Soccer

DCU, Red Bull playoff series rescheduled

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DCU, Red Bull playoff series rescheduled

Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, Major League Soccer requested that D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls switch their home matches in the upcoming two-match Eastern Conference semifinals.  DCU will now open the series at home on Saturday, November 3 at 8 p.m. and their originally scheduled November 7 match in Washington will now be played that night in New York at 8 p.m.

"This was a tough decision but one that is much bigger than the sport of soccer,"  said league commissioner Don Garber.  "Hurricane Sandy is an epic and unprecedented natural disaster, one that continues to affect all of us who live in the New York, New Jersey and tri-state area.  Most of us are still without power and with limited access to communication."

Much of New York City and New Jersey remains without power and with severe flooding in some areas.  The league offices remain closed and have been without power since Monday.  While flood waters reached Red Bull Arena, the stadium did not experience any interior water damage but has relied on backup generators since the storm hit.  

"We thought at the end of the day it was in both parties' best interest to find a suitable alternative," said New York Red Bulls General Manager Jerome de Bontin.

Many attendees rely upon PATH trains to travel to Red Bull Arena.  With the entire New York Subway system, including the PATH, suspended, De Bontin assured that Red Bull is working with the city to find alternative transportation for their Wednesday home match should the PATH still be unavailable.  

"This will have a competitive impact on D.C., we understand that and deeply appreciate their support," said Garber.

Tickets purchased for the November 7 match at RFK will be honored for the newly schedule home game on Saturday or will be refunded.  Both matches will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.  In addition, both clubs have agreed to allow a greater ticket allotment and more flexible seating options for visiting fans.  

"Our fans in the past have responded very quickly when we've had playoff games with quick turnarounds," said D.C. United President and CEO Kevin Payne.  "We think that we still have among the best fan bases in the league and we are entirely confident that our fans will come out and give us the home field advantage that we would have enjoyed Wednesday night."

"I think that there are very few teams in Major League Soccer that could pull something like this off," said Garber.  "Part of our willingness to go down this path was the confidence that we have in Kevin [Payne] and D.C. United and, frankly, the passion of their fans."

The league hopes that Red Bull Arena will be ready to host the second match of the series come Wednesday.  According to De Bontin, the club expects to have full power back by Monday, though league officials will look for a suitable alternative in the area should their power not be restored. 

The Washington Spirit are hitting the road to face off against Utah Royals FC on Saturday

The Washington Spirit are hitting the road to face off against Utah Royals FC on Saturday

The Washington Spirit are hitting the road as they prepare to face off against the Utah Royals FC on Saturday at 9 p.m. 

Utah is hosting Washington in their home opener of the season at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. 

The Spirit are coming off of a victory over Sky Blue FC 2-0. The win moving the Spirit to the top of the NWSL rankings. 

It was a big night for the Spirit’s new additions.

During Saturday’s game against Sky Blue FC Spirit rookie defender Sam Staab scored a corner kick during the 59th minute giving the Spirit a 1-0 lead. Washington’s Megan Crosson also scored her first goal two minutes into the second half-stoppage time, sealing the win.

This will be the first game of the season for Utah. Utah finished the 2018 season with a record of 9-7-8, falling two points short of the playoffs. 

New Utah Royals FC midfielder Veronica “Vero" Boquete is expected to be a major contribution to Utah this season. Boquete is a Spanish Women’s National Team veteran midfielder who was captain of Spain’s first-ever World Cup in 2015. Bouquet was named NWSL Best XI after winning league Player of the Week three times. 

The last time the Washington played Utah, Washington lost 0-1. 

MORE SPIRIT NEWS:

Washington Spirit home opener on Saturday

Washington Spirit home opener on Saturday

The Washington Spirit will kick off their first game of the 2019 NWSL season on Saturday, April 13th at 7:00p.m. The Spirit will host the Sky Blue FC at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

Washington finished the 2018 season in eighth place with a 2-17-5 record and 35 goals. However, with some new additions to the roster they are expected to make major improvements in the 2019 season.  

During the off-season the Spirit announced former professional soccer player Richie Burke as the new head coach and signed all five of their 2018 NWSL College Draft picks, including first-round picks Jordan DiBiasi, Sam Staab, Tegan McGrady and Dorian Bailey, and second-round pick Bayley Feist. The Spirit also added two new international players in midfielders Amy Harrison and Chloe Logarzo of Australia. 

USWNT trio Andi Sullivan, Mallory Pugh and Rose Lavelle and goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe will return to the team. 

In 2018 Bledsoe and Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridanboth led the league in saves with 108, setting a new NWSL record. 

The last time the two teams met they played to a 1-1 draw. Sky Blue FC midfielder Sarah Killion tied the game in the 87th minute after Spirit forward Arielle Ship put the Spirit in the lead during the 71st minute. 

Tickets can be purchased here