In the first matchup, the Red Bulls jumped all over the Black-and-Red to get the result to the tune of 2-0. Since that game, DC has went on a two game win streak while New York racked up a win the following week against the Columbus Crew. The two rivals will face off for the second time this season Saturday night at RFK in Washington, DC.
The Red Bulls fully expect to see a much different version of DC United than in the first game, especially with the game being in DC. In the all time series, United leads 33-24 with nine draws. Twenty of those 33 wins came at RFK, which gives merit to New York feeling that DC will be different at home.
The Red Bulls aim to make United ‘uncomfortable’ and wish to play the game on their terms. New York does a great job of identifying what teams like to do and taking that away from them.
” It’s always a competitive game” – Sacha Kljestan
New York was able to do just that in the first game between these two this season, they were also able to put an insane amount of pressure on the back line of DC. Bradley Wright-Phillips was able to make and time his runs perfectly into dangerous areas, his teammates in midfield did a wonderful job of servicing him when the opportunity presented itself. In the second half of that game, United did a much better job of handling New York’s dangerous midfield and created some chances but failed to score.
Similar to last week against Orlando City, United will have to face another tough midfield. They can certainly draw upon recent experience for any tips on how to deal with that issue.
The Red Bulls will also have to deal with a different attack from the Black-and-Red as they have gotten more comfortable going forward in the past two games. Chris Pontius has really started to get a feel for the forward position. Luis Silva returned last week to net the game winner off a set piece and Taylor Kemp has returned to play his first two games of the season.
As the Black-and-Red continue to get more healthy, they should get more dangerous in the opponents final third. It’s sure to be a much closer game than the first matchup earlier this season. Here’s what the Black-and-Red have to do to get a result against their rivals visiting from New York.
- Own the middle of the field
- Attack those that possess the ball, can’t sit back and let NY create and make runs. Specifically Wright-Phillips
- Communication between Boswell-Opare, can’t get split by runs like in first matchup
- Take shots, ignore the tendency to over-pass
- Switch the field as often as possible, play ball from side to side via one pass versus several to put pressure on the Red Bulls defense
- Close down on shooters, keep sight lines clean for Hamid. He’s had shutouts in consecutive weeks