for this game

Red Bulls, United battle to scoreless draw

Aug 31, 2008 - 3:23 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (TICKER) -- With the Atlantic Cup on the line, the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United played to a 0-0 draw on Saturday night at RFK Stadium.

Although both teams won 4-1 in their earlier meetings this season, D.C. United walked away with the trophy. The biggest loss of the night, however, might have been D.C. United forward Luciano Emilio, who left the game in the 45th minute with a groin injury.

Emilio got squeezed by Red Bulls defenders Andrew Boyens and Diego Jimenez as the reigning Golden Boot winner launched a header near New York's goal in the 36th minute. Emilio ranks fourth in this season's Golden Boot chase with 11 goals.

"He pulled himself out," D.C. United coach Tom Soehn said. "He was feeling tight. He's a veteran. He knew when to pull himself out to make sure he's available. We'll evaluate more tomorrow."

Jaime Moreno, Major League Soccer's all-time scoring leader, missed a penalty shot wide left in the 81st minute that kept the physical match scoreless.

"Unfortunately, I missed an important penalty, but that's life," Moreno said. "I still don't believe it. ... Unfortunately, I missed two (penalty kicks) this year, and hopefully I won't miss again."

Soehn thought perhaps Moreno put too much into the blast.

"I think he just tried to hit it in the corner and put power on it," Soehn said. "Sometimes when you hit it as hard as he did, you lose some of the accuracy. He put a lot into the game, and I'm sure fatigue had something to do with it."

"The field was a little bit wet, but that's not an excuse," Moreno said. "I don't usually power that much. I put a little more spin than usual, that's why the keeper didn't move. It just wasn't a good penalty kick."

Santino Quaranta nearly ended the match in stoppage time but Red Bulls goalkeeper Jon Conway made a diving deflection of the shot.

Conway kept D.C. United at bay with several big saves in the first half. He denied Moreno just over eight minutes into the match and stopped a shot by Emilio in the 13th minute. Ivan Guerrero missed wide left on another opportunity for the home side in the 19th minute.

"It was important for us to withstand their opening 20 minutes or so," Conway said. "They come out flying. Once we were able to get through that time, we were able to settle down and get a hold of the game for a little bit.

"I thought tonight was a good match all the way around. I thought it was probably a great match for the fans to watch and I'm real happy to walk out of this place with a zero. It's a tough place to play."

D.C. United's Francis Doe also missed high on a shot in the 50th minute.

"I don't think we were very good with the ball in the first half," Soehn said. "We had to make a few adjustments. I thought the game was there to take had we been better with the soccer part of it in the first half. I was a little disappointed coming into the locker room because we talked a lot about possession.

"I thought we got better in the second half. The buildup leading to the penalty was pretty good soccer. Unfortunately, the result of the penalty didn't go our way."

New York failed to convert a golden opportunity in the 27th minute when Mike Magee's shot soared wide left.

And there was Emilio's missed header in the 36th minute that hurt the home club in more ways than one.

"We didn't come out with the result that we wanted," Soehn said. "I think everybody's pretty disappointed."