The day finally came. The day when the final match of the regular season came down to the final ninety minutes of a building that is being ready to meet it’s maker as the Wrecking ball will finally be driven over and swinging for a home run as Robert F. Kennedy Stadium will no longer be in use by DC United.
The New York Red Bulls who were rightfully designated as the final opponent in the 2017 regular season for DC United gave a big “L” as they were down a goal at half, then scored two of their own to earn a come from behind victory as they left a stinging feeling around our Nation’s Capital.
As the Red Bulls were down a goal to begin the second half you saw them attacking with purpose and finding ways to get to the net. It was a wonderful moment seeing both Michael Murillo and Muhamed Keita working with each other to create the goal.
Twice they played the give and go with each other and when Murillo got the ball back he was able to chip it over Steve Clark and it gently bounced in for the equalizer in the 67th minute.
Then the man who would make a huge comeback in his MLS career is Argentine Designated Player in Gonzalo Veron as he found a way to nudge the ball past Clark for the lead in the 75th minute.
Vincent Bezecourt controlled the ball while being marked. He saw Alex Muyl make a run so he backheeled it to Muyl who grabbed control and then crossed the ball to the other side of the area when Veron found a way to convert his sixth of the season.
But Veron’s tally came after DC United went down to ten men as Luciano Acosta was shown a straight red card as he felt Muyl’s challenge from behind and then with a hard toe poke caught Muyl on his left side.
The match didn’t begin well for the Red Bulls as they avoided every single chance DC United threw at them. Either it was a save by Luis Robles or the shot was going wide of the post or over the crossbar.
But in the 44th minute a poor defensive effort broke down the Red Bulls defense and Paul Arriola converted a nasty rip that floundered Robles for the lead. A good cross from Acosta finding Arriola for his first MLS goal since transferring over from Xolos in Liga MX.
After the final Whistle blew to end the match and end the existence of RFK Stadium, Jesse Marsch spoke to the traveling New York Media about his thoughts on the match.
“We knew when you play DC that they were going to be physical. Some of it was cheap shots and I felt like the refs wanted to keep their cards in their pockets, but we had a game to play, not DC United. ” said Marsch.
“I felt like the job should've been to protect our guys a little more with something to play for than to allow the game to get out of hand. I don’t think it was handled well. But in the end what I was really happy with which our first half was terrible at every level.
Our second half we responded and I challenged the guys at halftime and they responded and after the opening whistle (of the second half) we looked different. I try to remind them that’s how we half to look aggressive.”
But at the end of the day it was victory for New York’s Red & White as they move on to travel and face the Chicago Fire on Wednesday, October 25th in the Wild Card Round.
But let me allow all of you to remind yourselves why your real rivals in MLS are the ones who play in our nation’s capital and pull off a huge win against this team that wears black and red.