On Sunday October 22nd the New York Red Bulls traveled down to our nation’s capital to take on their historic and forever rivals in DC United as they took a two goals to one victory that sealed the deal in the history books the last result ever in the glorified twenty two year history between these two rivals that began in 1996.ke on their historic and forever rivals in DC United as they took a t
The very first time these two decided to make it a real rivalry was at the first match in RFK when you saw Jeff Agoos, John Harkes, Marco Etechverry, Raul Diaz Arce & Jaime Moreno taking on Giovanni Savarese, Tab Ramos, Roberto Donadoni, Tony Meola and Rhett Harty have a shoving match after a hard foul was given from the DC side.
Since then every single time these two sides would meet up, the tension and the passion would get pass 100% on the field and in the stands as both sides were always ready to get physical and the quality of the goals being scored would reach that same intensity.
But there have been some memoriable matches for the Red Bulls at RFK Stadium that I can remember when these two sides battled at the old history donut two sport stadium that won’t be in use anymore in a professional setting.
But I can remember some of the great victories for this side when playing at RFK and some were just a thing of beauty. Everyone remember back on April 2, 2011 for an early season meeting and Thierry Henry opened the scoring with a two goal game along with a wonder goal by Juan Agudelo to finish off the night for a 4-0 thrashing.
Or how about late dramatics by a Colombian defender in Wilman Conde who served a wicked ball that screamed into the upper ninety to salvage a point after being down a goal. I remembered that watch party in Hoboken, NJ on the park pier as the entire gathering erupted with glee.
But nothing screams like revenge when the Red Bulls finally got revenge in the playoffs going the first five series with nothing to show for it. Until the 2014 playoffs when the Red Bulls attacked DC United for a two goal lead at home in the first leg.
But this was the first year that MLS implemented the away goals rule in the playoffs and this was the away goal heard around the league. Even though they were down a goal, but up on the aggregate, it was a fantastic cross by Thierry Henry who found Peguy Luyindula who struck the ball with his right knee and beat Bill Hamid that silenced the stadium.
But a return to RFK in 2015 saw a scoreless first leg, became scoreless no more when first year Captain Dax McCarty took advantage of a backline that wasn’t ensnyc and scored a diving header to take the lead and the away goal after Sacha Kljestan delivered a beautiful ball
Once again silence came to RFK as the Red Bulls took their advantage home and held off a relentless attacking DC side and won it late with a Bradley Wright-Phillips tally in 2nd half stoppage time.
But think about this for a moment. The final game at RFK Stadium where the Red Bulls needed three points to improve their rankings for the possibility of hosting the MLS Cup Final and majority of the big guns stayed back.
This match was won without the services of Bradley Wright-Phillips, Sacha Kljestan, Daniel Royer, Damien Perrinelle, and having both Sean Davis & Tyler Adams on the bench as Luis Robles, Gonzalo Veron & Kemar Lawrence were the only starters to be used for this one.
That is an amazing victory to not only beat DC United’s starters, but to disappoint over 41,000 plus who came to the final game, end any possible momentum to being 2018 as well as taking home the 2017 Atlantic Cup trophy.
So that Sunday is the best day in my opinion this Red Bulls side ever showed was getting three points while keeping the big boys back home to rest up and prepare for the Wild Card Playoff game at the Chicago Fire.
So that’s it for the last of the MLS 1.0 Stadiums and the last of the old two sport donut stadiums that are in the sky, RFK Stadiums last DC United home match will have a big L in their records and it was done by the New York Red Bulls.