Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 0-2 New York Red Bulls

photo: Daniel Studio

Bradley Wright-Phillips scored the only goal of the match as the New York Red Bulls edged the ten men of the Philadelphia Union 2-0 at Talen Energy Field. Derrick Jones was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Felipe in the 63rd minute of the game.

Jim Curtin was forced into one change from the Union’s last league outing against New York City. Alejandro Bedoya missed out through the injury he picked while on duty with the USMNT, allowing Derrick Jones to reclaim a starting place alongside Haris Medunjanin, replacing Warren Creavalle in the XI.

The game started as many MLS matches do, with the referee missing a number of obvious calls. And as Union fans are accustomed to, C.J. Sapong received no support from Alan Chapman as he was pushed, hacked, and shoved from behind.

The Union would have a great chance to open the scoring in the 22nd minute. Chris Pontius held off his defender as a ball popped high into the air just inside the New York box. The winger took one touch and fired a hard shot from 12 yards that Luis Robles did excellently to push away. The Union would have the ball in the back of the net after the ensuing corner, but it was ruled out for a foul on goalkeeper Luis Robles.

New York’s best chance of the half would be through Alex Muyl in the 38th minute. The midfielder did well to burst through the box after Michael Murillo had carried the ball forward down the Red Bull right. But his snap shot from close range was saved by Andre Blake’s feet.

Pontius would have a fabulous chance to atone for his earlier miss on the stroke of halftime. Ray Gaddis floated an inviting cross from the right side and Pontius was unmarked an the back post, but could only push the open header wide of goal.

Bradley Wright-Phillips would have a great chance for the opener in the 49th minute. Played in down the New York left, the striker flicked the ball over an advancing Andre Blake, but Jack Elliott was on hand to clear the danger off the goalline.

Referee Allen Chapman made a game changing call in the 63rd minute. Derrick Jones was issued a straight red card for a two footed challenge on Felipe inside the center circle. The midfielder, as always, made the most of the contact and Jones was given the Union’s first red card of the season.

New York would immediately go on the front foot up a man. Alex Muly would hit the post from a corner kick in the 66th minute and Kemar Lawrence would have his fierce drive from the top of the box deflected away a minute later.

The Red Bulls would finally find their winner in the 87th minute. Wright-Phillips tapped in from five yards at Kemar Lawrence fired in a low cross from the left side that the big striker just had to deflect past Blake from close range.

Wright-Phillips would add gloss to the scoreline with another goal in stoppage time. He again tapped in from close range, this time assisted by Sal Zizzo.

Philadelphia is next in action when they welcome D.C. United next Saturday, (7 p.m.).

Three points

  • Tale of Two Halves – While the first half was uneven, the Union had the best two chances through Pontius, who just couldn’t find the final touch. NY obviously dominated the second  up a man.
  • Allen Chapman Was Terrible – The referee let everything go in the first half, just to give Jones a straight red card at the beginning of the second, the first card of the game. Where is the consistency?
  • Big Stretch Coming Up – After winning four straight, the Union have now lost three straight, scoring just one goal in that span. The next two games against D.C. and New England at home are huge.

Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake, Oguchi Onyewu, Jack Elliott, Ray Gaddis (Jay Simpson 89′), Fabinho, Fafa Picault, Chris Pontius (Marcus Epps 70′), Haris Medunjanin, Derrick Jones, Ilsinho (Warren Creavalle 55′), C.J. Sapong
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Keegan Rosenberry, Josh Yaro, Warren Creavalle, Roland Alberg

New York Red Bulls

Luis Robles, Damien Perrinelle, Michael Amir Murillo, Aurelien Collin, Aaron Long (Kemar Lawrence 45′), Sacha Kljestan, Tyler Adams, Daniel Royer (Gonzalo Veron 84′), Alex Muyl (Sal Zizzo 74′), Felipe, Bradley Wright-Phillips
Unused subs:
 Derrick Etienne, Ryan Meara, Dan Metzger, Sean Davis

Scoring summary

NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips Derrick Jones — 87′ (Kemar Lawrence, Gonzalo Verón)
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips — 90+2′ (Sal Zizzo, Gonzalo Verón)

Disciplinary summary

PHI: Derrick Jones (red card) — 53′ (violent conduct)
PHI: Warren Creavalle — 67′ (dissent)
NY: Damien Perrinelle — 71′ (unsporting behavior)
NY: Aurelien Collin – -84 (unsporting behavior)

Philadelphia Union New York Red Bulls
7 Shots 14
 3 Shots on Target  4
 3 Shots off Target 8
1 Blocked Shots  2
 3 Corner Kicks 8
 11 Crosses  17
1 Offsides 1
11 Fouls  12
 1 Yellow Cards  2
 1 Red Cards 0
277 Total Passes 504
 66% Passing Accuracy 81%
 35.8% Possession 64.2%
 45 Duels Won  41
 52% Duels Won %  48%
 12 Tackles Won 9
 1 Saves 3
 21 Clearances  17


  1. Remember when we won 4 in a row and we thought we didn’t suck?

  2. groan.

