May 30, 2017

D.C. United Game 5 Recap: New York Red Bulls take 2-2 tie after Hamid error

A poor error from goalkeeper Bill Hamid in the last minute of the game handed the New York Red Bulls a point at RFK Stadium as they came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with D.C. United.

Sacha Kljestan hit a free kick into the box that Hamid could not palm away to safety, as he instead deflected it into the path of Lloyd Sam, who was following up and made no mistake from close range. It was a disappointing end for United’s goalkeeper, who had been arguably his team’s biggest star so far this season.

The hosts were 2-0 up with just over 20 minutes to go thanks to a goal in each half from Perry Kitchen. His first was a header in the 26th minute from a corner by Taylor Kemp, while his second was a low shot from outside the area that was set up by Chris Rolfe, who pushed forward well on the left.

However, things began to unravel for United just a minute after Kitchen’s second, as Felipe’s corner was headed home by defender Damien Perrinelle, with Sam’s equalizer following just 22 minutes later as the clock wound down.

It was a disappointing end for the D.C. midfielder in particular, who looked in very good form both offensively and defensively, having started the season in slightly poor form. He began the game with some physical play along with the likes of Davy Arnaud and Sean Franklin, who all clearly came into the game keen to make a statement against United’s biggest rivals.

The first half was an even affair, as both sides were keen to come forward and attack from the outset. Bradley Wright-Phillips looked lively up front for the Red Bulls and almost forced Kofi Opare to deflect the ball into his own net, but the replacement for Steven Birnbaum was relieved to see it go just past the post with Hamid beaten.

At the other end, Rolfe had a good chance as he was let in behind by a defensive lapse, but Luis Robles managed to deflect his shot behind and keep the game scoreless. Jairo Arrieta also had an opportunity of his own at the end of the first half after Kitchen had given the home side the lead, but his first-time shot from a Franklin cross was skewed well wide.

At halftime, D.C. United would have been the happier of the two teams by far with a 1-0 lead, and in the second period the game continued to be end to end as the Red Bulls pushed for an equalizer and the hosts looked to find another goal.

After Kitchen’s second and Perrinelle pulled one back for New York, the away side tried to push forward but saw Rolfe and Arrieta both fail to take advantage of further chances that could have put the game away for D.C.

Luis Silva then almost repeated his heroics from last week in Orlando, as the substitute saw a direct free kick headed clear having been well on target. It was yet another encouraging cameo from Silva, whose rehabilitation from injury continues apace, as he almost set up Bobby Boswell for a goal with a good cross.

Wright-Phillips saw a long-range shot saved well by Hamid, and with less than 10 minutes to go, the Red Bulls poured forward as the home side bunkered down to try and preserve all three points and their winning streak.

However, Sam’s timely intervention in the final minutes made sure that New York would escape with a share of the spoils as they drew 2-2. It was a disappointing end for United’s defense, who conceded twice in just 22 minutes in the second half and saw the normally reliable Hamid show his fallibility for the first time this season.

In spite of the tough scoreline, United are now unbeaten in 14 games in all competitions at RFK Stadium, 10 of which come in league play. They also remain top of the Eastern Conference, while the Red Bulls are just behind them in second place with a game in hand, so D.C. will not be totally disheartened by their night’s work.

Goals
DCU — Perry Kitchen (Taylor Kemp) 26’
DCU — Perry Kitchen (Chris Rolfe) 67’
NYRB — Damien Perrinelle (Felipe) 68’
NYRB — Lloyd Sam 90’

Disciplinary
DCU — Taylor Kemp (caution, foul) 36’
NYRB — Mike Grella (caution, foul) 45’
NYRB — Damien Perrinelle (caution, foul) 58’

Attendance: 16,304

D.C. United XI: Hamid; Franklin, Opare, Boswell, Kemp; Farfan (Doyle 65’), Arnaud, Kitchen, Rolfe; Pontius (Jeffrey 89’), Arrieta (Silva 75’).
Subs not used: Dykstra, Korb, Aguilar.

New York Red Bulls XI: Robles; Duvall, Miazga, Perrinelle, Lawrence; McCarty (Richards 77’), Felipe, Sam, Kljestan, Grella (Zizzo 65’), Wright-Phillips
Subs not used: Reynish, Ouimette, Davis, Abang, Lade.

D.C. United Game 2 Recap: United 2-0 losers again away to New York Red Bulls

At the same venue where they went down to a 2-0 defeat in the 2014 Eastern Conference semifinal first leg, D.C. United once again slipped to a 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena, this time in the early stages of their 2015 MLS regular season.

