IT’s that time of year again. It’s that moment the schedule takes a turn and this club will either host or head down to our Nation’s Capital and prepare for that huge match, when all the emotions go in a frenzy and, you want to take out, as well as humiliate that historic rival for the entire 90 minutes of the match.
That’s right everyone, it’s time for hate DC Week and the trip down to Audi Field at the Navy Yard. Ever since DC United moved out of RFK Stadium and into their new home, DC United has never beaten the Red Bulls in the past four matches. The Red Bulls are three wins and draw at the new home of DC United and are currently on a six-match unbeaten streak at four wins and two draws that include the final two visits at RFK Stadium before DC United moved to their new home.
While it is a big moment for the Red Bulls to tangle with their old foes, Head Coach Gerhart Struber is paying attention to the club needs to play a full 90 minutes at this point in time, than worrying about the rivalry between these two original MLS sides that loves to battle it out every single season.
“Yeah, I know it is Derby time. I hear from that, but I think for us it is important, maybe we use one Red Bull more. Yeah, for derby maybe this is helpful, of course, I think this is helpful. I think for us it is after the game in Toronto,” Said Struber, “It is very important that we have a big focus, a big concentration, and the winner mentality on board, then I think it is very difficult against my team and this is the big goal. We do not think so much in the direction of a Derby, we think more of what is our responsibility, what is our duty on Sunday night in Washington against a very good opponent and then I think it is in our hands.
“We have massive strength at the moment, and we have to bring a good execution in the game, and everyone is on his personal limit, this is for me always the most important thing in every game that my players come always on his personal border. Yeah, then it is a clear direction on Sunday.”
John Tolkin who is a homegrown player and has grown up through the Red Bulls Academy system knows a lot about the rivalry, the Chatham Borough, New Jersey native has had his share of watching the club take on their oldest rivals, and even though he isn’t sure of which victories were his favorite against DC United, he knows very well what is coming at the club when they visit Audi Field on Sunday night.
“Yeah, I think it is huge. Even in the academy, whenever we would play D.C. [United] it was always a tough, physical game, there were always heated moments. Obviously, when I was younger to watching those games back when D.C. [United] was at RFK, those games are always chippy and there is a lot on the line, each team wants to win, and it is a great rivalry. It is going to be an important game and we are going to get these three points.” said Tolkin.
We remember the current history of playoff victories when Thierry Henry allowed the ball to pass him and Bradley Wright-Phillips converted the opening goal, then Peguy Luyindula scored the second in the first leg of the 2014 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, then Henry assisted on the away goal to Luyindula to take advantage on the aggregate.
How could we not forget Bradley Wright-Phillips scoring his 100th career MLS Goal inside the opening ten minutes of the match, and his hat trick to steal a point away after Paul Arriola, Wayne Rooney & Luciano Acosta scored goals That Hat Trick was the last one that BWP converted when he wore an RBNY kit, but those memories will always be etched into our minds, we hope that new memories will continue as these new players and a new crop of talented footballers will head down and get another big win on their rivals and win the Atlantic Cup.