Free-scoring Red Bulls eyeing more goals

The New York Red Bulls lead MLS in scoring, a gap that grew even

wider with their latest blowout victory. D.C. United don’t have to

be reminded of the Red Bulls’ offensive capabilities.

United look to avenge a 4-0 April loss to New York as they visit

Red Bull Arena on Saturday night, when the Eastern Conference

rivals meet for the first time since making a significant trade

late last month.

The duo of Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers up front has helped

the Red Bulls (6-3-10) score a league-high 34 goals, and both

strikers put one away Wednesday against Toronto.

New York, however, didn’t stop with those first-half tallies.

Showing off the team’s scoring depth, Joel Lindpere scored his

fourth goal in three games and Juan Agudelo struck twice to

complete a 5-0 rout.

It was only the second victory in a 12-game stretch for New

York. That certainly surprised midfielder Dax McCarty, who came

over from United (4-5-7) on June 27 for Dwayne De Rosario.

“Watching their past few games, it’s just little mental mistakes

that undo us,” McCarty said. “Today we didn’t have any of those.

When we don’t have any mental mistakes in the back I think we are

going to be very hard to stop. You can tell the talent is here, no

doubt about it. Now it’s just of matter of proving it.”

The Red Bulls certainly showed off that skill when McCarty was

still playing in the nation’s capital. Henry had two goals in the

first half, and Lindpere and Agudelo wrapped up the scoring at RFK

Stadium on April 21.

“It’s obviously a revenge game for us,” midfielder Chris Pontius

told United’s official website. “I think if there’s any time to go

up there and get a win in New York, it’s now. Especially after them

beating Toronto 5-0, they’re feeling a little bit confident about

themselves. I think we can go up there and spoil the party.”

Getting a goal out of De Rosario would be a good start. In his

D.C. debut last Saturday against Philadelphia, the two-time MLS Cup

MVP assisted on Josh Wolff’s first-half tally in a 2-all draw.

Coach Ben Olsen was impressed with De Rosario’s performance,

saying he “worked his tail off.” De Rosario, meanwhile, liked what

he saw from his new teammates.

“These guys understand the game at a high level and they make

quality runs,” De Rosario said. “It’s good to come into a situation

like this and to have an immediate impact and help the team. I’m

looking forward to continuing an understanding with those

guys.”

What D.C. has to do if it expects different result than it got

in April, though, is limit the space it gives the Red Bulls in the

midfield. Olsen understands that, but that doesn’t make it any

easier to execute.

“When Thierry comes back into midfield and they have time to

face you, they’re very, very dangerous,” he said.