Take for a start a steady rain that drenched the field before kickoff and after Santino Quaranta scored late in the first half for a 1-0 United lead. Slips and stumbles turned every diagonal ball and every spinning cross into an adventure, and had not Josh Wicks repelled a 20-yard shot from Jorge Rojas, and saved with a slide tackle at the feet of Danleigh Borman, who'd been sent clear on a great ball over the top from Seth Stammler, the halftime score - and mood - would have been greatly altered.
Not until the 93rd minute, when Jaime Moreno tucked away a penalty kick, could the United contingent celebrate. Moreno had replaced Luciano Emilio after the Brazilian was yellow-carded on the hour for flying two-footed into Red Bull defender Kevin Goldthwaite. After Emilio protested so bitterly Coach Tom Soehn waved for Moreno to replace him, then Emilio was red-carded for throwing a rack of water bottles, some of which landed on the field.
Santino Quaranta had stuffed the ball into the net from close range following a great run to the byline by Fred, who cut a diagonal pass right into the path of Quaranta for his second goal of the season.
Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio brought on Nick Zimmerman at halftime for his MLS debut and switched the team's formation from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2; Soehn summoned Christian Gomez, who needed less than four minutes of the second half to rip a shot New York goalie Jon Conway parried.
Ten minutes after Emilio's departure, Conway thwarted United again by charging out at Chris Pontius and blocking shot with his groin. Red Bull asserted its numerical superiority and conjured up three good chances for Juan Pablo Angel. He headed a corner kick wide, floated a free kick over the bar, and hit a low first-timer on frame that Wicks palmed to safety.
In stoppage time, Moreno played in Gomez, and Conway's challenge on Gomez missed the ball and caught the striker's foot. Moreno scored from the spot for his all-time MLS best 126th goal.
June 4 in Washington, D.C.
D.C. United 2, New York 0
Goals: Quaranta (Fred, Emilio 36); Moreno (penalty kick) 93+.
D.C. United - Wicks; Namoff, Jakovic, Burch, Pontius, Fred, Simms, Wallace, Emilio (Moreno 63), N'Silu (Gomez 46), Quaranta (McTavish 88).
New York -- Conway, Mendes (Zimmerman 46), Goldthwaite, Petke, Borman (Wolyniec 79), Hall, Celades, Stammler, Rojas, Richards, Angel.