  3. el Pachyderm says:

    you take two weeks off from MLS to give me this…
    …better off sitting in the dental chair with porcelain inlays getting vibrated by a Carbide Bur- round and round, loud intrusive, vibrate vibrate, shivers you to your toes and oh thank God you are numb everywhere in there so as not to have to feel any of it… how I wish this game would have played out played out played out with Novocaine… and the manage – – who at halftime offers water break innuendo half jokes (WTF are they by the way? it was 85 degrese today and mostly cloudy) and orange slice comments which so PERFECTLY sum up US Soccer and this team which absolutely is impossible to like sometimes.
    Shameful…from the ESPN analyst calling RAMON Gaddis to Taylor Twellman not correcting him to the ever present shit touches in the first 30 minutes by Chris Pontius that fucks a golden chance every game to FABINHO- oh Fabinho how I wish you’d be relegated- to no possession to Hitmen playing a beautiful game absolutely unbeautifully— to players turning on the ball into FIVE defenders instead of playing square into half spaces filled with green green grass and an on running teammate.
    Here it is Father’s Day and when the sun swallows the earth someday none of this will have mattered an iota…
    YOU MADE ME WAIT TWO WEEKS — – for this?

  4. I’m mad they lost, but I didn’t think they were garbage. Good enough to win… maybe not. But Red Bull sucks too. They were nothing special. Unfortunately I was in line for a beer when Jones got tossed so I only have second hand reports of that… but I heard it wasn’t THAT bad. Union could’ve shot the ball, instead of always trying to play the thru ball.
    I don’t want to blame the ref… and like I said I didn’t see the Jones red yet, but that ref was trash. Again CJ gets his ASS kicked and zero calls. The Union deserved a draw at bes. Not a good day in my opinion… but they’ve been better and they’ve been worse.
    So one more loss then on to the next 4 game win streak, I guess?!?
    ES – PLEASE BUY A #10… this team is begging for it
    Oh and Aurelian Collin is a piece of shit. He blows. Sorry for the language.
    We got bad Fabinho today. That hurt. I’m also getina little concerned that Rosenberry can’t earn his job back. Gaddis is good on D, but he goes backwards EVERY TIME he has the ball.
    Holy balls was it hot today. Happy Father’s Day too all he dad’s!!! Get em back in the Open Cup. Ok, I’m done 🙂

    • Blame the ref. The amateur hesitated on every foul not being sure of himself. From what I saw on the slow replay , the Jones tackle looked clean. The pink cows couldn’t compete with the union the whole match so they flopped and wasted as much time as they could to draw and luckily douchbag Felipe embellished enough to persuade the ref. The ref. Should be fired and Curtin should appeal immediately. The Redbulls are a shit team and cowards. Collin and Felipe should have been taken out with injury they deserved it. Oh and Marsh is a piece of trash as well.

  5. I know no one likes blaming the result on the ref but we got screwed in this game many times

  6. Lots of poor passes, bad touches and whiffed opportunities. What’s worse is NY was pretty awful. They were a very beatable team. Team really needs a playmaker. No way we’re not bottom of the barrel in October without major reinforcements.

    • A concise way to said what I tried to say… damn alcohol… I agree 100%

      • Hadn’t read your comment, but yeah, we covered the same ground in different word counts. 🙂

        I was that the game, too. It was hot as balls. I gp gave up the beer for water pretty early to make sure I survive to see the Union suck another day.

    • It looked to me like we were on our way to winning before we went a man down

      • I agree. I think they couldn’t hold out that long down a man. It’s not easy.

      • I didn’t get that feeling at all. I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Guys weren’t spaced well. The shape was all over the place. The offense was too disjointed, no flow. Even before the red, I thought a draw would be a good outcome.

      • Especially considering that the player they lost was an athletic strong central midfielder who passes the ball well. I’d imagine this is also why the passing accuracy and possession stats ended up in the toilet

  7. Andy Muenz says:

    I’m going to write my Union ticket rep and ask why I should bother to renew next year when the ref was clearly on the take. Not only was Jones’ card not even a foul, but there is no reason Collin was on the field at the end except that a two point takedown in wrestling just outside the box is not even a yellow card. Otherwise the professional foul later is a second yellow.
    That being said, Blake’s ball distribution has become a serious liability. There is no way he should get a rating higher than a 3 this week as he continually cost the Union possession and then when Fafa would break after the Union stopped NYRB set pieces, Blake would just hold the ball rather than spring him.

