Red Bulls-United Preview
The New York Red Bulls expect to have Thierry Henry available
Wednesday night when they try to slow down Chris Pontius and end
D.C. United’s 12-game home unbeaten streak.
Henry, tied for fourth in the league with 11 goals, was not with
the team Sunday for a 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City due to the
birth of his son. Coach Hans Backe has indicated that the French
superstar will be back for this match.
New York (13-7-6) could have moved ahead of Kansas City for
first place in the Eastern Conference with a victory, but remained
two points back in second. The Red Bulls were thrilled to snap
their three-game road slide, although their winless streak away
from home has stretched to 0-4-3.
“We could have won it,” Backe told the Red Bulls’ official
website. “We had two of the best goal scoring chances in the game.
Most important, we stopped our losing streak on the road.”
It’s not surprising that the home team was victorious in both
previous meetings between these clubs, which have combined for one
Since dropping its season opener at home to Sporting KC, D.C.
(12-9-4) is 9-0-3 at RFK Stadium including a 4-1 victory over New
York on April 22 highlighted by Pontius’ hat trick. Pontius also
had both tallies in a 3-2 loss at New York on June 24, with half of
his 2012 goals coming against the Red Bulls.
United can match the club’s longest home unbeaten streak, a
10-0-3 run May 3-Oct. 13, 2007.
“Hopefully, we can continue our home success on Wednesday,”
D.C. is playing its fourth match in an 11-day span. With an eye
on this contest, coach Ben Olsen did not start Pontius and Dwayne
De Rosario in Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Montreal.
Pontius came off the bench for 32 minutes after logging at least
80 in nine straight starts. De Rosario was bothered by a calf
injury entering the contest, and played 29 minutes as a
“You can’t play these guys every game, with two days rest in
between three games,” Olsen said. “I went out with a group that had
some energy and overall they were pretty good.”
D.C. holds the fifth and final playoff spot in the East with 40
points – one more than the expansion Impact, who have played three
more games. United trail the Red Bulls by five.
“We are playing New York on Wednesday, it’s going to be a
massive game,” De Rosario said. “Hopefully, we’ll be coming with
the right mentality.”
Backe has to decide whether to give Sebastien Le Toux another
start. Le Toux scored in his Red Bulls debut July 15 two days after
being acquired from Vancouver, but the striker has come up empty in
his last seven starts.
Kenny Cooper, tied for second in MLS with 14 goals, has come off
the bench in two of his last four games.
This is the first meeting between these teams since New York
added Le Toux and Australian midfielder Tim Cahill, who made his
club debut Aug. 3 after coming over from Everton of the English