(photo by Matt Kremkau)
For the 80th time of their regular-season history, two of the oldest and most intense of rivals clashed at Red Bull Arena, and if history is a guide on how these matches go, then this one wasn't a disappointment.
With 4 key members of the starting IX unavailable due to injuries, and Bill Hamid not making the trip due to "personal reasons", DC United entered the match in bad shape, leaving the Red Bulls with a major opportunity to score some goals. A problem that the team has been experiencing thus far in the 2020 regular season.
The Red Bulls would dominate the first half with the plethora of scoring chances, with forward Tom Barlow leading the way with four of the ten shots on goal. In one such instance, he nearly grabbed the first goal of the match, but his shot was first saved by United goalkeeper Chris Seitz, and the immediate follow-up shot was banged off the post. D.C. United would be held to just two shots on goal as forward Ola Kamara's shot was saved by Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara.
By the time referee Nima Saghafi blew the whistle to end the half, the Red Bulls were the better team, but there were no goals to show for their efforts.
There was not much to see in the second half, as D.C United got physical with anyone wearing a black jersey. Sitting back, and hitting them on the counter. The plan nearly worked, frustrating the Red Bulls by cutting off passes, and fouling every chance they got, slowing down the game in the usual style by a team coached by Ben Olsen. The Red Bulls had their chances, but every corner kick was denied by D.C. United defenders
The one chance United did get a long ball that found the feet of Ola Kamara on a breakaway, but it would be Sean Nealis who heroically sprinted from one end of the pitch to the other just in time to block his shot from going into the net, keeping the match scoreless at the moment.
Then, off a corner, deep in stoppage time, United Erik Sorga scored the only goal of the match to give United all three points and cementing New York's frustrating evening at home with a bad loss.