    • Adam Schorr says:

      Was he on the take? I mean, the announcer was calling for the red before the ref had even reached for his pocket.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I didn’t hear the announcer but given that the play was right in front of me, I didn’t think it should have been a foul. Aside from that play, given all of the shit he let go the other way, he sure didn’t seem like an unbiased official.

    • John Ling says:

      I pointed out Blake’s failure to read Fafa’s breakouts to my daughter as well. I’m not a fan – at all! – of the goalie lumping the ball forward aimlessly. But lumping it forward with purpose – to try and play your fastest player through on a counter – is perfectly OK. Even if you try and fail, it gives the other team one more thing to think about.
      Instead, over and over Blake held onto the ball until the Cows were set defensively, then he’d lump it forward – and almost always with too much air under it. Ugh.

    • Barry Evans says:

      Not even a foul? It was a studs up challenge over the top of the ball and a red card every time.

  8. Tad Hudkins says:

    I’ve come to realize that everything related to this team is unlucky. The team is unlucky when it comes to unlucky bounces, calls against team, and injuries that bring down expensive players. Also, the fans are unlucky when we get so close to maybe instituting change for the Team, the team wins and we readily dismiss the poor decisions because of the relief of a win. Momentum is a key thing when trying to force something of a large group to change, because once it grows to a fever pitch (no pun intended), it’s hard to ignore. Honestly if rather than going on that four win streak and lost about two more games, the fans would have probably reached the point of walking out on the stadium and not coming back until Mr. Sugarman sells the team. Imagine the momentum we would have had if we were still losing: the fans would boycott, the stadium would be filled with our rivals, and Mr. Sugarman’s selling price would drop. If Mr. Sugarman doesn’t want to give us a team the fans deserve, then he doesn’t deserve our loyalty or money.

    • I agree with everything except the rival fans filling the stadium. I’m pretty sure even rival fans want to avoid Chester.

    • Deep down I agree. It’s kind of hard to quit the team… I’ve been there since day one, I enjoy the hell out of it, I go with my dad and we have a great time… but deep down you aren’t wrong. This team is just existing. They don’t want to win… they want to just be ok and maybe make the playoffs and then whatever happens, happens. They don’t want to spend the money that’s now required to be successful in MLS. It sucks. And deep down any real fan of this team knows it 🙁

      • Kevin1813 says:

        +1. It’s awful because I enjoy the game too much to turn my back, but I’ve known for several years now that money is just being extracted from me. The team will do a little less than the minimum needed to be competitive every year.

  9. Sadly, the Red Bulls were bad, But the Union were worse. Clearly, the players try hard but the quality is not there and will not appear magically this year.Jones is helpful and has potential but here is always a wild card, undisciplined and immature right now, and the tackle was a definite red. A stupid undisciplined tackle that a mature player does not make ever. Sapong has zero quickness, but a good heart, and will never any better than he is now. No room to grow.Right now the future looks like Elliot, Jones, Haris, Bedoya and maybe Picault. Thats not much of a future . Either the players are dense, or the coach has failed in organizing them into a cohesive unit. Their play still looks totally random, no matter what clips Adam shows.

  10. Also our offensive identity is pathetic. Curtins plan for our wingers seems to be nothing more than have them run fast in a straight line every time we have the ball.

    Salong is asked to do everything. Our only plan is try to get the ball to CJ whether it’s on the ground or in the air. Where is our CAM. Where is our 8 making late runs. The offensive mindset on this team is inept. Curtin cleary is incapable of coaching this guys up.

    He talks the talk and I guess sometimes we can ping it around. But when it comes to decisive movement or a coherent final third strategy, we have nothing.

  11. John Harris says:

    That team needs to spend money on a scorer. But they won’t because the owner is cheap. Let’s stop spending money and force the ownership out. This is foolishness.

  12. The red cd was deserved. Two footed studs up and crashing into a planted leg is clearly endangering the player’s safety.

    • agreed

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I didn’t see it that way but you probably had the advantage of multiple replays. That being said, where was the yellow on Collin for the take down of Sapong just outside the box? That would have made his tactical foul a second yellow rather than a first. And where were all the foul calls in the first half when NYRB was mauling the Union?
      Allen Chapman is a piece of shit as a referee and we’ve seen it time and again.

