WASHINGTON, August 28, 2012 - A lot is riding on the clash between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls at RFK Stadium on Wednesday night, including the Atlantic Cup. The hated-rivals meet for the third time this season. Playing United has more than often been painful for the Red Bulls. United has defeated the New York club 31 times all-time. No team in MLS history has beaten a club more times than that.
This game can also be viewed as a six-pointer, as both teams are battling for playoff positions. The Red Bulls sit five points above United in the Eastern Conference. With a win, United will leapfrog Chicago and Houston and claim sole possession of third-place in the table.
The Red Bulls arrive with a powerful offensive unit which includes, Thierry Henry, Kenny Cooper (14 goals), Sebastien Le Toux and former Everton ace, Tim Cahill. However, the Red Bulls have struggled on the road this year and are winless away from home in seven games, while United has not lost at RFK in 12 games, the club’s second longest unbeaten streak at the aging venue. A win or tie tonight will also give United the Atlantic Club which the Red Bulls claimed the last two seasons.
Meanwhile, United’s captain Dwayne De Rosario will be especially hungry once he gets out on the field. After going nine games without a goal, De Rosario netted his 99th MLS goal in United’s 4-2 win over the Chicago Fire on August 22 and will be looking for his 100th MLS career goal.
Only six other in MLS history have reached this milestone: Jeff Cunningham (134), Jaime Moreno (133), Landon Donovan (124), Ante Razov (114), Jason Kreis (108), and Taylor Twellman (101).
The last time the teams met at RFK, a hat trick from Chris Pontius and a Nick DeLeon goal led to a 4-1 United victory. The Red Bulls got a measure of payback in June when former United player Brandon Barklage netted twice and Jan Gunnar Solli added the winner to give the the Red Bulls took a 3-2 home victory. Pontius, United’s leading goalscorer also notched two goals in that game, which means five of his ten goals this season have come against the 1-95 rivals.
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