What in the world is going on with the New York Red Bulls? Opening up a brand new stadium is one thing, but going on the road and earning two wins of their past three is absolutely unbelievable. No matter what anyone says, a side that hasn’t earned their first win of the season like what DC United has done is like a wounded animal. They are more dangerous injured then fully fit. But all it took was two big goals, stellar defense and fantastic goalkeeping to get the full three points away from Red Bull Arena.
Juan Pablo Angel got the scoring started by sending a good ball towards Dane Richards who attacked down the far end. After avoiding the defender Ricards crossed the ball towards an attacking Salou Ibrahim who reached the end line and tucked the ball inside the far post and past DC keeper Troy Perkins for his second goal of the season in the 51st minute.
Nine minutes later a free kick was awarded to RBNY and Joel Lindpere sent a long distance cross towards the DC Area and with just a flick off his forehead Angel would direct the ball past a standing still Perkins and inside the near corner of the net for his fourth of the season. For the first time since October 8th of 2005 RBNY/Metro has won on the road at RFK Stadium.
But the difference of the match was a tale of two halves. DC United would attack relentlessly against the Red Bulls in every single possession they got. Clyde Simms in the 16th minute got himself on-sides and headed in a point blank shot at goal, but Bouna Coundoul was their to punch it away. After the goals were scored by RBNY, United kept on attacking and attacking to make a dent into the scoreboard.
But no matter what DC United tried to do, it would be the back line preventing them from getting a shot off or Coundoul making the big saves to get his third clean sheet of the season. Top of the east, second in the league with a 5-0-1 record & a grand total of 15 points. For Juan Pablo Angel his goal in the second half was his 52nd in all competitions passing Clint Mathis on the all time list.
For RBNY two things have happened that has made the start of this season look very good. Obviously their brand new stadium in Red Bull Arena has replaced the cavernous Giants Stadium and for the first time ever for this club as Metro or RBNY, it truly feels like a home. The other is really two parts. It’s head coach Hans Backe and Sporting Director Erik Soler. These men know what holes to fill to make this club earn wins on the field and the confidence that feeds from them to give their club a fighting chance every single match.
Meanwhile for DC United another strong start has fizzled down in the second half. They have nothing to show for it once they reach halftime. Even though they quickly brought back Luciano Emilio for a three month loan from his Brazilian club, it’s not enough if they can’t give him or Jaime Moreno service from the midfield. The bite that Ben Olsen use to give as a player on the field can’t be done from the bench as an assistant. Christian Gomez has flourished down in the NASL with Miami FC.
How much more disappointment can United supporters take and honestly how much more of a leash does Curt Onalfo have with Kevin Payne? Even though DC did get that win against FC Dallas in the US Open Cup Qualifier and will face Real Salt Lake for a place in Round three proper, that will be the only thing that will matter to DC if they continue their downward spiral in league play.
But once again for the New York Red Bulls, this is uncharted waters they have entered right now. Five wins in their first six matches is completely unheard of for this club that has continued to fail and falter in their past fourteen year history. Maybe their luck has really changed with this new regime in Backe, Soler & Red Bull Arena.