While New York Red Bulls would like to see some increased production produce more victories, banged-up D.C. United simply needs a win at the moment.
United looks to avoid a third straight defeat when they visit Red Bull Arena on Wednesday night.
D.C. (1-4-3) has been bothered by various injuries, and lately an offense that’s managed just two goals in its last four official contests. Justin Gressel finally scored his first goal with United on Saturday at Philadelphia, but that was after it was already trailing 4-0 at the time. D.C. lost the match by a 4-1 scoreline.
It’s 0-2-1 since the resumption of the regular season, and is dealing with injuries to winger Paul Arriola (knee), forward Edison Flores (facial fractures) and defenders Steven Birnbaum (bone bruise), Frederic Brillant (ankle) and Russell Canouse (hamstring). It’s also uncertain if goalkeeper Bill Hamid will be back in net after he did not travel with the club, due to personal reasons, to Philadelphia.
“I don’t care necessarily about the personnel,” D.C. coach Ben Olsen, whose club’s lone victory came against Inter Miami on March 7, told The Washington Post. “We could’ve made it much more difficult on them.”
D.C. has not made things particularly tough in recent meetings with Red Bulls, who are amid a 5-0-5 stretch in this series.
New York (3-3-2) returned from the MLS is Back Tournament to record a 1-0 win over rival New York City FC. However, Red Bulls followed with a 1-0 loss at Philadelphia then played New England to a 1-1 draw over the weekend.
In that most recent match, New York started seven players age 25 or under. In part because the schedule has been tight of late, but also to showcase some impressive young talent. That includes homegrown Omir Fernandez, who opened the scoring in the 35th minute.
While the promise seems there for Red Bulls, the reality is that the club has posted just two goals over their last five official matches. The club’s starting XI remains uncertain.
“We’re going to keep pushing them in the final round,” New York coach Chris Armas told the official MLS website. “Can we get more plays right? Can we get a few more of these transition moments right? So, it’s not one goal on the night of 10 shots whatever it is.
“If you went around the field a bit, you’d understand how proud we are of that effort to get a hard-fought point against a good team.”
Six different players have scored seven of New York’s official goals in 2020