Red Bulls-United Preview


After splitting two difficult matches on the road, D.C. United has designs on extending its home winning streak and building its lead atop the Eastern Conference.

The New York Red Bulls remain in a crowded race for a playoff spot despite going winless on the road since early June.

D.C. United will try to win its fifth straight at RFK Stadium across all competitions while pushing New York's road winless stretch to five Saturday when the clubs renew their Atlantic Cup rivalry.

United (13-8-4) came away from its tough road matchups still on top in the East following a crucial 3-0 victory at Sporting Kansas City on Aug. 23 before falling 4-1 at Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Now D.C. should feel confident about extending its advantage back home, where it has outscored opponents 11-3 while going 4-0 - including one in Champions League play - since a 1-0 defeat versus Seattle on June 28.

United hasn't won five in a row at home across all competitions since a stretch in 2012 in which it claimed seven consecutive MLS victories with a loss in U.S. Open Cup play in between.

D.C. has been particularly efficient on the attack with 10 goals in its last three league home wins. Luis Silva has three goals during this stretch, while Chris Rolfe and Eddie Johnson have two apiece.

Johnson, who returned Wednesday after serving a two-match suspension, has scored in his last three home matches. He provided the winner in a 1-0 victory over Waterhouse in Champions League action Aug. 20.

United won the first meeting with New York 1-0 on April 12 on Davy Arnaud's fourth-minute goal. Arnaud and Rolfe should be well rested for this one after sitting out against the Galaxy.

"It's a big game, you know? Not just the rivalry, but anytime you come off of a big loss like we just had, it's very important to go out and play well," captain Bobby Boswell told the team's official website.

New York (7-7-10) is hoping to solidify its position in a seven-team fight for the final three postseason spots, though it's 0-2-2 on the road since a 2-0 win at New England on June 8.

The Red Bulls have won three of their last four across all competitions following Tuesday's 2-0 victory over FAS in Champions League play and a 4-2 victory over last-place Montreal on Aug. 23.

Thierry Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips each finished with two goals against the Impact as Wright-Phillips broke Juan Pablo Angel's club record with his MLS-leading 20th goal.

"The thing that goes unnoticed about Bradley are the little things," coach Mike Petke said. "His positioning, the way he moves, him cleaning up his first touch, which six, seven, eight months ago it was lacking."

Henry has scored just one of his seven tallies on the road, but he has four in six career games against D.C.