September 15, 2019

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 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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