DC United Vs. New York Red Bulls, MLS 2012: Chris Pontius Bags Hat Trick In Victory

There are still plenty of questions about just how good D.C. United is. But in their 4-1 win over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, they showed how good they can be.

Chris Pontius did most of the heavy lifting, bagging a hat trick with a pair of first-half goals and one more in the second half that essentially sealed the victory as it gave United a 4-0 lead. Pontius now has four goals in his past two games and nearly scored a fifth at several points late in this game. Nick DeLeon also scored his third goal of the season.

Despite still not having won consecutive games since 2009, United ran their unbeaten streak to six matches. This win jumped them over the Red Bulls and into second place in the Eastern Conference with 12 points.

The Red Bulls' only scoring came off a beautifully taken free kick by Thierry Henry in the 72nd minute. Henry moved back into a tie for the Golden Boot lead, giving him eight goals on the season. After scoring the free kick from about 20 yards out, he simply turned and headed back to midfield with no celebration.

Of course, there was no reason to really celebrate as this day clearly belonged to Pontius.

Pontius and his United teammates absolutely had their way with a Red Bulls defense that was playing without center back Wilman Conde and defensive midfielder Rafael Marquez. Unfortunately, the Red Bulls could be without both players for the foreseeable future. Marquez still has two games remaining in his suspension and Conde is still nursing an injury.

Without those two, the Red Bulls were left with a defense that included Conor Lade and Victor Palsson, both of whom were exposed repeatedly. United was able to take 20 shots and put seven of them on frame.

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