Harrison, New Jersey, August 30th, 2015 – D.C. United continued their poor run of play in MLS as they were completely outplayed in every facet of their 3-0 loss tonight at Red Bull Arena against their most bitter rivals New York Red Bull.
With the loss, United’s tenuous hold on the Eastern Conference lead is whittled down to two points and Red Bull have three games in hand. So, essentially United gave up the conference lead tonight after an awful performance which saw Red Bull control every aspect of the game. To a man Red Bull was better at every position on the field except for goalkeeper where Bill Hamid managed to keep this game from getting out of control.
Lloyd Sam opened the scoring late in the first half before Bradley Wright-Phillips doubled the advantage at the interval and then he completed the rout with a goal in the second half to send United to their third consecutive league loss.
Red Bull enforced their trademark high pressure from the opening whistle which in turn forced United into an uncountable number of turnovers that led to the domination from the home side. Exhibit A is the opener for Red Bull in the 33rd minute. United had possession of the ball in the defensive third of the field as Sean Franklin squared a pass to Bobby Boswell. United’s captain simply redirected the ball straight up the field twenty yards to no one in particular and Red Bull were off on an instant counter. Felipe found Bradley Wright-Phillips immediately at the top of the area and he quickly shifted the ball to Sam who tucked his shot away past the onrushing Hamid for the 1-0 lead. Sam tallied his third goal in three games against United this season and fifth in eight games total in his career against United which now officially puts him on the official United-Killer list with the likes of the immortal Imad Baba, Jack McInerney and Taylor Twellman.
With United clearly reeling, Red Bull took advantage and doubled the lead in the 42nd minute. A rather innocuous ball was sent into the corner where Mike Grella gathered it under token pressure from Taylor Kemp. Grella, sensing something special, blindly whipped in a cross into the goalmouth where Wright-Phillips beat Steve Birnbaum to the near post and hit a screaming one-timer volley from eight yards out that gave Hamid no chance.
Wright-Phillips would conclude the rout in the 64th minute when he beat a very poor offside trap from United to ghost in on Hamid and send in a shot to the far side netting.
On the evening it was a horror show for the Black-and-Red. They were beaten to every second ball, they were beaten to every tackle and were second-best on every 50/50 challenge. United seemed completely unprepared for what they were about to go through which seems strange seeing as they went through essentially the same type of beat down at Red Bull Arena in March when they fell by a 2-0 scoreline.
Somehow United will have to find a way to regroup and focus on their remaining six league matches. United will have the next two weeks off before taking on the suddenly red-hot (it figures) Colorado Rapids in Commerce City, Colorado on September 12th.