The Black-and-Red came out ready to show the Red Bulls that this wasn’t the same team that New York faced just a few weeks prior. The good news, United played a near flawless 70 minutes. The bad news, a game they had appeared to win ended up getting tied up with two second half goals with the tying goal coming in the 89th minute. This was a matchup for the rights to first place, DC didn’t lose that with the draw.
United was sitting pretty heading after 67 minutes, Perry Kitchen had just scored his second goal of the game to put DC up 2-0. Then it all went south in what felt like mere seconds, the Red Bulls scored their first goal of the game in the 68th minute off a corner. New York’s Damien Perrinelle went up and headed the ball into the right corner past Bill Hamid.
The Black-and-Red just had to hold on, but the Red Bulls seemed to take it up a notch or two after getting their first goal. United was able to generate a few chances after the Red Bulls first goal, but failed to capitalize on those chances.
All the air and momentum left RFK with Perrinelle’s goal, both teams continued to fight for the next ten minutes. New York was starting to get the ball to players in space after getting those opportunities taken from them by DC for most of the match. The Red Bulls were pushing late, DC had turned away several scoring chances before Luis Silva was called for a foul.
New York took the set piece from 30 yards out, the shot was put on Hamid. It appeared to be a routine save, after watching him make stop after stop throughout the game, no one expected anything else on this play. But this would be different as the ball had a ‘dip’ or ‘spin’ on it that made it tough for Hamid to secure. Lloyd Sam took advantage of the rebound and tapped it into the back of the net at the 89th minute. That would be the final goal of the game as the official blew the final whistle shortly there after.
While it’s easy to say that the result of the match was negative after blowing a two goal lead, United’s Ben Olsen saw it a bit differently. In the locker room after the game, the vibe seemed to be one of disdain rather than disappointment. DC knows they let one slip away, but they don’t seem to be harping over the loss. Here’s what Coach Olsen had to say about the game ending in a draw:
“It’s two-fold, obviously there’s disappointment in not getting the result we wanted tonight, but it was a good night. I thought overall, it was a step forward from us..ironically. We got to learn from some of the mistakes we made that costs us the points, but if we can take a large chunk of that game and build off it, I think we’re in good shape. It’s a lot more good than bad in that game, probably the best we’ve played this year.”
United played very well as a unit for most of the game, looking like a well oiled machine at times. They were doing a good job of ‘switching’ the ball from side to side to put pressure on New York’s defense. Perry Kitchen had a marvelous game, scoring his first two goals of the season. The first came on a corner kick, Kemp put the ball into the box and Kitchen won position, went up and delivered a perfect strike with his head, putting the ball into the lower left corner. The second goal was even better, Chris Rolfe made a spectacular run down the left sideline, then abruptly cut inside to his right foot. Driving across the field on a very steep angle, when he approached the top of the box, close to the center, he dropped the ball off to a running Kitchen. Perry delivered a wicked right footer that beat the goalie to the opposite corner, it was textbook from a forward standpoint.
DC next faces the Red Bulls on August 30th, at this time they have lost to and tied them thus far. What’s important is that the Black-and-Red know they can beat this team, they just have to finish. There’s additional good news as well, Fabian Espindola’s last game under his suspension is on the 18th. He’ll be able to play his first game this season the following week in Vancouver.
- Opare is doing well on the backline in Birnbaum’s absence, in his second start he was very solid. Pivotal when defending the areal attacks via the long ball
- Kemp and Franklin are huge pieces of the attack, often making those necessary wide runs along with playing accurate balls into the box
- Rolfe is starting to come into his own, spending more time on the ball while being much more aggressive
- Farfan started in place of DeLeon, he’s a very good piece. Played well against New York, created several chances for teammates
- DC has to find a better way to service Arrieta, more often than not it’s through the air and he’s not able to win those balls
- Kitchen’s best game of the season, the midfield played stellar in shutting down the space the Red Bulls midfield had to operate
- United is starting to come into form, there were many stretches against the Red Bulls in which the whole team was on the same page
- Luis Silva was a late sub again, he should really help the attack once he gets his legs underneath him
- Silva nearly scored on a set piece similar to last week but Dax headed the ball away