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Red Bulls aim to convert opportunities vs. D.C. United

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Two weeks ago — the last time they played — the New York Red Bulls recorded ample attempts at the net and did little with those chances.

The Red Bulls hope to start getting some of those shots to land in the net on Saturday night when they host D.C. United in Harrison, N.J.

New York (6-10-4, 22 points) has scored 23 goals, the fourth-fewest in the league entering this weekend. The Red Bulls have been held to one goal or fewer in five straight matches and have yet to score more than two goals in any game this season.

The inability to score is putting New York’s streak of 11 straight postseason berths in jeopardy.

The latest such occurrence was a 1-0 home loss to the Chicago Fire on Aug. 28. The Red Bulls registered 20 shots but only two were on target in a match they held possession for 58.4 percent of the time.

“We cannot score,” Red Bulls coach Gerhard Struber said.

The Red Bulls are 1-5-3 in their past nine matches and sit eight points behind D.C. United (9-10-3, 30 points).

“I think maybe sometimes the players, they are surprised that they have a chance,” Struber said. “Sometimes they seem stressed and they must know that sometimes they can take another pass to find the right chance, and I think right now we missed that.”

D.C. United have not experienced many problems scoring of late. Since a scoreless draw with FC Cincinnati on July 31, the United have scored 14 of their 35 goals and are 3-3-0 in their past six games.

Two weeks ago, they halted a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union that left coach Hernan Losada in awe of his team’s first half performance.

Yordy Renya scored the tiebreaking goal in the 49th minute while Ola Kamara tallied for the eighth time in the past nine matches.

The goals came in a match in which the D.C. United saw four of their eight attempts in the first half go on target. Overall, the team had nine of their 14 shots go on target.

“I don’t think there’s any team in this league who play (at) the level we played in the first half, especially the first 20 minutes,” Losada said. “We were a team from another league.”

D.C. United won the first match between the teams this season.

Kamara scored the lone goal of a 1-0 win on July 25 when the Red Bulls had possession for 60 percent of the match and mustered four shots.

–Field Level Media

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