At 8 p.m. EST kickoff tonight, the Philadelphia Union will face off against rival New York Red Bulls on the road at Red Bull Arena with a chance to move up in the standings with a big three points. This is the team’s second match in six days following their 1-0 road loss to Nashville SC in which former player C.J. Sapong scored the lone goal. The Union currently sits in third place in the Eastern Conference with 19 points as they trail first-place New England by five points.
The Boys in Blue can move into second with a victory so the stakes are certainly high. They will need to see more production from their offense tonight after being shut out in their last game. Luckily the Union have won the previous four games between the two teams and will look to keep things going tonight. Unfortunately for the U, the Red Bulls have won six of their last seven games at home including the last four in a row. New York has also scored in its last 10 matches at home so the Union defense will have a tall task.
Philly’s loss to Nashville ended their eight-game unbeaten run and they plan to start another such run this evening. The squad will also look to avoid being held scoreless in consecutive regular-season games for the first time since May 2018 against Toronto and Columbus. Philadelphia’s defense will need to focus on slowing down Fábio who has been directly involved in eight goals since May 1st with two goals and six assists.
Another storyline heading into this one is the Union have received 29 yellow cards this season which is tied with Inter Miami CF for most in the league. Additionally, six Union players have at least three yellow cards which are the most in all of MLS. This is important going into this match because tensions are always high and tempers flare between these two rivals. In terms of goals scored, New York has a mark of 1.5 goals per game while Philadelphia has a mark of 1.3 goals per game. On the other hand, the Union has a lower goals-against average with 0.9 compared to New York’s 1.3.
The Red Bulls post more shots per game with 13.5 while Philly only records 11.6 shots per match this season. The Union have also allowed more shots against this season with 1.4 more than the Red Bulls and New York has a higher possession each game. With an all-time record of 11-14-5 against the Red Bulls, the Boys in Blue will keep fighting to turn the tide starting tonight. Manager Jim Curtin has the game plan and strategy needed to earn the result on the road and potentially begin another unbeaten streak.
Here’s hoping that Philadelphia will be on top of their game this evening and do whatever it takes to win this highly anticipated matchup away from home. With Andre Blake, Cory Burke, and Alvas Powell all on international duty with Jamaica for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, backup players will have to step up in their absence and make their presence known. A positive sign is that José Martínez will be back with the Union following representing Venezuela in the Copa América. Tonight’s matchup should be an exciting one with the Union’s opportunity to move into second and the Red Bull’s chance to move into a playoff spot.
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