Thierry Henry

United not ready for Prime Time as they get hammered 4-0 in loss to rival Red Bull

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry scored two first half goals to help set the pace in New York Red Bulls surprisingly easy 4-0 win over D.C. United last night at RFK Stadium. Photo: Martin Fernandez.

Joel Lindpere and Juan Agudelo added second half counter attack goals to help the visitors to their most lopsided road win at RFK in their history. United simply weren’t up for the task after giving up a pair of goals to Red Bull on dreadful defensive lapses in the first 45 minutes and trailed 2-0 at halftime.

The halftime substitution of Branko Boskovic into the lineup for Dax McCarty spurred United to better possession but didn’t register their first shot on goal until the 71st minute. Boskovic was United’s hard luck man as he twice hit the woodwork and then was well-saved from Red Bull goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul to rub salt into United’s wounds even further.

Red Bull took the lead in the 12th minute when United defender Marc Burch pulled himself out of his left back spot to defend speedy winger Dane Richards near midfield. Richards, who had his back turned and was moving away from the United goal, pulled Burch into his trap and sprung outside defender Jan Gunnar Solli down the flank. Solli easily outpaced Chris Pontius and sent a laser precise cross into the penalty area onto the forehead of the inexplicably wide-open Henry to head easily past United goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

Red Bull doubled their lead in the 38th minute as Burch was once again the victim as he was overpowered by Solli deep in United’s penalty area and he sent the ball into the middle of the area where Henry ran onto the ball and stabbed it past the advancing Hamid for a 2-0 lead before 18,052 stunned fans at RFK.

United, coming off an impressive 3-0 win in Toronto last weekend, hardly generated any offensive chances and seemed more content to pass the ball backwards and square than they were in getting up field for most of the evening. The Black-and-Red’s conservative tactics forced head coach Ben Olsen’s hand (as well as the 2-0 deficit) and he made the move to bring in United’s lone designated player into the match.United’s frustration was summed up in the 73rd minute when Boskovic’ 30-yard free kick easily would have beaten Coundoul into the upper corner but not for the crossbar interceding. Three minutes later Red Bull sealed United’s fate with a lightning counter attack behind United’s pushed up defense. Joel Lindpere was set free on a 50-yard run down the left flank with the ball and when Clyde Simms finally caught up to the Estonian midfielder in the penalty area, Lindpere cut back on Simms and he easily slipped the ball past Hamid for the 3-0 lead.

Boskovic nearly got United back into the match on two more occasions but his 87th minute left-footed rocket was tipped over the bar by Coundoul. Just three minutes later Boskovic hit the right post with another left-footed shot that easily would have beaten the Senegales keeper.

However, the best goal of the night and a goal that will make most pundits Goal of the Year short lists at the end of the season was pulled off by 18-year old Juan Agudelo. United were caught out of position again and this time the counter came down Red Bulls right flank. Solli once again was the architect and his third assist of the night was crossed along the ground into the penalty area and fell just behind defender Perry Kitchen when the young American took one touch to pop the ball up and then in-stride pulled off a side-scissor volley into the net giving United goalkeeper Bill Hamid no chance once again.

United now must regroup and focus on their U.S. Open Cup play-in match next Tuesday evening against the New England Revolution at the Maryland Soccerplex in Germantown. That match will begin at 7:30 pm. United’s next league match will be a week from Friday at the Houston Dynamo. That match will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel at 8:30pm

United Notes

  • Andy Najar did not play again for the second match in a row. Najar missed the Toronto match due to illness.
  • Red Bull may have pulled of a first in MLS. Their starting X1 was represented by 11 different countries. Two of their three subs (Mehdi Ballouchy – Morroco; Carl Robinson – Wales) were also of different nationalities. Only Americans Tim Ream and Agudelo were from the same country
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