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New York Red Bulls vs. DC United: Recap & Reaction

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Brandon Barklage is awesome.
Brandon Barklage is awesome.

Two first-half goals from Brandon Barklage and a second-half strike from Jan Gunnar Solli moved the New York Red Bulls level with DC United on points atop the Eastern Conference after a 3-2 win over The Great Satan.

The Red Bulls were clearly the better side for the first hour of the match, and probably could have been ahead by more than just a single goal at halftime considering the number of chances they created. The midfield kept the ball well and won it back quickly, denying DC time to build attacks or time with possession. New York's wide play was also very impressive, and although Kenny Cooper wasn't his clinical self in front of goal, his interplay with Mehdi Ballouchy and the rest of the midfield was excellent. Ballouchy and Dax McCarty deserve particular praise for commanding the center of the park and building New York's attacks.

The Red Bulls defense was quite good in spite of conceding twice; the first goal was a bit of a fluke as New York were caught cold in the opening minute, and the second was very narrowly offside. Brandon Barklage was the surprise man of the match, but Heath Pearce and the returning Rafael Márquez were also both very impressive in the defense.

DC still hold a two-goal edge on goal difference, but we have a game in hand on the Devil. The next game for New York is a visit to cellar-dwelling Toronto FC next Saturday night.