DC struck first a mere 15 minutes intot he match as Fred found Josh Gros sneaking up the left sidleine. Gros then clipped a perfect diagonal cross in front of the goal where Olsen had bolted in behind Seth Stammler. Olsen threw himself at the ball and was rewarded when his diving header bounced into the far side netting out of reach of the NY keeper to put United out front.
However, NY came right back to tie the score almost immediately after Olsen’s goal. Red Bull’s Markus Schopp lunged to control a weak clearance by United’s defense and slid the ball in to Dema Kovalenko buzzing around the top of the area. The former United midfielder slammed a hard shot on goal that unfortunatley deflected off Bryan Namoff, wrongfooting Troy Perkins to find the back of the net and tie the score at one all.
Starting off the second half still tied at one, United simply took control of the game as the Red Bulls just seemed to wilt under the pressure.
Fred was the key to offense as he set up a number of chances right from the second half whistle and a mere five minutes later he set up Emilio for the decisive goal. Collecting the ball near midfield, Fred burst down the left side of the field and drew the entire defense off balance in order to lay off a perfectly weighted ball to his Brazilian compatriot trailing the play. Emilio slotted into the open goal for his third goal of the year, but first since April. Clearly, Emilio was overjoyed to break his scoring lull as he celebrated with nearly every player in the stadium.
United got a bit of a scare when Boswell was tossed for his second yellow in the 61st minute with DC clinging to a 2-1 lead, but if anything, United seemed to play even better with ten men as they closed out the match easily behind Olsen’s third and fourth goals of the season. “Obviously, you don’t want to go shorthanded and use that as motivation, but when Bobby got his second yellow, I thought the guys really stepped up and worked twice as hard.” Soehn remarked after the game.
It was Fred again to set up the play as he rolled down the left once again and slid the ball inside to Gomez, who imeediately laid off the Olsen on the left. Benny cut back around Stammler to slam the ball under Waterreus for what was to turn out as the game winning goal.
Olsen sealed the game when he struck a wicked volley in the 88th minute on an usual play. Moreno and Gomez looked to be simply passing the ball back and forth to waste the last few minutes of the match, when Moreno noticed Olsen open just outside the box and slid the ball to him. Under normal circumstances, Olsen probably just bolts to the corner to ice the game, but clearly feeling it to be his day, he cracked a dipping volley over Waterreus to complete his hat trick.
NY did manage a consolation goal as Angel poked in a wishful cross just before the end, but nothing could take away from Olsen’s day. “A lot of focus is going to be on me, but realistically the focus should be on the 90-minute performance by all these guys.” said Olsen after the match.
United is now undefeated in their last six games and have moved themselves all the way up to fourth in the East after starting the season 0-3. However, as good as United played, it has been an aberration so far this season as DC was off to it’s slowest start in years.
Olsen gets the final word on the subject as it was clearly his day. “We can take it as the best game we’ve played this season but we also need to go forward because they seemed to die a little bit physically. We can’t be too high on ourselves.”
United’s next game is next Saturday night at 7:30 in RFK against the Chicago Fire.