Bradley Wright-Phillips and Lloyd Sam proved to be United’s torturers once again as they scored in each half, with the visitors offering only brief moments in response as Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch secured his first victory having taken charge in the offseason.

The home side’s opener was straightforward, as Dax McCarty’s lofted ball forward in the 25th minute took advantage of some poor communication between United defenders Bobby Boswell and Steven Birnbaum to find Wright-Phillips lurking. The Englishman made no mistake with a low finish past Bill Hamid to score his first of the 2015 season. [Read more…]

D.C. United Playoff Game 2 Recap: Despite victory, United’s dream season ends

A season unlike any other for D.C. United ended in a fashion also unlike any other for the Major League Soccer club. A 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls Saturday afternoon before 20,187 at RFK Stadium wasn’t enough to overcome a 2-0 disadvantage from the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Beaten 3-2 on aggregate, United were eliminated by the rival Red Bulls for the first time in history.

There was hope for United after a first half that saw the hosts bag the only goal, a header by Nick DeLeon that came on the end of a perfect Taylor Kemp cross from the attacking left. Another half like that would have left the series level at 2-2, and forced extra time and perhaps later, penalties. But walking a razor-thin tightrope due to the lack of an away goal in the loss at Red Bull Arena last week, United’s pending doom was confirmed when Peguy Luyindula got goal-side on Perry Kitchen and tapped home a Thierry Henry cross that leveled the match at 1-1. [Read more…]

D.C. United Playoff Game 1 Recap: Listless United Blanked by Red Bulls

HENRY ASSISTS BOTH GOALS AS UNITED FALL BEHIND 2-0 IN EASTERN SEMIFINAL

Lauded much of the season for improved play, a more effective attack, and better defending, D.C. United showed exactly none of that Sunday afternoon in its Major League Soccer Cup playoff opener at Red Bull Arena in a 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls. Thierry Henry drew assists on a first-half goal by Bradley Wright-Phillips and a second-half dagger from Peguy Luyindula. United couldn’t score an away goal that would have had a massive impact on the series, and now must either win the home leg next Saturday at RFK Stadium by a 2-0 score to force extra time, or by three goals.

Without Chris Rolfe to start and the injured Luis Silva, United looked nothing at all like the team that won the Eastern Conference in the regular season and posted a club-record 59 points. Unable to connect on longer passes and crosses, United rarely possessed the ball with any level of consistency, and the defense was asked to do far too much work against a marauding Red Bulls side that didn’t even get full value for the high level of their performance. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 26 Analysis: Olsen unlocks key to perfect lineup in Sunday win

In Sunday’s 2-0 win over the arch-rival New York Red Bulls, D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen answered one of the major questions facing his club, and in doing so, may have also cemented the club’s status as a championship contender in Major League Soccer for the 2014 season.

The question, of course, was how to use forward and designated player Eddie Johnson, while not messing with a combination that has been lethal of late. That combo, featuring Luis Silva, Chris Rolfe, and Fabian Espindola, helped lead United to seven goals in two wins when Johnson was serving a suspension for matches against Colorado (4-2) and Sporting Kansas City (3-0). [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 5 Recap: Sweet victory for United over rival New York

D.C. United earned a valuable three points over its biggest rival Saturday night before 12,364 at RFK Stadium, as United tripped up the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, on a 4th-minute goal by Davy Arnaud. The win lifted United to 2-2-1 on the season (seven points), and allowed D.C. to claim seven of a possible nine points from a three-game home-stand against Eastern Conference foes Chicago, New England, and New York.

Arnaud’s goal was a thing of beauty early in the game that looks like it came straight from the training ground. After United won a corner that was taken to the left of New York goalkeeper Luis Robles, Fabian Espindola sent the kick into the center of the penalty area. There, United defender Bobby Boswell flicked a header forward and to his left, where Arnaud ran on to it and headed it to the opposite corner past Robles to give D.C. a lead it would never relinquish. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 26 Recap: Up a man but down and out, United fall to Red Bulls

Dwayne De Rosario had a penalty kick saved, D.C. United’s defense failed on multiple occasions, and the New York Red Bulls held on for a 2-1 win over United Saturday night before 17,372 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. United fell to 3-18-5 (14 points on the season) while New York improved to 12-9-6 (42 points). The Red Bulls are in a 3-way tie for first place in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference with Montreal and Sporting Kansas City.

United did get a goal from Nick DeLeon, his first of the season, but down 2-1 in the second half, it was a New York foul that became the fateful moment in the match. [Read more…]

D.C. United GAME 6 RECAP: Rival Red Bulls roll past United

Continuing to show an anemic offense and unable to contain the New York Red Bulls on their home ground, D.C. United slipped to 1-4-1 (4 points) on the 2013 Major League Soccer (MLS) season in a 2-0 loss at RFK Stadium in Washington before 18,019 Saturday night. The Red Bulls improved to 2-3-2 (8 points).

