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Kaku’s Rocket Enough to Defeat DC United

Kaku scored his fourth goal of the season vs DC United, enough to earn a 1-0 on Sunday.

Harrison, NJ—August 26, 2018—A rocket by Kaku for outside the box was enough for the New York Red Bulls to defeat rivals DC United by a score of 1-0 on Sunday.  The victory also means that New York will retain the Atlantic Cup trophy which is competed for by both clubs.  The shutout by Luis Robles was his ninth of the season and the 10th this season by Red Bulls goalkeepers.

Anticipation was high coming into the matchup far beyond the normal derby day vibes at Red Bull Arena.  DC United came into the match in very good form and moving steadily up the Eastern Conference standings thanks in no small part due to new signing of Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney.  New York found themselves in the heat of the race for the Supporters Shield, trying to outduel Atlanta United for first place in the East and in MLS.

The visitors would get the first decent chance of the match four minutes in when USMNT midfielder Paul Arriola sent a bouncing cross in from the right.  After a slight deflection Yamil Asad went for the spectacular but his bicycle kick went high of the net.  Just five minutes later DC almost took the lead through Wayne Rooney.  After being awarded a free kick, the former England legend fired a curling ball around the wall but was punched away just in time by a diving Luis Robles.  New York would get its first chance in the 11th minute, when winger Derrick Etienne Jr. sent a cross skipping in from the right.  After Marc Rzatkowski let the ball through Daniel Royer got on the end but his prime opportunity was fired harmlessly over the net from 8 yards out.  DC would get a golden chance in the 25th minute when a lobbed cross over the six-yard box fell to Fisher who inexplicably put his header over the bar.  In the 35th minute Etienne Jr. would cause more chaos in the United end, picking the pocket of a DC defender before laying a perfect pass to Kaku at the top of the box.  But the shot from the Argentinian would again be sent high over the goal.  The Haitian international would get another good chance in the 38th minute when after going on the break fired a rocket at Bill Hamid, but the US goalkeeper punched it away without much stress.

After a scoreless first half, both teams wanted to start the second half with emphasis to take control.  However, DC United would need to make an early sub when Asad could not continue after just three second half minutes.  In the 52nd minute, Chris Armas’ men would get a golden chance when Etienne Jr. sent in a deflected cross that fell to Kaku in the penalty area.  His low shot would just be palmed wide by Hamid at his near post, but it was clear the pressure was working.  Four minutes later New York would finally get the breakthrough.  A Rzatkowski cross started the action looking for Bradley Wright-Phillips, who had had a quiet match to that point.  After a headed clearance by the DC defense, Kaku gathered the ball about 20 yards from goal.  After a quick touch to avoid a charging defender, the midfielder sent a bullet low to the far post that Hamid saw far too late to save and found the back of the net.  The goal was Kaku’s fourth goal of the season.

United almost returned the favor in the 66th minute with pressure of their own.  After several slotted passes into the box, there was a chaotic scene as both Fisher and Acosta sent several shots toward net from close range, all of which were blocked.  The ball then popped out of the scrum to Rooney in a position that most would bet money to see the ball find the back of the net; open, six yards from goal, one on one with the keeper.  But somehow, the veteran striker did not catch the ball correctly sending a high shot off the top of the crossbar and out that had Robles helpless.  Bradley Wright-Phillips would get two great chances in the last 15 minutes as the match opened up.  In the 75th minute, Rzatkowski went on a long run through the midfield sending the ball to BWP at the top of the box, but his shot off a quick turn went right to Hamid.  Late in the match substitute Andreas Ivan received the ball in space down the left wing and played a low ball into the box for Wright-Phillips who 99 out of 100 times would result in a goal.  But the Englishman skewed his shot horribly wide of net without challenging Hamid, which would be the last good chance for either side before the final whistle blew.

The win is the second win over DC United this season with one more match between the rivals to be played in the nations capital on September 16th.  The question now facing Chris Armas however is how much rotation will he deploy in his starting 11 on Wednesday against the Houston Dynamo.  The midweek match at Red Bull Arena will be the fourth of five matches that the club will play in 15 days, the second time the club has faced this scenario in 2018 and this time in difficult summer conditions.  Armas has certainly held his cards close to the chest with a trip to Montreal coming up on the weekend.  Only time will tell how the new Red Bulls manager will deal with the crunch of the late season schedule.

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