The New York Red Bulls kick off a lengthy run of games at home - six of the next eight they will play in MLS - after a bruising opening stretch of four away-days in their first six matches of the 2017 league campaign. The team is winless in its last four, of which the only one at home yielded a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake. RBNY, clearly, would like to get back to talking about what went right after a game, rather than revisit the usual post-match comments ("we lacked sharpness", "trust the process", "still early in the year') when things don't go to plan.
D.C. United knows the value of playing at home: it just shrugged off a slow start with back-to-back wins at RFK. But DCU played four of its first five games of 2017 in its home stadium, and only recently found ways to win. Its challenge is to use recent momentum to find points on the road, as it must now play three consecutive away matches in MLS.
DC head coach Ben Olsen encourages his players to make themselves difficult opponents. Throw in the rivalry between DCU and RBNY and this can be expected to be a scrappy, physical game. That might suit the Red Bulls, whose style of play is not predicated on long spells of possession. DC should also be happy enough to settle into the counter-attacking game-plan that most teams in MLS have come to realize is the most effective way to neutralize RBNY's high-pressing preference.
This will be RBNY's third home game of 2017 (two in MLS, one in CONCACAF Champions League), but its first against an opponent from the Eastern Conference - and a long-standing rival. Per our friends at TicketIQ, mid-week demand on the secondary market for this game was relatively flat: $57 average ticket price; $13 for the cheapest seats - in line with pricing for DC's last three visits to Red Bull Arena. A healthy number of tickets available on the secondary market - about 3,500 in mid-week - would suggest any spur-of-the-moment decision to attend the game will be easily accommodated.
Per livesoccertv.com, here's where to find the game: