D.C. United will hope to continue the theme of handing New York teams heartbreaking losses tonight at RFK Stadium as they host Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls. The Black-and-Red is looking to build on last Saturday night's 3-0 success at Toronto FC and vault into second place in the Eastern Conference with a win.
New York Red Bulls (2-1-2) at D.C. United (2-2-1)
Time: 8:00 p.m., Thursday, April 21
Place: RFK Stadium, Washington D.C.
Team News and Tactics
D.C. United: Ben Olsen is expected to hand Charlie Davies a second consecutive start up front after Davies scored United's second goal (and his league-leading 5th of the season) in Saturday's whitewash against Toronto FC. Perry Kitchen (stomach flu) appears well enough to return to the starting lineup after playing 26 uneventful minutes as a substitute last Saturday, while Santino Quaranta is eligible to return to the line-up after serving his one-game suspension for getting sent off on April 9 against Los Angeles. If Ben Olsen does ring these changes, look for Kitchen to take the place of Ethan White in central defense, while Fred should make way for Quaranta on the right side of midfield. Otherwise, don't look for Olsen to deviate from the 4-4-2 formation that was so successful for United on Saturday.
New York: Hans Backe has vouched for the fitness of both Henry and left-sided midfielder Joel Lindpere, so it seems very likely that the Red Bulls will name an unchanged starting eleven from the side that beat San Jose 3-0 on Saturday. The Red Bulls have had great success so far this season with strikers Henry and Luke Rodgers (as well as Juan Agudelo off the bench) leading the line in front of a midfield diamond, with Dwayne De Rosario pushing forward in attack, Lindpere and Dane Richards providing pace from the wings, and Teemu Tainio performing the holding role in front of the Red Bulls back four.
Key to the Game
Start Well: While it's not likely that United will match last Saturday's start, when they were 2-up inside ten minutes, it is vital that United give as good as they get in the early stages when it comes to attacking the goal. Remember, New York was 2-up inside 15 minutes against San Jose.