Soccer

Upon further review: Red Bulls top United, 1-0

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Upon further review: Red Bulls top United, 1-0

There was the drive and determination of Fabian Espindola, but DC United needed more in game one of its MLS Eastern Conference semifinal.  Instead the New York Red Bulls dictated the pace and rhythm of the game and secured a 1-0 win Sunday at RFK Stadium.

The important road goal that could serve as tiebreaker was secured by the Red Bulls on a set piece in the 72nd minute. Midfielder Sasha Kljetsan delivered a perfect free kick 30 yards from goals that was headed home from close range by an unmarked 5-8 Dax McCarty.

The winning goal came just three minutes after a strong United offensive push was stopped by Red Bulls defender Ronald Zubar’s lunging challenge on Markus Halsti. Zubar received a yellow card, but it could be argued he should have been sent off.

MORE UNITED: WOMEN'S WORLD CUP STAR SUPPORTS DC

United could have used a man advantage on the Red Bulls, but that is not why the Black and Red suffered defeat. The Red Bulls were the team with more ideas including 58 percent possession and nine shots on target.   Overall the Red Bulls had an 18-9 advantage in shots and their goalkeeper Luis Robles did not record one save.

Conclusions:

  1. It is not over, but United has to force the issue.  United is going to have to find a way to get more players involved in its attack. Alvaro Saborio failed to put on frame two excellent chances and needs to be more precise. As always for the entire match Fabian Espindola picked and probed and tried to ignite United’s attack. There needs to be more from United and that includes its players in the center of midfield.  It was far too comfortable for the Red Bulls on Sunday and they were able to use a set piece goal to finish the perfect scenario for them in the opener of two-leg series.  Stirring its offense will be a challenge for United. United is the only team in the MLS playoffs to allow more goals than it scored.
  2. Defense is not the question. The Red Bulls could have scored three goals, but as he has done so many times in 2015 United goalkeeper Bill Hamid gave United a chance and finished with eight saves. With 62 goals in the regular season the Reds Bulls had the league’s best offense. United was equal to the task in their series opener against the Red Bulls and its defense will give them a chance in the second leg this Sunday on the road. A chance only if United finds a way to generate more offense and make the Red Bulls defend more.

Washington Spirit and Australian national players try American treats for first time

Washington Spirit and Australian national players try American treats for first time

Washington Spirit and Australian national players Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison sat down with NBC Sports Washington to taste test a few American favorites and rate the treats. For the first time ever, Aussies Logarzo and Harrison each tried a Twinkie and took a sip of Coke.  

For Harrison, the initial comment after taking a bite was disgust, "Ew."  

However, Logarzo gave the twinkie a 10 out of 10, "if I was seven years old." 

Both players enjoyed the Coke and had tasted it before. 

The Washington Spirit are returning home to their stomping grounds to host Portland Thorns FC at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 17.

Both the Spirit and Thorns are coming off wins from last weekend, with the Spirit defeating Sky Blue FC 3-2 and the Thorns beating the Orlando Pride 3-1. This weekend is a chance for both teams to move up in the NWSL standings. The Spirit currently sits in 6th place (2-1-1), just one spot behind the Thorns in 5th place (2-0-2).

If the Spirit secure a win against the Thorns they could move up as high as second place in the NWSL table, their highest ranking since 2016.

Both the Spirit and the Thorns will be missing a few contributors to their rosters who are currently preparing with the U.S. Women’s National team for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Spirit forward Mallory Pugh and midfielder Rose Lavelle will be absent and Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, midfielders Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan, forward Christine Sinclair and defender Emily Sonnett will be absent as well.

This has been a big week for the Spirit. Both defender Cheyna Matthews and goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe received accolades for their contributions in the league.

During the 22nd and 68th minutes of last weeks game against Sky Blue FC, Matthews scored to put Washington ahead. Matthews was nominated for the NWSL’s week five Goal of the Week.

In addition, Bledsoe was named the Westfield W-League’s goalkeeper of the year after helping Sydney FC claim the 2019 W-League title. Bledsoe is only the third American goalkeeper to receive this award.

Spirit vs. Thorns FC takes place at the Maryland SoccerPlex, on the team's first annual Armed Forces Night. The Spirit will show appreciation to veterans and active duty service members at halftime and provide discounted priced tickets to the game.

Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth Premier League Championship Sunday: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Associated Press Images

Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth Premier League Championship Sunday: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

After successfully avoiding relegation from the Premier League once again, Crystal Palace and AFC Bournemouth square off on Championship Sunday at Selhurst Park on  NBC Sports Washington. 

Both clubs are heading into the final day with some momentum, Crystal Palace winning two of their last three matches and Bournemouth coming off a 1-0 victory over Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday. 

While both clubs have secured safety, Crystal Palace will be looking to avenge a 2-1 loss in October, when a late Junior Stanislas penalty gave Bournemouth all three points. 

Want to watch Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth on NBC Sports Washington? Here are all the details:

Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth How to Watch

What: Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth, English Premier League Matchday 38

Where: Selhurst Park, London, UK

When: 10:00 a.m. ET Sunday, May 12

TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington

Stream: NBCSports.com/Live or the NBC Sports app. 

Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth Preview

Record: Crystal Palace (13-7-17, 46 points), AFC Bournemouth (13-6-18, 45 points)

Last Game: 3-2 win at Cardiff City, 5/4 (Crystal Palace), 1-0 win vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 5/4 (AFC Bournemouth) 

Last Head-to-Head Matchup: AFC Bournemouth 2-1 win on 10/1/2018

Top Scorers: Luka Milivojevic, 12 goals (Crystal Palace), Callum Wilson, 14 goals (AFC Bournemouth)