DC United score early, hold on to keep Red Bulls winless

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Slow starts and resilient finishes have saved the New York Red Bulls from dropping points throughout their five-game winless streak.

This time, their luck ran out.

D.C. United midfielder Davy Arnaud found the game winner just four minutes into Saturday’s encounter at RFK Stadium, providing all the scoring needed to hand New York their second loss of the season. New York searched for the equalizer, offering 19 shots on net (three on target), but could not break the United defense or keeper Andrew Dykstra.

“Hats off to DC for getting the result,” head coach Mike Petke said. “At the end of the day, we were the better team tonight but the better team doesn’t always win. I am very optimistic and very excited about a lot that I saw out of my players but at the end of the day, we are in a result business and we didn’t get the result.”

New York now stand a single point from the Eastern Conference cellar (0-2-4, 4 pts.), besting only the struggling Montreal Impact (0-3-3, 3 pts.).

Despite the loss, several players, including the oft-critical Thierry Henry, found bright spots in a mostly dominating performance.

“Today we played the way football should be played, but we didn’t score,” he said. “I’m pretty positive about the way we can rectify that and continue to play the way we did in the second half.”

Once again, it was an early lapse that would see New York playing from behind. A fourth minute corner kick saw former Red Bull Fabian Espindola connect with defender Bobby Boswell, who sent a flick header towards the back post, finding Arnaud for the go ahead goal.

As has been the case throughout many points this season, New York found a rhythm some 30 minutes into the encounter, controlling possession for much of the match, ending the encounter with a 57% to 43% advantage. Each player seemingly had a chance to tie the match on. Jonny Steele had a pair of chances — one to end the first half, and the other to start the second — but both opportunities sailed wide of net.

Boswell, who put in a man of the match worthy performance, tested keeper Luis Robles minutes into the second, but the netminder was up to the task. Both Henry and Alexander saw chances go wanting some minutes later, while Peguy Luyindula managed to see his attempt clank off the right post.

The Red Bulls continued their second half dominance, but were off target, settling for a heart breaking loss admist a barrage of chances.

“It’s hard to find the words to describe how we feel after the game,” Dax McCarty said. “We lost, but we probably played some of our best stuff of the season.

“It’s a minor travesty that the result we show for it is a loss,” he continued, “but sometimes the soccer gods are smiling on you and you get lucky bounces here or there, and sometimes they aren’t. We can’t blame anyone but ourselves. Should have finished. The score could have been 4, 5-1 — and that’s being generous.”

The reeling, shorthanded Red Bulls now face a quick turnaround, welcoming rival Philadelphia Union (1-1-4, 7 pts.) to Red Bull Arena Wednesday evening.

New York Red Bulls 0, D.C. United 1
April 12, 2014
MLS Regular Season
RFK Stadium – Washington D.C.

Scoring Summary:
DC: Davy Arnaud 1 (Bobby Boswell 2, Fabian Espindola 2) 4’

Disciplinary Summary:
NY: Eric Alexander (caution) 14’
DC: Cristian Fernandez (caution) 16’
NY: Roy Miller (caution) 30’
DC: Perry Kitchen (caution) 71’
DC: Nick DeLeon (caution) 90’

New York Red Bulls (0-2-4, 4 pts.): Luis Robles, Kosuke Kimura, Ibrahim Sekagya, Jamison Olave, Roy Miller (Connor Lade 84’), Lloyd Sam, Dax McCarty, Eric Alexander (Ruben Bover 90’), Jonny Steele (Bradley Wright-Phillips 66’), Peguy Luyindula, Thierry Henry

Substitutes not used: Ryan Meara, Chris Duvall, Matt Miazga, Eric Stevenson

D.C. United (2-2-1, 7 pts.): Andrew Dykstra, Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Jeff Parke, Cristian Fernandez, Nick DeLeon, Davy Arnaud (Jared Jeffrey 66’), Perry Kitchen, Chris Rolfe (Alex Caskey 72’), Fabian Espindola, Eddie Johnson (Conor Doyle 84’)

Substitutes not used: Joe Willis, Kyle Porter, Nana Attakora, Steve Birnbaum

Referee: Allen Chapman
Referee’s Assistants: Corey Parker, Matthew Nelson
4th Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Attendance: 12,364