Friday, April 21, 2006

Match Preview: DC United @ Red Bull New York

DC United heads up I-95 tomorrow for a 4pm match against their Atlantic Cup foe, Red Bull New York. The match is live on ESPN2. Having played each other 3 weeks ago in the MLS opener, this game will be very interesting as it will be featuring two radicly different squads than the two that faced each other on April 2nd.

DC let in two goals in 18 minutes during the first half of the match. Since then, they have yet to be scored on, defeating Chivas USA 2-0 then shutting down the Houston Dynamo 2-0 last weekend. United has improved with every match they have played and look to be already hitting mid-season form.

Red Bull New York cannot claim the same form. They held a 2-0 lead going into the second half of the opener, only to allow United to tie the match in the second half. In their second match, they failed to find the goal and tied New England 0-0. Their third match again saw them taking the lead, 1-0, only to let in a late goal to tie Real Salt lake 1-1. Outside of their on-field performances has been the management 'cloud" that has settled over the Meadowlands as of late. Lalas left his post to head off to LA to run the Galaxy and Red Bull promoted Marc De Grandpre to the role of Managing Director of Red Bull New York. They also had to publicly assure their coach, Mo Johnston that he was not going to be made redundant and on the unemployment line, at least for now. Red Bull has also been making alot of noise about their future stadium plans, like maybe forgoing the Harrison Stadium to stay at the meadowlands, which they will never fill to capacity and look stupid playing in a half empty stadium.

Bigapplesoccer has an article covering how the Mo Johnston situation might not be as settled as Red Bull would like you to think. It seems that anytime United makes a trip up to the Meadowlands, a coach gets a pink slip. Hell, Mo got his job last season due to the 4-1 smackdown that United dropped on the Metro's (Red Bull) at the end of the season. Check out their story though, it is pretty good and it also is a very nice cronicle of how New York has been DC's bitch.

United are playing well, especially in the defense. Troy perkins has been commanding in the last two performances that he has given, especially against Houston. Boswell, Erpin and Prideaux held well and kept Houston's strikers well, keeping their main sniper, Ching, off the score sheet. Olson did well running in the midfield and Gomez, Moreno and to an extent, Freddy all did well causing problems for the Houston defense. Their performance on set plays was really good. They converted two of their chances and were able to be threatening all night. Their good play should continue this week against Red Bull New York.

Match prediction: Red Bulls 0 - United 2


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