The New York Red Bulls lost 4-1 to DC United on Sunday evening after a pathetic performance lacking in passion, ingenuity, and quality. The Red Bulls' defense was repeatedly exposed by a mediocre D.C. United attack that looked far more interested in winning the match than New York. Aside from the goals, which were mainly due to defensive errors, DC created little in the first half, and the Red Bulls barely mustered a shot on target.
United looked better after the interval, and could easily have won by seven or eight if not for wayward finishing and a few good saves by Ryan Meara. Markus Holgersson was particularly exposed in the New York backline, while Victor Pálsson showed little of the defensive nous that he was supposed to bring to the Red Bulls. Connor Lade, a rookie making his first start for the Red Bulls, looked like a rookie, while neither Stephen Keel nor Tyler Ruthven were at all impressive on the other side of the defense. Kenny Cooper spurned a few half-chances, and Thierry Henry scored the only goal for New York -- a lovely free kick that rose over the wall and then dipped quickly to beat Joe Willis.
Overall, the Red Bulls didn't look like a team that was up for a fight in a big derby game. They meandered along and allowed DC to pummel them for almost the entire match. It was an unacceptably bad performance by a group of players who should surely be able to do better.
Next up for New York is a home match against New England. They must bounce back.