DC UNITED - NEW YORK RED BULLS
I expect United to put in a big title challenge this season and a return to their form of 2006 and 2007, when they finished first in the East and won the MLS Supporters' Shield. Last year they missed out on the playoffs totally, but I think that much of that was because they were competing in far too many competitions and the number of games finally caught up with them, although they did win the US Open Cup.
This time round they have been playing well, but perhaps not collecting the number of points they have deserved. They have a 3-7-2 record, so far too many draws and arrive here on the back of only their second defeat of the season at New England. A game that was perhaps something of a microcosm of their season, they dominated the first half, hit the post twice, took the lead, missed any number of chances and then let things slip after the break. The game was heading towards another stalemate, before New England were awarded a hotly disputed injury time penalty. I watched the highlights this morning and maybe one referee in 25 would have awarded the spot kick, unfortunately for DC, he was the one in charge of this game !
That loss hurt United and they are eager to bounce back today against one of their favourite opponents. The Red Bulls are holding up the rest of the East and have been dire on the road, failing to score a single goal in five starts, collecting just one point. The clubs have already met twice this season, DC winning the reverse league fixture 3-2 in New York and despite fielding a weakened team, taking a US Open cup game 5-3 at RFK Stadium, just a few weeks ago. They raced into a 4-0 lead inside 30 minutes that night, before going into cruise mode, I do not expect it to be so easy this evening, but do feel that United will win.
Three points will see them close to within two of Chicago Fire, whom they host in their next start, at the top of the East and that will nicely set up the second half of the season. They are creating plenty of chances, only Ben Olsen is on the injury list and with a little more good fortune up front, should score enough to hand the short handed Red Bulls another road loss.
6.5 points DC United -3/4 ball 2.13 asian line.Good Luck.