DC United Match Emblematic of Red Bulls’ Plight in 2017
DC United came into Red Bull Arena as seemingly the panacea for all that ailed Red Bull New York.
After losing yet another opportunity for a major trophy last week with a devastating loss to Sporting Kansas City in the US Open Cup, the Red Bulls’ focus shifted back to MLS regular season play and a hunt for a playoff berth.
United came in with the league’s worst record, and seemed like the perfect opponent for the Red Bulls to get back to it’s winning ways. New York holds a playoff berth at the moment, but is a side that hasn’t won a game in league play since an August victory over Orlando City at Red Bull Arena.
All seemed right for the Red Bulls when Tyler Adams opened his Red Bull and MLS account with a brilliant finish from the right side of the box to give the Red Bulls the lead in the first half.
However, this match was symbolic for both Red Bull and D.C..
D.C. would equalize on a free kick just before half time, when Zoltan Stieber’s free kick was deflected past Robles, and into the net knotting the match at 1-1.
It had to feel familiar for Red Bull.
The home side had played a solid first half, dominating possession, and allowed an inferior side back in the game against the run of play.
Matters would get worse for the Red Bulls, when in the 70th minute, Patrick Mullins would score for the visitors and New York found itself on the brink of losing to the worst side in MLS.
Then, D.C.’s troubles reared their ugly head.
A break down in their box led to the second career goal, and second goal of the match for Tyler Adams as he calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner past Steve Clark who had moments before DC’s goal, robbed Bradley Wright Phillips in point blank range.
Then, just eight minutes later, Gonzalo Veron, who has revitalized his Red Bull career, drew a penalty on a one man counter, and scored from the spot to give the Red Bulls the lead.
Red Bull’s troubles seemed over. They were finally to be winners for the first time in over a month, the bad taste of the US Open Cup final defeat was to be at least briefly washed away, but then, Red Bulls’ troubles showed up.
A lack of concentration in 2nd half stoppage time led to an ugly own goal by Fidel Escobar who had been subbed on for Sean Davis to shore up the Red Bull defense with the 3-2 lead.
The draw was fitting for both squads.
Red Bull, a side who has done nothing all year but take one step forward and two steps back did just that again against D.C. United, while D.C. once again, failed to hold a lead and win.