D.C. United 1 - 2 New York Red Bulls

Sunday October 22nd 2017 marked the last ever professional sports game at RFK stadium in Washington D.C. This was a game with really nothing to play for. DC United were already guaranteed to finish last in the East, the New York Red Bulls were guaranteed to finish in 6th place, the final playoff spot. United knew that if they matched the LA Galaxy result they’d not be the worst team in the league (they had equal points, but United had one more win, which is the tie-breaker), and they also knew that if they won by at least 2 goals they’d take the season series against the Red Bulls and win the meaningless Atlantic Cup.

Both teams were missing big names, with Bill Hamid having announced his intention to leave United for a Danish team, while Sacha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips were being rested by the Red Bulls for the playoffs. That said, the game was fairly entertaining with both teams attacking...

...but unable to find a way past the keeper.

United had a bit more of the ball in the first half...

...but couldn’t find a way through to goal.

...with the Red Bulls defenders standing tall.

However, the same was true the other way...

...as the Red Bulls were unable to find a way past new United keeper Steve Clark.

The attacks continued in both directions...

...until finally, in the 44th minute, a cross from Luciano Acosta found Paul Arriola who smacked the ball into the back of the net for the lead.

United took that lead into the second half, and played with more energy than their opponents, looking for that 2nd goal to claim the Atlantic cup...

...but they weren’t able to make it past the Red Bulls...

...no matter how much they pressed.

Eventually, in the 68th minute, Michael Murillo latched onto a lobbed pass from Muhamed Keita...

...which he lobbed over Clark to tie the game at 1-1.

United tried to regain their lead, with Nick DeLeon rushing down the flank...

...but Luciano Acosta took exception to a high elbow near his head, and was sent off for violent conduct.

A few minutes later, the Red Bulls were able to take advantage of their numerical superiority, and Gonzalo Veron gave them the lead.

In the 83rd minute Jalen Robinson was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area, so a penalty was given. Which Clark spectacularly saved.

10 man United did then attempt to close out the RFK era with a tie...

...but were unable to get past the defenders, even with Clark joining the attack.

So the Red Bulls went into the playoffs with a win, while the United players ended their season knowing that next year they’ll have a new home, and a fresh start in the standings.

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