  13. The Red card was correct. Cleats up, dangerous tackle on the 50. WHY???
    Hot day, MLS forced water breaks. Jim can’t manage!!! Red Bulls sub one person at the half, Why didn’t JIM? if just fr a fresh set of legs?
    Pontius could have sat after a terrible 1st half, but no subs. After the red card JIM does make a sub, Creavalle for Ilsinho. Red Bulls starting to build momentum, Please make a sub JIM!! It will break the momentum and will put a fresh pair of legs on the field. and it will eat up some TIME. NO sub!! 90 minute with 5 minutes of stoppage time? YES lets make a sub NOW!! PLEASE hire a real coach!

  14. I struggle to see how these losses, and this inparticular, is not on Curtin. We had two weeks to plan and tinker and find their weakness and work to exploit it over and over until they break. What did we do instead? Literally the exact same thing we have ALWAYS done. Same lineup. Same tactics. Get the ball to Cj 1 on 2 and pray. Get them all wide and pray.
    Fabinho was pathetically bad today with his touch, as was Pontus. Send a message, sit them. Ray continually drops back and passes back and never comes forward. Sit him. CJ looks like he is wearing down again. There were two weeks off and he looked like He was a step slower than usual the whole game. Let him sit.
    Ernie, get a real #10 or what are you doing here. Period.
    The absolute most egregious thing Curtin did was waiting to sub until the 88th min. Down a man with everyone sucking wind. Abolsutely zero offensive production all game. Massive heat and humidity. He is oblivious.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Your last statement makes no sense. He brought in a defensive sub when they went down a man. He made a like for like sub 15 minutes later (that one could have been made earlier). The sub he made at the 88th minute was to try and get the goal back. That sub would have been pointless until the goal was scored. Aside from making the Epps for Pontius sub a few minutes earlier, what would you have done differently?

      • The earlier subs made sense I agree. I think waiting until there’s 5 mins left in the game for the last sub makes no sense. We were clearly dragging, and had been chasing the ball most of the second half. I would have subbed on before the goal was scored and hopes to at least lock the tie and the point down. We had almost no shot to get the win late in the game and should have brought on fresh legs earlier to help track in the midfield or Out wide.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        It didn’t make sense to pull Gaddis when the score is tied and you’re a man down. It did make sense to make that change once you’ve gone down a goal. Had he made that change earlier, he would have had no chance at an answer once the first goal went in.

      • Great One says:

        I don’t mean we had to pull Gaddis for Simpson. At that point we should have pulled maybe Haris for Yaro. He was gassed and not contributing much at that point.

    • I think his thought on waiting for the final sub was, just in case someone picked up and injury or a cramp they couldn’t deal with, he needed that last sub to make sure he didn’t go down two men.

  15. I’ll just be the one to say it. The season is over after that loss yesterday. I thought the defense held up really well after going down to 10 men but we couldn’t afford a loss. Don’t give me the “we’re only X points out of a playoff spot.” Suppose they win the next 2 matches. That puts them at 22 pts. They made it with 42 last year but that was because of so many draws throughout the league. Now, 22 would put them on pace for 44, however, they’ll have 10 road matches left and only 7 home matches and you know how MLS teams fair on the road. They’ll also be done with DC United who is currently the worst team in the east. We don’t have a top quality striker and I don’t see Simpson getting much of a chance because CJ is preferred over him. Yeah yeah CJ works hard. I also see him on ground about 15 times a match which has become a drinking game for me during the match. He can’t run away from a defender and doesn’t have the technical skill to beat anyone. We just have a bunch of “blue collar” guys who at the end of the day will probably finish in 9th place and we’ll be talking about whether Curtin should be fired or not. Damn shame after a nice little run 6 weeks ago.

  16. First game of the season live and possibly the last and I get free tickets from work! Absolutely some of the worst soccer i have viewed. I know it was hot but there was no flow at all to the game from either side. They looked like it was the first time they ever played together.

    While the red card impacted the result in the end, the game was destined to be a 0-0 tie or a loss based on the Red Bulls many missed opportunities in front of the net.

    I am always defending MLS to non-soccer fans, but the Union’s track record and yesterday’s performance makes it that much harder to defend.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      No defending MLS. If a non soccer fan wants to appreciate the sport they should watch a real league, not one that is OK with playing games in a place like Yankee Stadium.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      eurosnobbery alert here…. beep beep beep.
      eurosnobbery alert here… beep beep beep.
      this guy wants teams to Play Well. Oh boy.

  17. I submit this several days late and wonder if anyone will notice. Did anyone else know Nick Sak was at the game? Sitting right next to the owners box basking like a king?

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