D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls battled their way to a 0-0 draw this evening, inching the Black-and-Red one step closer to a playoff game at Audi Field. The Red Bulls tested United on several occasions, leading Bill Hamid to pull off one of his best saves of the season. There was one piece of bad news, as captain Wayne Rooney earned a suspension for next week’s game after picking up his 5th yellow card of the season.
The first half saw few genuine chances either way, though both teams pushed numbers up trying to carve out a lead. A physical start saw tackles flying in, but not much danger at either end.
After several counter attacks on both ends of the pitch, the Red Bulls tried to establish themselves as the frontrunners. Kyle Duncan picked up the ball and sprinted towards United’s box before finding Daniel Royer and forcing Bill Hamid to step off the line for the dangerous save.
At the other end, United mostly subsisted on some dangerous Wayne Rooney set pieces, with Luis Robles pawing one particularly dangerous one away from the upper corner.
The start of the second half saw United revert to a defensive role as the Red Bulls upped their energy, testing Hamid three times in under one five-minute spell. The first two were easy, but the third, saw Hamid stretch himself to the right, barely tipping Cristian Casseres Jr.’s shot through traffic wide.
At the 75 minute mark, the Red Bulls’ offensive efforts plateaued for a bit, giving way to United to push forward. Lucas Rodriguez used the brief lull to curl a hopeful ball slightly over the bar after decent work from Rooney and Paul Arriola.
In an attempt to win a header over Marc Rzatkowski, Rooney’s arm flailed up and caught the Red Bulls midfielder, resulting in a yellow from referee Ramy Touchan. The captain is now suspended from featuring in next weekend’s fixture against FC Cincinnati due to yellow card accumulation.
The last 10 minutes of the game saw a wave of offensives attacks by the Red Bulls, testing United’s defensive abilities, but the visiting side held off just enough to earn one point away. The draw was enough to keep United in control of their destiny, as Toronto FC’s 2-2 tie against the Chicago Fire helped D.C. retain 4th place.
United will host Cincinnati next Sunday, and a victory will guarantee a home playoff game regardless of other results around the Eastern Conference.
MLS Regular Season (Game 33)
NY Red Bulls 0
D.C. United 0
NYRB (4231): Luis Robles (C); Kyle Duncan, Tim Parker, Aaron Long, Kemar Lawrence; Marc Rzatkowski, Cristian Casseres Jr.; Josh Sims (Omir Fernandez 81), Kaku, Daniel Royer (Alex Muyl 83); Tom Barlow (Bradley Wright-Phillips 75)
DCU (4231): Bill Hamid; Russell Canouse, Frederic Brillant, Steven Birnbaum, Joseph Mora; Felipe, Junior Moreno; Ulises Segura (Quincy Amarikwa 67), Paul Arriola, Lucas Rodriguez (Leonardo Jara 94+); Wayne Rooney (C) (Luciano Acosta 90)
NYRB - Casseres Jr. 33
DCU - Rooney 77