HARRISON, N.J. (AP) — New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe didn't hesitate in picking a word to describe his team's scoreless tie with D.C. United: BORING.
Goalkeepers Bouna Coundoul of the Red Bulls and Troy Perkins of United each made one good save in Saturday night's match that featured just five shots on goal.
"It was a rather boring nil-nil game," Backe said after the Red Bulls (8-5-2) extended their unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2).
Besides the two good saves, the only real excitement in Red Bull Arena were the continuing rumors that French striker Thierry Henry would be joining the New Jersey-based team next week.
"You know more than me about that," Backe said, joining his general manager Erik Soler in refusing to confirm who will appear at the signing news conference here on Thursday.
The game had none of that excitement.
Coundoul made his big save early. Santino Quaranta ran onto a long pass and blistered a hard low shot that the goalkeeper knocked away with his hands.
Coundoul said the shot was tricky.
"These balls will knuckle and you have to pay attention or you will give up silly goals," he said. "You've seen that in the World Cup. I was a bit aware of that when he shot it. I didn't try to catch it. I just punched it as far away as possible."
Perkins' outstanding save came in the 23rd minute. He knocked a looping 35-yard direct kick by Juan Pablo Angel over the top of the crossbar.
"That was the only thing," Angel said, agreeing it was the Red Bulls' only chance. "I also don't remember them having chances. There was one strike in the first half from Quaranta."
Quaranta had both United shots. His other was a long blast in the first half that Coundoul easily handled.
Besides Angel's shot from distance, Perkins caught a second-half header by substitute Tony Tchani off a corner kick. Joel Lindpere had New York's other shot on goal.
"We didn't create too many chances," Red Bulls forward Salou Ibrahim said. "They didn't created too many chances either. Like the coach said, it was really an organized game that made it boring for everybody."
After a miserable start, D.C. United (3-9-3) has two wins and three ties in its last six games. The draw capped a four-game road trip in which it posted a 1-1-2 mark.
"For us to get a tie is a decent result for us," United midfielder Stephen King said. "Obviously we are in a position where we need points. We have two home games in a row coming up against Seattle and L.A. and we need three points in each of those. The last two months we've improved. We're moving in the right and hopefully we can turn some losses into ties and ties into wins and sneak into the playoffs."