MLS MATCHDAY 17
New York Red Bulls vs D.C. United
Sunday, June 24 - 7:00 PM ET
TV: NBC Sports Network | channel finder
Fresh off a last-minute win against their newest rivals,D.C. United heads to Red Bull Arena this weekend for a showdown against theclub’s oldest nemesis. Consecutiverivalry games – both on the road – might make some coaches shudder, but don’tcount Ben Olsen among them.
“When the league changed the schedule where we would playNew York and Philly and New England more I was pumped,” Olsen said earlier thisweek on the Capital Soccer Show. “I liked playing in those games as a player, I like coaching in them andI think people enjoy watching them.”
Though Sunday’s match will take place in New Jersey, the RedBulls will actually be the more travel-weary of the two sides come the weekend. New York visited Vancouver onWednesday night and – with the point they earned at BC Place – pulled withinstriking distance of D.C. atop the Eastern Conference.
“It’s a game they are going to be up for regardless if theyare fatigued or not,” said United captain Dwayne De Rosario, who has his team sittingthree points clear of the Red Bulls. “I think they got enough days to rest.”
Against the Whitecaps, both Thierry Henry (calf strain) andRafa Marquez (thigh contusion) sat out as the Red Bulls rolled the dice withouttheir two most expensive players.
It’s a risk no one expects New York coach Hans Backe toreplicate on Sunday.
“If Henry is in the lineup we know what he offers,” addedOlsen. “But for the most part we’lltry and get ourselves as ready as we can be on our side and [take care of]everything we can control on our end and then see what their lineup has instore when we get to New York.”
With one more game played than their weekend foe, United’sthin lead in the table is tenuous at best. A New York win would even the teams on points, and give RedBull a slight advantage with a game in hand.
“This is a game we are looking forward to,” said De Rosario,who scored his first-ever goal with United at Red Bull Arena last July. “If we can get a three points in New Yorkit would be a huge motivation, and a morale booster for us.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 Sunday evening, and the matchwill be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
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REFEREE: Mark Geiger. MLS Career: 97 games; FC/gm: 26.3; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 22; pens: 32
SAR (bench): Sean Hurd; JAR (opposite): Joe Fletcher; 4th: John McCloskey
NEW YORK RED BULLS - OUT: MF Teemu Tainio (R knee sprain); FW Jose Angulo (R knee sprain); QUESTIONABLE: FW Thierry Henry (R calf strain); MF Rafa Marquez (R thigh contusion)
D.C. UNITED - OUT: MF Lance Rozeboom (L knee ACL tear)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: NY: Dane Richards (caution accumulation; through June 24)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NY: Dax McCarty
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NY: Joel Lindpere ... DC: Maicon Santos, Chris Pontius, Dwayne De Rosario, Andy Najar, Dejan Jakovic
ALL-TIME (57 meetings): Red Bulls 19 wins (1 shootout), 82 goals ...United 31 wins (1 shootout), 112 goals ... Ties 7
AT NEW YORK (27 meetings): Red Bulls 10 wins (0 shootout), 35 goals ... United 13 wins (0 shootout), 47 goals ... Ties 4
FUTURE MATCH: 8/29: D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. (Galavision)
A hat trick from Chris Pontius and a Nick DeLeon strike led United to a dominant 4-1 United win against the Red Bulls when the clubs first met this season, April 22 at RFK Stadium.
United won 1-0 last July 9 at Red Bull Arena, ending a three-game winless stretch against New York. In that match, D.C. scored for the first time vs. the Red Bulls since their last win, a 2-0 triumph June 4, 2009.
The Red Bulls had won their last two visits to RFK Stadium in dominant fashion, scoring six goals without reply. The Red Bulls' 2-0 win in May 2010 was their first in the nation's capital since 2005.
The Red Bulls have won the Atlantic Cup the last two years, with three wins in the 10 years it has been contested. New York first won in 2003. Goal difference is the first tie-breaker, followed by away goals; if still tied, the Red Bulls (as holders) will retain the cup.
Coaches record: Ben Olsen v NY: P3 W2 L1 D0 ... Hans Backe vs. DC: P5 W2 L2 D1
4/22: DC 4, NY 1 (Pontius 8, 32, 69; DeLeon 36 - Henry 72)
United opened the scoring in the eighth minute. After stripping the ball from Thierry Henry in midfield, Chris Pontius made his way toward goal, and with a clear sight from outside the box, unleashed a powerful 25-yard shot that dipped and beat goalkeeper Ryan Meara.
United then put the game away with two goals in four minutes. In the 32nd minute, Maicon Santos worked his way down the left flank before sending in a cross that hit Meara and deflected off a defender before falling right in front of goal, where Pontius slammed it into the goal.
It was 3-0 when Dwayne De Rosario picked off another New York turnover and quickly fed Nick DeLeon in the box. The rookie fired a one-time shot that ricocheted off defender Markus Holgersson, leaving ëkeeper Meara no chance.
In the 69th minute, Pontius completed his hat trick. A long ball pumped forward from goalkeeper Joe Willis fell for Pontius, who slalomed through the center of the New York defense, skipped past Victor Palsson's last-ditch slide tackle, and slotted the shot under Meara.
Henry finally got the Red Bulls on the board in the 72nd minute through an inch-perfect freekick.
D.C. UNITED (4-3-1-2): Joe Willis - Robbie Russell, Brandon McDonald, Emiliano Dudar, Daniel Woolard - Danny Cruz, Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon - Dwayne De Rosario (Stephen King 66) - Maicon Santos (Hamdi Salihi 75), Chris Pontius (Lewis Neal 87).
NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Ryan Meara - Jan Gunnar Solli, Stephen Keel (Tyler Ruthven 46), Markus Holgersson, Connor Lade - Dane Richards (Jhonny Arteaga 81), Victor Palsson, Dax McCarty, Mehdi Ballouchy (Joel Lindpere 46) - Kenny Cooper, Thierry Henry.