It's hard to believe that, on the same coast that saw 90-degree temperatures this week, less than a month ago, it was snowing. The date was March 16, and it was Rivalry Week in MLS. D.C. United traveled up I-95 to pay a visit to their oldest and fiercest rivals, the New York Red Bulls for a match to be broadcast on NBC. As if to force the Metros to make amends for refusing to play in the snow during last season's playoff series (we all know how that ended up), flurries grew into full on snow over the course of the afternoon. Despite the eventual 0-0 draw, the match did not disappoint the national television audience, as two Fabian Espindola shots hit the woodwork and Bill Hamid saved an "is it or isn't it" ball off the line late to seal the result.
United fans, on the other hand, had some reason to be a bit nervous of the performance. Sure we saw a resolute showing from the defense and - in particular - from goalkeeper Bill Hamid, whose performance yielded two nominations for MLS Save of the Week from this game (but inexplicably failed to beat a very good, but not unbelievable, save from former teammate Troy Perkins in the award voting). But we also saw United's players fail to maintain possession or create enough in the attack to give themselves a chance to win, instead resigning to one-way traffic aimed at Hamid's goal.
The match was the one time United went on the road this season and got a result, gritting out the scoreless draw despite heavy late pressure from the hosts, something they couldn't do last week in Kansas City or in the season opener in Houston. Luckily, this game is back at RFK, where the Black-and-Red have lost only once in the last calendar year. (Granted, it was in the last game, but the stat still stands!)
What was your biggest takeaway from the match at RBA, and do you think United will improve this week? Holler back in the comments.