Red Bulls get first home win of the season beating D.C. United 4-1

Red Bulls D.C. United

Four second-half goals, including two stunners give the Red Bulls their first home win of the season, 4-1 winners versus D.C. United. The first half was very lax and a bit of a snoozer. But the second half was amazing, Luquinhas got the goal-fest started with a tap-in. Then added a Goal of the Year volley for his second of the match. Lewis Morgan added a third with another incredible volley, Ola Kamara would get one back. But a Tony Alfaro own goal sealed this one, a 4-1 result for the Red Bulls just before the international break.

Red Bulls get first home win of the season beating D.C. United 4-1

Team News

New York name a strong lineup similar to the one that beat Charlotte FC on Wednesday in the Open Cup. John Tolkin returns after missing the last few league games with health and safety protocols. Frankie Amaya and Cristian Casseres Jr anchor the midfield. Luquinhas is up in attack alongside Patryk Klimala and Lewis Morgan.

Taxiarchis Fountas is out, and isn’t in the eighteen. D.C. United will rely on Michael Estrada, Edison Flores and Nigel Robertha as the attacking unit. Julian Gressel is the main threat on the flank, opposite Brad Smith. Veteran striker Ola Kamara is an option off the bench.

Red Bulls lineup (3-4-3): Carlos Coronel; Tom Edwards, Sean Nealis, Aaron Long; John Tolkin, Frankie Amaya, Cristian Casseres Jr, Dylan Nealis; Lewis Morgan, Luquinhas, Patryk Klimala

New York subs: Ryan Meara, Jason Pendant, Caden Clark, Dru Yearwood, Daniel Edelman, Omir Fernandez, Tom Barlow

DC United lineup (3-4-3): Bill Hamid; Donovan Pines, (C) Steve Birnbaum, Brendan Hines-Ike; Brad Smith, Sofiane Djeffal, Russell Canouse, Julian Gressel; Edison Flores, Michael Estrada, Nigel Robertha

United subs: Rafael Romo, Tony Alfaro, Christopher Durkin, Drew Skundrich, Theodore Ku-DiPietro, Ola Kamara, Kimarni Smith, Jackson Hopkins, Griffin Yow

First Half: A stalemate in the opening 45 minutes

Given this is one of the longest-running rivalry games in the league, it’s typical that it’d be a tight contest. And that’s what it was in the first half, with both teams barely getting a clean look at goal. There were multiple stoppages due to some fouls, two yellow cards to D.C. United players. The way side were also forced into an early change after Smith pulled up lame, Christopher Durkin replaced him before 20 minutes. At times, it looked as though there was only one team out there playing. If you’re a fan of the classic PlayStation 2 soccer game – FIFA Street – you’ll definitely love the John Tolkin nutmeg he made.

D.C. United only mustered one chance in the opening 45 minute, a header from a set-piece that went over the bar. New York didn’t generate much more, with only three shots in the first half, two on target. Lewis Morgan looked to have a clean chance at goal. He was through on goal off a nice pass by Klimala, with only the keeper to but didn’t shoot. It summed up a rather timid half for both teams.

Second Half: Three goals, two stunners give Red Bulls first home win of the season

Omir Fernandez came into the game to start the half for Aaron Long. The Red Bulls on their Twitter labeled it as “not an injury-related substitution” as the international break quickly looms. Gressel had a great opportunity to put the visitors into the lead with a darting run, went around the keeper but placed the ball into the side of the net.

Minutes later, the Red Bulls would take the lead with Luquinhas in the 54th minute. After a series of shots hit Hamid, he could only parry it onto the path of the Brazilian, who slotted it home for the opener. It’s his third goal of the league campaign. Just four minutes later, a stunner. Luquinhas would double his tally with a sliding volley into the upper corner, leaving Bill Hamid only to look in amazement. It’s now the Brazilian’s fourth league goal, his first league brace and a Goal to the Year contender.

However, there was more in the form of a third goal. From a corner kick, the ball fell to Morgan who also launched a clean volley to make it three. Another Goal of the Season contender, and Morgan’s club-leading sixth goal of the season.

D.C. United would get one back in the 88th minute. Ola Kamara came on in the second half and lashed one past Coronel from the service of Gressel to make it 3-1. The Norwegian’s sixth goal of the season. However, any sign of a comeback would be extinguished after a Tony Alfaro own goal making it 4-1.

Three Takeaways from New York Red Bulls vs D.C. United

Red Bulls’ second half blitz. You would’ve never thought the Red Bulls would lay a beatdown on their fierce rivals after a pedestrian first half. Three shots in the opening 45, 10 shots in the second half. Six of those on target, three goals, two stunners. Luquinhas showed his quality, Morgan added to it and it was smooth sailing from there. It took a while, but the Red Bulls fully deserved three points, and are finally on the win column at home.

D.C. United are going nowhere fast. Second time in two meetings to lose by three goals to the Red Bulls. Chad Ashton has a lot of work to do to get this team firing in any sort of positive fashion. They’ve now conceded at least two goals in their last five games in all competitions. It’s getting late early for this squad.

A new position for Caden Clark? It was interesting seeing Klimala subbed out for Clark, but it was more intriguing seeing the American as a false-9. He used his movement and touches to get others involved and it worked well. He was the catalyst for the forth goal, and now that he’s back, we’ll be seeing more of him after the international break.

New York Bulls vs DC United
Credit Image: Juan M Pena, La Pelota Media