The Atlantic Cup is firmly in the grasp of the New York Red Bulls. Winning two of the first three matches has already proven that the title is staying at Red Bull Arena for another year, but that doesn’t mean DC United are not looking for revenge.
We all know that since Wayne Rooney has arrived to our Nation’s Capital he has done everything right and he has elevated everyone’s game around him to make that push towards a playoff spot to knock off one of the lower six sides that are trying to hang on.
But this rivalry means something more and so far Rooney has had the bitter taste of defeat as a substitute on the night that Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 100th career league goal and then as a starter when Kaku buried his chance at Red Bull Arena.
And now the final game of Hate DC Week is upon us as these two sides will be battling for the points as one side is still climbing over the playoff line and the other is trying to separate themselves from Atlanta United for the top spot in the East and the Shield.
“There is a lot of different side narratives out there but for us where we are at in the season. The Atlantic Cup we’ve already won it, when you look at the supporters shield race they are next in front of us.” Said Luis Robles.
“They are standing in our way fighting for three points. We know them very well because we’ve played them recently, but as you can see they are rejuvenated and showing new spirt as they are able to create and have attacking pieces to go forward.”
Tyler Adams is coming off a great victory against Mexico when he was playing during the international break. Scored the match winner from a long run where he got to a Antonee Robinson cross and hit it towards the inside of the back post.
“Yeah. A big rivalry it’s my first sniff at things, but an experience at these things to say the least, the goal is the cherry on top for me. It’s just for my family to come down and watch this it was a special night in general.” said Adams.
“I just felt that a trailing run like that is usually a hard one for a midfielder to pick up. If I’m defending a midfielder like that I don’t want to make that recovering run and try to mark him, I know if I could get in front of them making that 40yd run and get it behind them I could be able to convert it.”
Can he translate that match back into a club rivalry such as this.
“They are pushing for a playoff spot and it’s not a surprise at how they are playing. They had a good result against Minnesota, so every time we play them they are on a hot streak, so we will be ready to go because we want to go after the shield and MLS Cup.”
For head coach Chris Armas he is very aware at how DC United has been playing and the automatic impact that Wayne Rooney already put on their opponents as Asad, Acosta, Arriola are able to contribute and not be the focal point for the club.
“It will be a tough game. Every road game is difficult, every home game is difficult. We all know that playing a good team away from home is one of our fiercest rivals historically. We just had this discussion a few weeks ago, so I won’t have to discuss it too much.” said Armas.
“The guys are the ones that have to go out there and see what it feels like. We just had two hard games against them and they were very tough against DC, we are going to get the best version of them and the most confident. We will be ready to go.”
Now on a fun note. On Wednesday night Red bulls Goalkeeper and Captain Luis Robles made his debut as a male runway model at New York Fashion Week, as he was seen wearing a gray jacket with knee low pants and holding a soccer ball.
For Robles this could be a career in the fashion industry if he does choose to retire from the game. But this coming Sunday Afternoon the Red Bulls will continue to chase after the supporters shield and try to separate themselves from Atlanta United .