HARRISON, N.J. (AP) — Defender Brandon Barklage knocked in the first two goals of his MLS career Sunday night, leading the New York Red Bulls into a first-place tie with D.C. United with a 3-2 win before a franchise record crowd of 25,187.
Barklage, waived by United after the 2011 season and picked up by New York shortly thereafter, put the Red Bulls up 2-1 in the second minute of first-half stoppage time with his second goal of the half. Lurking on the right side, Barklage put in a one-time volley after Rafa Marquez’s free kick. D.C.’s Robbie Russell had brought down Mehdi Ballouchy just outside the box, and Marquez’s resulting kick caromed off the wall for Barklage to put home.
D.C. forward Chris Pontius scored the fastest goal in team history 31 seconds into the match off a header past a leaping Ryan Meara. Midfielder Danny Cruz had fed him from the right side after working a give-and-go with Dwayne De Rosario to set up Cruz’s pass in front of the net.
The goal was the second-fastest scored against New York next to one at 19 seconds from New England’s Jose Cancela in 2005.
Pontius had two goals, the second coming in the 66th minute, and it followed his first professional hat trick, scored against New York in a 4-1 victory April 22. He has five goals against the Red Bulls in 2012.
The victory gave the Red Bulls (9-4-3) 30 points, tying them for the Eastern Division lead. United fell to 9-5-3.
Barklage opened the Red Bulls’ scoring in the 21st minute when he flashed across the goalmouth to get his left foot on Joel Lindpere’s low corner kick and put it past keeper Bill Hamid.
Dax McCarty had clanged a hard shot off the crossbar in the third minute, and Hamid made a diving, fingertip save on Ballouchy’s low header in the 12th.
Midfielder Jan Gunnar Soli gave the winners a cushion with his first goal as a Red Bull in the 55th minute, putting in his own rebound of a shot off Lindpere’s feed.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)