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New York Red Bulls vs. DC United Preview

Make it like last year, boys.
Make it like last year, boys.

New York Red Bulls vs. Pure Evil
Sunday, April 22, 6:00 PM EDT
The Black Hole of Washington
Moving Picture Box Coverage: ESPN 2,, ESPN Deportes
SBN Satanism: Black and Red United

After a week of controversy centered on Rafael Marquez, the New York Red Bulls are back in action today as they play an actual football match, and it is an important one. The team is down in the swampland of Washington, D.C. to take on The Great Satan, DC United. Some unexpected results last night mean that the Red Bulls can move up to fourth in the overall table with a win, and stretch the gap over the marsh-dwellers to four points, with a game in hand.

The Red Bulls' last two visits to that dilapidated excuse for a stadium named after a politician who would be ashamed that his name is being sullied by association with it have yielded six goals and as many points, after a run of four years and ten games without a win in the malaria-ridden swamp. Sadly, the mud-clad hovel-dwellers inflicted a stinging defeat upon New York at our glorious arena thanks to a goal from that Canadian Benedict Arnold, Dwayne De Rosario.*

This year, we face the neanderthal hovel-dwellers three times, which will give Thierry Henry & company a further opportunity to strike blows for the cause of Justice, Truth, Righteousness, and Proper Sanitation. The first Battle Against Evil is this evening, when darkening skies over the nation's foremost hell-hole will provide the backdrop as New York attempts to record an unprecedented third straight win in the swamp.

The team news that everyone has been talking about is Márquez's three-game suspension -- enough has been written about this here and elsewhere, but I hope that we can get back to supporting him when he returns to the team. Roy Miller, Teemu Tainio, and Wilman Conde are all out, while Juan Agudelo has a sprained mohawk.

The Red Bulls' starting XI will probably be similar to last week, with Connor Lade coming in for Miller and Pálsson replacing Márquez. It will probably be, as has happened so many times in the last season and a bit, a question of trying to keep the opposition at bay while Henry attempts to score enough down the other end to make up for the inevitable defensive calamities.

On a brief serious note, this is a pretty important game for the Red Bulls, who seem to be a couple of bad results away from a CRISIS at any time. DC are hot on our heels in the East, and with Sporting KC opening up a huge gap at the top of the conference, we need to take every possible opportunity to reduce our deficit.

We'll have a match thread going later for our fine readership (that's you). Here's to a fun game with Good triumphant over Evil.

*I know we traded him, just play along.