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Rivalry Renewed. Red Bulls Grab Early Advantage

The New York Red Bulls and D.C. United brought their longstanding rivalry into the new year.

(John Minchillo / Associated Press)

(John Minchillo / Associated Press)

 

The New York Red Bulls and D.C. United brought their longstanding rivalry into the new year. The Red Bulls drew first blood, defeating D.C. United 2-0 with goals from Bradley Wright Phillips in the 25th minute and Lloyd Sam in the 71st minute.

The goals were nothing short of beautiful for the Red Bulls. From just a little behind midfield Dax McCarty sent a high arching long ball to Wright Phillips who controlled it wonderfully, eluded one defender, and then shot it home behind D.C. goalie Bill Hamid. Wright Phillips then became the assister on Lloyd Sam’s goal as he ran at the defense, pushing them back before dishing it off to Sam on the right side. Sam then blasted one past Hamid at the near post.

D.C. had a chance to get one back late when Davy Arnaud was brought down in the box leading to a penalty shot. Chris Pontius stepped up to take the shot, but he blasted it over the cross bar, allowing Luis Robles to hold on to his coveted clean sheet.

It was a dream beginning to the home campaign for Jesse Marsch and the Red Bulls — getting their first victory of the year in front of a crowd of 21,000 at Red Bull Arena. They maintained a lot of the ball, having 66% of the first half possession and 55% in total for the match. They held the corner advantage six to one and had 16 shots in total, four more than D.C.

Following the first match of the year against Sporting Kansas City there were questions about how long it would take the Red Bulls to gel without Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill. However they seemed to answer at least some of those uncertainties on Sunday afternoon with their high possession rate, up tempo style, and the many goal scoring opportunities the team had.

The Red Bulls will get a chance to progress further when they take on Columbus Crew SC away on March 28th. The game will be on MSG2 at 7:30 pm est.

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