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While De Rosario led United’s film preparation early in the week, sharing his intimate knowledge of the Red Bulls’ strengths and weaknesses, the D.C. players acknowledged McCarty was surely doing the same thing for New York.

As Pontius put it, “There will be no surprises” — except, perhaps, the result.

“If there is any time for us to go in there and get some points and get a win up in New York, it’s now,” he said. “Especially after them beating Toronto 5-0 and feeling a little bit of confidence about themselves, I think we can go up there and spoil the party.”