United slipped to 0-1-1 vs. the Red Bulls this season, after the teams played to a 0-0 draw at Red Bull Arena earlier this season. The teams meet once more this season in the Atlantic Cup rivalry, August 31 at Red Bull Arena.

United were credited with just three shots on goal (one each by Lionard Pajoy, Carlos Ruiz, and Chris Pontius), the prior two coming from a free kick sequence in the second half when New York goalkeeper Luis Robles dove right to stop a low, driven free kick. Robles spilled the rebound, but United’s second shot from point-blank range bounced off the fallen Robles and the Red Bulls were able to clear. Pontius got the last one in the 89th minute off a corner kick.

The Red Bulls had but three shots on goal themselves, but made two of them count. Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave scored the goals for New York in an 7-minute span of the first half. Henry beat United goalkeeper Bill Hamid with a right-footed shot from distance that snuck inside the far post to Hamid’s left in the 29th minute. In the 36th minute, Olave tapped home a ball that teammate Juninho had flicked into the penalty area after a Brandon Barklage cross. Both Barklage and fellow former United player Dax McCarty had assists for the Red Bulls tonight.

United had no shots on goal in a timid first half. After not scoring in this game, United have just two goals in six matches, one by Rafael and one by Pajoy. Rafael started tonight up front with Pajoy, but wasn’t really a factor and was subbed out for Dwayne De Rosario to start the second half. Pajoy had the one shot and was not flagged for offside, but wasn’t a tremendous offensive factor.

But, that could be said of the whole team at this point. United once again had the better of the possession (roughly 58 percent, according to MLS stats), but did very little with it. United have managed just 17 shots on goal in six matches this season, a woeful average of just 2.83 per game. While shots on goal don’t tell the whole story of what’s wrong with the club right now, the only hope of victory  appears to be a 1-0 fluke, and that’s no way to go through the season.

Given the current roster, there doesn’t appear to be any answers available, either, barring an acquisition. Carlos Ruiz played as a substitute tonight over the last 26 minutes. Ruiz, a scorer of 88 career MLS goals, but who also didn’t play in the league last season, was acquired before the season by United and has yet to play as much as a full half. Ruiz has logged just 79 minutes in five appearances (about 16 per game). Getting midfielder Nick DeLeon back from injury might help, and De Rosario being healthy enough again to go 90 would be a plus, but better play all around is needed.

United’s MLS season continues on Sunday, April 21, with a 5 p.m. Eastern kickoff against the Philadelphia Union (2-2-2, 8 points), in the first meeting between those two rivals this season.

Ed Morgans is a Contributor to District Sports Page, covering D.C. United. For in-game analysis and story notifications, follow him on Twitter @edmorgans.

D.C. United GAME 3 ANALYSIS: United must pack greater punch for the road

With three matches gone now in the 2013 Major League Soccer (MLS) season, D.C. United has played twice on the road, failing to score a goal in either contest. On the bright side, United still have managed 1 point from the two trips, thanks to sharp goalkeeper Bill Hamid and the friendly neighborhood crossbar in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at the New York Red Bulls.

United struck for just two shots on goal against the Red Bulls, one each by Chris Pontius and Dwayne De Rosario. Granted, that’s infinitely better than the zero shots on goal posted in a season-opening 2-0 loss at Houston. However, De Rosario, one of the key pieces of the attack, missed that Houston match due to suspension. His return would have led some to hope United’s offense to show more spark at New York, but for the most part, that wasn’t the case.

[Read more…]

D.C. United GAME 3 RECAP: United survive onslaught, steal point at Red Bulls

D.C. United withstood a barrage of New York Red Bulls’ shots from near and far for 90+ minutes, but somehow through the saves of goalkeeper Bill Hamid and some good luck, kept the scoresheet clean to earn a 0-0 draw at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.

The draw improved United’s point total to 4 (1-1-1), while the Red Bulls now sit on just 2 from three matches (0-1-2).

According to Major League Soccer’s stats online, New York posted 24 shots to United’s four, but just seven of those 24 were on target. Five of those were by Thierry Henry, and Hamid got them all. He also made a huge stop in the final minutes when Tim Cahill came flying in on a late run and sent the ball toward goal. Luckily for Hamid and United, Cahill’s shot bounced off the ground, catching Hamid at about the hip as he jumped to make the save. Had Cahill been able to keep it on the ground, it probably would have been a goal.

[Read more…]

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