Fans of both teams will tell you that any game between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls is important. For United, the rivalry aspect is just one angle that makes getting a win today so vital. Orlando City’s draw last night has pushed the Black-and-Red back into 7th place, so getting back into a playoff position is obviously a factor. There’s also the weight the club put on this four-game stint at home; getting just one win in that span would feel like a failure.
And finally, there’s the upcoming schedule: United faces three games in six days, which is preposterous at any time of year - research has clearly shown players need at least three rest days between games to function anywhere near their best - but is doubly so deep in a hot, humid August. Much has been made of this being a four games in twelve days stretch, but the front end is the real problem. This will be United’s last chance to have their best players on the field with reasonably fresh legs until September 11th’s game against these same Red Bulls.
In other words, this game would be critical against Vancouver, or Colorado, or any non-rival team. The fact that it’s against United’s oldest and most hated foe just makes it that much more of an occasion.
Location: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium (Washington, DC)
Kickoff time: 3:00pm Eastern
Available TV: ESPN (English), ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Available streaming: WatchESPN (English)
For listings in other countries, check out LiveSoccerTV.com.
Our gamethread will be posted one hour before kickoff.