Matchnight #17: D.C. United vs. Red Bulls

Greetings from Red Bull Arena, my first visit to the Harrison stadium. (Missed D.C. United’s match here last year because of World Cup conflicts.)

Acela Express 2 1/2 hours to Newark, PATH train one stop across the Passaic River, 5-10 minute walk to the park. Arrived early to receive a behind-the-scenes tour. A place like this would look awfully nice at Buzzard Point in D.C. (Are you listening, Mr. Chang?)

Is RBA the best facility in MLS? I’ll reserve judgement until I pass through Kansas City next month, but I’m thinking Red Bull will prevail.

Warm, gorgeous evening for an MLS match expected to draw 20,000-plus. It’s the Atlantic Cup, after all!

Storylines galore: Dwayne De Rosario returns to New York, Dax McCarty faces D.C. United for the first time, United seeks to avenge a 4-0 home loss to New York, Red Bulls look to retain first place, United chases its first victory after four draws and a loss, Thierry Henry (nine goals) and Charlie Davies (eight; tied with two others) in the Golden Boot hunt.

My match preview explores McCarty’s transition from being United’s captain to a secondary role with New York.

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET.

TV: Comcast SportsNet/DC, MSG, Direct Kick.

DCU lineup and subs to come.

DCU: Hamid; Kitchen, White, McDonald, Woolard; Najar, Simms, De Rosario, Pontius; Davies, Wolff. Subs: Cronin, Korb, Burch, King, Fred, Ngwenya, Brettschneider.

Your pregame, in-game and postgame observations are warmly welcome.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.

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