D.C. United and the New Yorks Red Bulls played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their the East Conference semifinal matchup . The two rivals will face off again this Wednesday at Red Bull Arena. Ahead of that match, let's look back at some of the numbers from Saturday's match at RFK Stadium.
A sudden change in the date and location of this match didn't mean Olsen's Army wasn't ready. 17,556 fans packed RFK Stadium on short notice to cheer the Black-and-Red. "The second I got out of the tunnel, I had chills," said Head Coach Ben Olsen. "It was just like the old days. I think the fans were treated to a pretty interesting game. I would have loved to send them home with smiles on their faces. It was a great atmosphere and I want to thank them for that and hopefully we will have another chance to play in front of them in a week or two." United's home field advantage didn't result in a win, but the team still has not lost at home since March 3 of this year.
The New York Red Bulls enjoyed 64.5% of the possession during the match. D.C. United will look to take back more possession of the ball in New York so they can control the tempo of the match. As D.C. United midfielder Perry Kitchen noted, "If we are playing the best, with good pressure, good possession, we can hang with any team. That’s just what we need to do."
"Looking at the game, I didn’t think they had many chances at all," said Olsen immediately after the match. The stats prove his feeling was correct. New York's forwards Thierry Henry, Sebastian Le Toux, and Kenny Cooper combined for only a single shot on goal during the match. United will look to continue to stifle the Red Bulls' attack in the second leg.
Despite the missed penalty kick, Olsen felt Chris Pontius played well, "Chris had his best performance in months." The crafty winger completed 87% of his passes and led D.C. United in Opta's "Key Pass" category. Look for DC to continue to try attack down the left side in New York.