It looks like we’ve been here before. It really isn’t that far away as about a month ago it was after the bye week in the middle of March that the Red Bulls played against DC United in the home opener and converted twice for their first win of the season.
Now we have the same scenario with this game against DC but this time the Red Bulls are playing it in our Nation’s Capital at RFK Stadium and the Red Bulls know that the team in Black is looking for revenge at home.
“It’s always the same with DC United, it’s never easy,” said Dax McCarty, “We always go down to DC with a mentality that it’s going to be a tough game and this is no different. We know what to expect and they are very confident at home. They haven’t lost at home in the last 12 to 13 games. They will be tough and ready for us.”
Since the loss at Red Bull Arena DC United have won their last two games by a goal as both game winning goals came within the final minutes of regulation or inside second half stoppage time, that’s because Ben Olsen has cracked the whip and got the players to play a bit tighter.
Since coming back to MLS from Anderlecht in Belgium Sacha Kljestan has been playing at a high level & that at times has benefitted or hurt how he plays with his new teammates at the Red Bulls. He admits that he plays a bit faster when he has the ball and creates a lot of room for his teammates when he makes a pass as he is the creative midfielder.
“Yeah I think the idea is to being a playmaker, but I still do a lot of little things on the field to help out the team and the rest of the midfield," Klejstan said. "Overall it’s still an adjustment I think I’m still adjusting to being a little bit higher up on the field and every day in training the relationship with the guys are getting better.”
Even though Klejstan hasn’t earned any goals or assists yet, his play and the understanding of what Jesse Marsch wants from his play with the team so far has looked good as the team has started undefeated in 2015. But Marsch knows what he’s in for when they play at RFK this Saturday as DC is looking for revenge.
“We have to go out there and get ready for this team as they will have revenge on their minds," noted Marsch. "We really need to battle when the opening whistle blows. I would guess they will bring a lot of emotion to this game, they came to Red Bull Arena and didn’t put out a good performance. They had a very good start to this season and it’s going to be an early heavyweight fight in the East, so we’re excited and ready. We expect them to do the same as they will bring the passion and the fight as we are expecting them to make some adjustments.”
So as we get ready for another round of Hate DC Week and the action switches to RFK Stadium, I think we will see a better performance from the team in Black, but the Red Bulls will continue to execute that same pressure in the first three games that has earned themselves seven points out of nine in their first three games of the 2015 season.
Author: Dan Feuerstein