One of the biggest rivalry matches in Major League Soccer came to Red Bull Arena for the first time. It was a fantastic atmosphere with the ESC (Empire Supporters Club) & driving up the NJ Turnpike from the Nation’s Capital along with Southern Maryland & Northern Virginia was the Screaming Eagles & Barra Brava of DC United. But when one side has been improving since the start of the season and the other has been declining, it really doesn’t matter what the records show. Both sides will still come together and clash.
Towards the end of ninety minutes both sides ended with a nil-nil draw and a point each in the standings. “Two well organized teams defensively.” said Red Bulls Head Coach Hans Backe. “They never really opened up the game and got any chances. For us, I think we too easily let them get their shape.” Juan Pablo Angel also showed his frustration after the match as he thought it was one of those games where the club had decent shape, but nothing going well offensively. “We couldn’t get into a tempo during the game, but overall we never really tested them.” The best chance of the night for Angel was in the 23rd minute when he had a free kick and bent it over the wall and heading for the net, but Troy Perkins was able to leap up and parry the ball away.
But for DC United head coach Curt Onalfo, he continues to look for positives with his side. “We’re a team that doesn’t look back. Over the last ten games in all competitions, we performed well with a couple of results. We are a team that has to walk away with any form of points.”
There were some good chances for DC United and the talk of the district is of course rookie Andy Najar who has been good as advertised with his play with the ball and shows no fear when he is on the attack. “He’s an amazing young kid & he is just seventeen years old.” Said Onalfo “There has been some up & downs, but it’s wonderful to watch his development and hopes he will improve.”
This was a good match that was played well by both sides and you can see the improvement from DC United as they looked stronger on the ball and had a good defensive game plan against New York. But sadly this match was saddled with one terrible thing & no I’m not talking about a lack of goals. I’m talking about a lack of officiating. Silviu Petrescu was absolutely poor and gave questionable calls all night long. I don’t mind a hard fought match from both sides and the yellow card never comes out, but when you have Julius Jones intentionally throwing an elbow and ramming into Bouna Coundoul without a single card being show is absolutely atrocious.
Allowing a free pass more than once is terrible and finally Adam Cristman who came into the match went after the ball and caught a diving Bouna Coundoul right into the upper chest area in the 79th minute. Even though the off-sides flag went up Cristman never heard the whistle and did the deed. The stretcher did come onto the field, but Coundoul was able to get up with the help of RBNY trainer Rick Guter and stayed in the match till the final whistle. “Right now breathing is not the easiest thing.” Said Coundoul “I cannot Sneeze, cough or anything like that. The Doctor says there are no broken ribs, but it’s pretty painful right now.”
After all of this New York is still currently in second place in the Eastern Conference and has a date next week with Conference leaders Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Two days before it, the MLS Summer Transfer Window will open and the mystery signings will finally be known.