Johnson: Red Bulls stampede United

Johnson: Red Bulls stampede United
April 22, 2011, 2:08 am
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Thursday, April 21, 2011 10:10 p.m.


By Dave Johnson
CSNwashington.comWashington -- The DC United-New York big game feel was back. Thursdays encounter before a national TV audience and 18,052 fans at RFK Stadium triggered memories of the days when the New York team was known as the MetroStars.With first place in Major League Soccers Eastern Conference up for grabs, the Red Bulls seized the moment in a 4-0 win over United. Thierry Henry, who until last week had not scored in 684 minutes, scored on his first two shots of the match to lead the Red Bulls.Midfielder Joel Lindpere effectively sealed the game for the Red Bulls on a breakaway goal in the 76th minute. United was pressing the issue with only three defenders and that left Lindpere free to streak from the center line to the penalty area for a finish from 10-yards out.With United eager to reward its vocal supporters with a goal, the Black and Red were exposed once more on the counter-attack in stoppage time. U.S. National Team sensation Juan Argudelo closed the scoring on a Jan Gunnar Solli cross.Sollis surges from his right back position created havoc for United all night. Just 9 minutes in, Henry opened the scoring on a piercing header from 10 yards out off a Solli cross. Solli had overlapped the right wing and tracked on to a perfectly played ball from midfielder Dane Richards.The Red Bulls trio weaved more magic in the 38th minute when Solli again ventured forward from his right back position. Solli streaked to near the 6-yard box and received a pass from Richards that had been looped over the head of United defender Marc Burch.With Burch pressuring, Solli then cut back a pass to the middle of the penalty area. Henry stormed in and blasted a shot past United goalkeeper Bill Hamid from 8-yards out. Henry served as the exclamation mark on a Red Bulls attack that had more shots, 6-2, in the first half but less possession.Indeed United had a 60-40 advantage in possession in the first 45 minutes, but failed to seriously threaten. Forward Charlie Davies electrified the home supporters when he got on to a Josh Wolff through ball in the 22nd minute, but his first touch failed him just inside the penalty area.Less than three minutes later there was hope for United on a Dax McCarty free kick outside the area on the right flank. McCartys well placed ball sailed through the 6-yard box, but two United players missed headers and then Chris Pontius missed on a volley attempt.To start the second half United turned to midfielder Branko Boskovic to provide a spark. Boskovic replaced McCarty and did not disappoint. Boskovic created chances with dipping crosses and promising free kicks.In the 73rd minute a Boskovic free kick from 30 yards out ricocheted off the crossbar. In the 89th minute Boskovic was frustrated again by a shot from 15 yards out that went off the goalpost. Still it was Boskovics best showing of the season as he presses for selection in the first team.Uniteds chances were better in the second half, but could not prevent the team from suffering its first shutout of the season. United had entered the game tied for most goals in the league, but ran into a Red Bulls side that put on by far its best display of the season.