DeRo and Draw Dominate Definitive Atlantic Cup Duel

An Atlantic Cup match is always a show. The dueling cheering sections always cheer a little louder, the players are a bit more physical, and the soccer world is reminded that league rivalries can be just as fierce on the East Coast as the West, albeit maybe slightly less well attended.  The third and final leg of the storied New York and DC rivalry ended in a draw tonight, a result that while lacking a definitive answer to many playoff questions might have been the appropriate way to decide the third and final regular season meeting between these two teams.

Despite starting the game with Sebastien LeToux and Kenny Cooper on the bench, New York’s 4-1-4-1 formation dominated possession in the first half and created a number of good chances that they were unfortunate not to finish. But just like last Wednesday at RFK, it was gaffs in net that made a difference early. In the 20th Joel Lindpere drilled a  shot low and near post on the right that Bill Hamid could not get a hand on. Not a minute later, the New York defense, which to this point had played well, failed to clear the ball and let DC find Nick DeLeon in front of net. The shot was manageable but Bill Gaudette made a mess of it and let it get by.  As the first half whistle blew, both team left the field shaking their heads, New York for not being up and DC for failing to figure out how to string together multiple passes.

Surprisingly, the second half saw both teams trot out the same formations and no substitutions.  In fact, it was not until the 72nd minute that either team made a change, and that was DC subbing off Dwayne De Rosario.  I think this was a mistake by both coaches.  For the visitors, as DC began to create more and more chances, and exploit some match-ups on the wings, I thought Hans Backe missed a chance to double down by putting his foot on DC’s throat (metaphorically) and drive for a backbreaking goal.  Bringing Cooper off the bench midway through the second half would have allowed Henry to abuse an over-matched DC midfield and create more scoring chances for New York.  Even LeToux could have provided a change of pace.  For the home team, the midfield was lacking any creativity besides Nick DeLeon who plays better on the wings.  If Olsen would have brought on Branko Boscovic earlier in the match, DC may have been able to nick an earlier goal or even two, considering that they had a number of decent chances in the second half.

But the major story of this game was DC United’s go-ahead goal in the 68th minute.  Nick DeLeon from midfield lofted a beautiful cross field pass that found Dwayne De Rosario running past his defender and, with Bill Gaudette charging to defend, the captain headed the ball magnificently over Gaudette and into the net for his 100th career goal.  De Rosario becomes the seventh player in MLS history to reach that mark and after the game was quite humble about the accomplishment.  ”I figured, I am either going to wake up tomorrow wondering what happened or I’m going to put it in the back of the net,” said De Rosario in the post-game press conference.

But it would not be the final goal of the week candidate for the night.  While New York had created a few chances (and DC’s continued sloppy defense allowed a few more), it took until the 88th minute for the visitors to gain a deserved second goal.  Pressure on the DC net and the failure to completely clear the ball lead to Wilman Conde receiving the ball about twenty-six yards from goal.  Using his weaker foot, Conde unleashed an absolute blast that landed in the top corner of the net and again left both teams wondering what might have been.  At the end of the night, De Rosario was bringing the Atlantic Cup to the Supporter’s Section and both teams had secured a needed point in their playoff shuffling.  But with Columbus picking up a full three points on the same night, the race for the Eastern Conference playoff spots is now incredibly close with Columbus, having games in hand on almost all competitors, holding its destiny in its hands.

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20 Responses to DeRo and Draw Dominate Definitive Atlantic Cup Duel

  1. CTBlues says:

    FYI to DirecTV customers and USOC fans GolTV is now only on the
    Spanish language package and GolTV has the rights to the USOC Final
    for two more years.

  2. Tijuana Robert says:

    That is a horrible and sad picture for MLS.

  3. Daniel Feuerstein says:

    True Tijuana Robert. Shows why MLS is neglectic to the real needs
    of a club that truely needsd a stadium, not a team that doesn’t

  4. Lysander says:

    Pride of their city? I think that statement would mean more if more
    of the city were in the stands.

  5. Robert Hay says:

    I felt that picture was indicative of the game on multiple levels, not just a basic slam. Thanks Daniel and Tijuana Robert for pointing that out.

    • Daniel Feuerstein says:

      It’s true Robert. DC Has been more deserving of a Stadium &
      deserved this type of help than anyone else in this league, but
      Garber wants to make his fantasy come true.

      • Dave says:

        Grow up. I can’t believe someone so daft can claim to be a
        reporter. Garber can’t make Washington D.C. build a stadium. They
        tried and the politicians did what politicians always do. Waste
        time and money. Do you know that Garber at least got United new
        rich ownership that wants to take care of the stadium situation? So
        go take your pity and shove it. As for NYC2, it has nothing to do
        with fantasy. MLS’s tv contract is up at the end of 2014. Garber
        wants to add NYC as a market to sell to networks. A bigger tv
        contract means a lot of things. Understand now? No wonder this site
        is all but dead.

  6. Charles says:

    I don’t really get soccer fans quite frankly. DC is right in the
    middle of the playoff race, in a VERY important game, DeRo is about
    to put icing on the cake for a great career. 10k fans. Oh of course
    there will be excuses for the morons that don’t show up, but the
    excuses are being to sound like the blogger of an English team
    losing the MLS friendly….hollow……………………………
    I am preaching to the choir (Robert Hay), but they think they want
    a new stadium ? Why ? 10k per game x $30 per customer/game = 666
    games to break even. That is 39
    seasons……………………..Move the game to Seattle I will
    drum up 15k, for DeRo’s 100th goal, and I can go then.
    If you are going to troll about MLS is stupid, don’t bother middle
    of the table “rest of the world” teams do worse when you consider
    all the factors. Middle of the table England = 30k. Pathetic.

  7. Alex says:

    i love that picture. i mean i feel sad for DCU they truely deserve
    more attention from the league (thats what you get for being overly
    centralized) i mean they go around promoting non existent rivalries
    while DCU is paying rent in a falling apart stadium thats costing
    the club ALOT of money. they are making way for buzzard point which
    i hope because its right in the city and right in the middle of a
    new urban development project much like RBA’s future project at
    harrison. but i also feel its a message for the league the fact
    that the energy drinks are MLS favorite toy while the once beloved
    DCU is left to die because its not as glamorous. sad sad very sad.
    also i hate Energy Drink New Jersey they are just a stupid ad with
    no soul.

  8. Henry Thomas says:

    Guys, I was there. There were a LOT more people at this game than
    the picture shows. I never even saw that banner. I think this was
    before the game started or 20 minutes after it ended (?)

  9. Robert Hay says:

    Henry -

    It was unfurled right before or during player introductions. And yes, there were more people there than the picture shows (this was the corner) but there was an announced attendance of 10,303 which is a tiny crowd for RFK and for DCU. It was loud, though, both supporters’ groups brought it!

  10. The original Tom says:

    In general it is better to make you point politely and without
    personal attacks. You might change someone’s way of thinking if you
    say “x+y equals this” instead of “your an idiot, ….”.

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