With all the flare and the media circus surrounding the New York City Derby it seems as if it has taken away from the New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United rivalry. The New York Red Bulls 20 plus year rival has certainly been an after thought among supporters this season. For the second time this season, the Red Bulls are traveling to RFK Stadium. In the previous meeting, the Red Bulls were in the midst of their worst start to a season in history. They suffered a 2-0 lost to D.C. United, which poked the ire of Captain Dax McCarty saying the match was “embarrassing”. Following the loss, the Red Bulls went on to win 4 consecutive league matches. New York and D.C. find themselves sitting third and sixth respectively in the standings. New York is looking for its first road win since the 7-0 thumping of NYCFC at Yankee Stadium.
The Forgotten Rival: New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United Preview
Three Players to Watch
Talk about an impact player. Omer Damari has been on the field with the New York Red Bulls for about 35 minutes over two games and has already been productive. On loan from Red Bull Lepzig, Damari saw his first action last Sunday against the Montreal Impact. Coming on as a sub late in the second half, Damari looked very much a danger man for the 10 minutes or so that he played. He made his biggest splash in CONCACAF Champions League play as his loan goal for the Red Bulls salvaged a huge point as the Red Bulls were in hostile territory down in El Salvador facing Alianz FC. Once again, Omer found himself coming on as a sub late in the second half and had an immediate impact. Time will tell how Jesse Marsch further plans to incorporate Damari more often in the lineup.
The young midfielder has done an outstanding job in his first few games filling in for injured Dax McCarty. In his last three appearances, Davis has scored two goals while adding an assist. The form shown by the former Duke University standout can allow for Red Bull supporters to breath a sigh of relief. Still having much to learn, the combo of Davis and Felipe Martins in the midfield will definitely suffice and will continue to work well going into the match against D.C. United this weekend.
The Jamaican international return from injury couldn’t have come at a better time for the Red Bulls. Kemar Lawrence had not been seen since suffering a groin injury at Copa America Centenario. With the Red Bulls back line bruised and battered, it will be critical that Lawrence rediscover his form from the 2015 season. For the duration of his play throughout the 2016 Kemar has been very sub par. He now finds himself with a golden opportunity to re-assert himself as the starting left back for the Red Bulls
The Red Bulls haven’t won a road game in quite some time. No better time than against your longtime bitter rivals. The Red Bulls will get it done against D.C. and will extend their MLS unbeaten streak to eight and ten matches unbeaten across all completions.