Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. New York Red Bulls
Venue: RFK Stadium – Sunday, August 21 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST)
Match Odds: DC United 17/10 – Draw 23/10 – NY Red Bulls 29/20
DC United host Eastern Conference enemies New York Red Bulls on Sunday night in the latest Atlantic Cup rivalry clash, with both teams looking to extend unbeaten streaks in what should be a hard-fought contest.
DC have gone three games without defeat and will fancy their chances of beating their rivals on home soil for the second time this season when the two sides do battle on Sunday.
Ben Olsen’s men are sitting in sixth place in the East heading into the weekend, only just holding on to a playoff place, so they know it’s imperative they continue to pick up points over the remaining weeks of the regular season.
A win on Sunday would see DC record back-to-back wins over the Red Bulls for the first time in two years. They have only won one of their last six against Sunday’s visitors, including postseason results.
The Red Bulls might be the away side but they are a strong force and will expect to avoid defeat in what is a huge clash. They are just two points off the top of the East heading into the weekend and are currently unbeaten in seven regular season outings.
Jesse Marsch’s side are looking poised for a strong finish to the season, with a deep playoff run the ambition for a squad that’s scoring freely of late, netting 15 in their last six.
New York Red Bulls have won the Atlantic Cup series in four of their last six seasons but need to avoid defeat here to stand any chance of claiming an eighth series win. DC United have won 13 Atlantic Cup series since 1996.
These two sides will meet at Red Bull Arena in three weeks’ time, but all eyes will be on the battle at RFK Stadium this weekend, as these two long-standing enemies go to battle for the 52nd time.
DC United are without five first-team players through injury ahead of Sunday’s game. Chris Korb, Collin Martin, Chris Rolfe, Alhaji Kamara and Charlie Horton will all miss out, while Lamar Neagle is a doubt with a hamstring problem. Former Red Bull Lloyd Sam is set to lineup against his former teammates in what is sure to be a strange afternoon for the winger.
New York Red Bulls have four injuries to worry about themselves, with Dax McCarty, Gideon Baah, Connor Lade and Damien Perrinelle all sidelined. Sean Davis is expected to line up in midfield again, having scored two in his last two.
DC United’s last five: D/L/D/D/W
New York Red Bulls’ last five: D/W/D/D/W
Key Stat: DC United are unbeaten at home to the Red Bulls in four regular season outings, keeping a clean sheet in three of those games (W3 D1).
Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls forward became the club’s all-time leading MLS regular season goalscorer with his brace against Montreal last weekend. He has now scored 59 regular season goals in 98 appearances and has a fine record against DC United. He will look to fire the Red Bulls to another victory on Sunday afternoon.
DC United 1-1 New York Red Bulls – DC have proven tough to break down in recent weeks, going unbeaten through their last three. They will expect home advantage to count here against their fierce rivals but the Red Bulls will be confident of sealing a result as they look to keep their unbeaten run going. A tight contest is expected, with a score draw looking the most likely result.