D.C. United advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in six years. Below are a few key statistics from the D.C. United vs New York Red Bulls match.
700 & 300
Due to Hurricane Sandy, MLS switched United's home match to Saturday, November 3. This meant the decisive second leg of the series would be played in New Jersey. To help the Black-and-Red feel more at home, the club and supporters groups sent over 700 fans to Harrison, NJ on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the match had to be postponed due to a snow storm. Undaunted, the best fans in MLS regrouped and showed up again on Thursday. Approximately 300 fans were in Red Bull Arena to see United advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
It had been 116 days since Robbie Russell started a match for D.C. United. But on Thursday, Head Coach Ben Olsen called on the veteran right back to replace the suspended Andy Najar. Russell's big-match experience was obvious throughout the match. And, when it mattered most, his clever pass to Nick DeLeon set up the match-winning goal. The pass resulted in Russell's first assist of the season.
D.C. United managed only three shots on target on Thursday. Look for United to try and improve that number in the Eastern Conference Finals.
For the second match in a row a D.C. United player was ejected from the match. The Black-and-Red will have to keep their composure during the conference finals and limited the mental mistakes that hurt the team. Andy Najar has been suspended two additional matches for his red card and Bill Hamid will miss the match in Houston due to his red card.