A bad game away to Sporting Kansas City is understandable, and was nothing to fret about. This performance at home, against the New York Red Bulls, however? Well, this is a bit more worrying, and looking like part of a pattern. D.C. United didn't appear to benefit from a week off at all and were poor in a 2-0 loss to their biggest rivals at RFK Stadium.
Both teams failed to create chances in the early going while they felt each other out, but things started to heat up around the 25th minute. United looked to be coming into the game, but had their gameplan undone in the 29th minute when Thierry Henry struck from distance to put New York ahead. Dax McCarty provided the assist dribbling forward and faking a shot before laying off to his left for Henry. Chris Korb failed to close down the Red Bulls captain and he unleashed a low shot from 20 yards that skipped in front of Bill Hamid before bouncing past him into the back of the net.
Things got worse quickly for the Black and Red. Tim Cahill should have scored in the 35th minute when Henry found him with a cross, but he directed a header right at Hamid. That was a sign of things to come, as the Red Bulls found their second goal just one minute later. Off a corner, Brandon Barklage connected with a cross by Juninho, but failed to direct it towards net. Instead, he found Jamison Olave, though the Red Bulls defender never saw the ball. It didn't matter, as it took a wicked deflection off him and into the goal, and he took the credit.
At halftime, Dwayne De Rosario came on to replace the relatively ineffective Rafael, though his presence made little difference. With a two goal lead, New York sat back a bit in the second half, preferring to attack on the counter and allow D.C. to have a bit of possession. Against an opponent sitting back with a lead, United predictably struggled to attack. Their best chances in the second half were on a couple of direct free kicks that went close, and they only managed a pair of decent half-chances from open play. Henry had the best chance of an uneventful second half, hitting the post in the 80th minute.
That was gross, and I'm sure we'll dedicate plenty of time this week to talking about how gross it was.