal (Chris Rolfe 63) - Eddie Johnson (Conor Doyle 87), Fabian Espindola.
- The win was United’s first in league play since last Aug. 3, when they defeated Montreal 3-0 at RFK Stadium. The winless streak was snapped after 15 games, tied for the second-longest winless run in league history. The all-time record is 18 games, set by Real Salt Lake from Aug. 10, 2005-May 6, 2006.
- “Considering how last season went I think it was important. I think there are seven or eight teams in the league maybe that have played four or five games and haven’t gotten a win,” said midfielder Davy Arnaud. “We played three and hadn’t gotten a win, but it may be a little different because of what happened last year. Now we got our win and we can move on because this is a new group with a new mentality.”
- Chris Rolfe scored in his United debut to cap the win against New England. Rolfe came on for the final half-hour after being acquired from the Chicago Fire at midweek.
- “He’s one of the best finishers in the league. Anybody will tell you that, so it was good we got him in. Left-mid, right-mid, he’s versatile and also good underneath and I think he did a lot of work for us,” said Olsen. “It’s not an ideal role to bring him in up a goal, because I wouldn’t call him a defensive specialist, but we wanted to continue to attack and try to get that second goal.”
- Goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra recorded a shutout in his first MLS start since 2010. Dykstra, who made 17 starts, recording five shutouts, for the Chicago Fire in 2010, spent 2012 on loan with the Charleston Battery and then 2013 on loan to USL PRO side Richmond Kickers.
- Dykstra was given the start just hours before kickoff, with nominal starter Bill Hamid suffering from a toe injury.
- “It was a little hard to switch on,” Dykstra said. "Mentally it’s kind of tough. But I think that I’ve played enough games and had enough experiences in USL and my first run with Chicago that you put that rust aside. You just deal with it.” Said Olsen of Hamid: “It’s a toe; it’s a week at this point. But, we will evaluate it a little bit more. He saw the doctor, and he will probably be out the next couple days and we will go from there.”
- With Luis Silva out injured, Davy Arnaud came into a central midfield role, playing with Perry Kitchen in a deep-lying axis.
- “I thought Davy and Perry early on in the game were too flat and that’s why New England had a lot of possession. As Davy and Perry got out to pressure them in the central midfield I thought the game changed. I thought they both had very good games,” said Olsen. “They are both warriors, and Davy was a stud. I’m happy for him. He seems comfortable in that central position, which is nice. I thought the back four was steady with high concentration all night long.”
- After netting his first goal of 2014 the week before, Fabian Espindola recorded his first assist of the season, setting up the Rolfe goal.
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls played to a draw for a fourth consecutive match, this time the Montreal Impact coming back for a 2-2 result on Saturday afternoon at Olympic Stadium. The Red Bulls sit in a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with four points from five matches on the season.
- Montreal got off to a glorious start. From the midfield, Felipe slipped the ball behind the New York back line for Andres Romero, who curled it in off the far post.
- But the Red Bulls pulled even in the 31st minute. Lloyd Sam hooked a cross from the right over Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins for an onrushing Jonny Steele, who deftly volleyed the ball into an empty net.
- New York took the lead three minutes later, as Steele took advantage of a giveaway, swiftly putting Peguy Luyindula through on goal, who made no mistake by powering his shot past Perkins.
- The Red Bulls had a tremendous chance to double the lead early in the second half when Matteo Ferrari brought Bradley Wright-Phillips down in the penalty area. But Luyindula rifled the resulting spot kick squarely off the right post, and Eric Alexander skied the rebound.
- But the Impact found the leveler in the 59th minute. Felipe hit a pass into the right corner where Justin Mapp ran it down, and then continued racing into the box, where he timed his run perfectly to nod home the Mapp cross.
- Red Bulls boss Mike Petke made five changes to the team that reached a 1-1 result with Chivas USA at Red Bull Arena. Kosuke Kimura and Ibrahim Sekagya came into the back four in place of Richard Eckersley and Jamison Olave, Eric Alexander and Jonny Steele started in midfield for Dax McCarty and Tim Cahill, and Bradley Wright-Phillips came in up top in place of Thierry Henry.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Kosuke Kimura, Ibrahim Sekagya, Armando (Matt Miazga 84), Roy Miller (Dax McCarty 46) - Lloyd Sam, Bobby Convey, Eric Alexander, Jonny Steele - Peguy Luyindula (Connor Lade 90), Bradley Wright-Phillips.
- The Red Bulls are still searching for their first victory, reaching a fourth consecutive draw in Montreal. For a third consecutive week, the Red Bulls came back for the point after conceding the opening goal.
- “At the end of the day, to come into Montreal and get a result, you take it,” Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said. “We’re still unbeaten in four games, we seem to like ties, but it’s early and still the beginning of the season.”
- The longest a Supporters’ Shield winner has gone without a victory after claiming the honor were the LA Galaxy in 2003, who started 0-4-4 after winning the Shield the year before. The Columbus Crew started 2009 with an 0-2-5 record – then went on to claim the Supporters’ Shield for a second consecutive year.
- Goalkeeper Luis Robles was credited with nine saves in the draw, matching the most in MLS in a single game this season and his single-game career-high.
- “The one thing that is important to take from is we were down early 1-0, and it showed a lot of character for us to not only fight back, but to get into a lead and finish off [a result],” said Robles. “We definitely gave away a lot of chances, but at the end of the day, there’s a point to take home, and there were a lot positives offensively. This was our first game we had multiple goals, and we actually had some really good opportunities.”
- For the fourth time in his MLS career, Jonny Steele had a goal and an assist in the same game. “We’ve been playing some decent stuff; things just haven’t gone our way,” said Steele. “But we just keep working, and at the end of the day we’re unbeaten in four. You’ll take that going in. Four points can [be the difference in getting] you into the playoffs.”
- Without Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill in the lineup, Petke ran out Bradley Wright-Phillips as a single striker with Peguy Luyindula and Bobby Convey in behind, and Eric Alexander in a holding central role.
- “We wanted to put that extra [central player] in midfield,” said Petke. “I thought early on it didn’t really work out, but as the game wore on I thought that we had some pretty good moments with the ball with those three in the midfield, especially hitting them on the counter. The whole thing was to protect us a little bit in front of our back four and also to have that ball and be a little creative.”
- Cahill missed the match with a hamstring ailment suffered in the draw with Chivas USA. “We all know Tim. We know Tim will play through anything,” Petke said. “But again, it’s about his health and he has a long season ahead and a World Cup as well. It’s not a situation that we’re going to rush him back if he’s not 100 percent. If he’s not 100 percent, then something else could happen. It could be worse.”
- There are two further injury concerns in the back line after the Impact, after both Armando and Roy Miller were forced from the field. Miller came off at halftime with an Achilles problem that stems from last August and Armando left late in the game with a hamstring issue.