Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 3-2 New York Red Bulls

photo: Rob Simmons

An excellent second half performance saw Philadelphia Union come back from 2-0 down to defeat New York Red Bulls 3-2. Super sub Ilsinho changed the match, tallying two goals and adding an assist on Jamiro Monteiro’s goal. Kaku and Brian White were both on target for New York in the first half.

Jim Curtin named an unchanged side from the side that defeated Minnesota last weekend. Marco Fabian was not available.

Philadelphia created a number of chances inside the opening 20 minutes. Jamiro Monteiro dragged a shot just wide from 30 yards in the 6th minute. Kacper Przybylko couldn’t turn a header toward goal after Brenden Aaronson picked him out 12 yards out in the 12th minute.

Sergio Santos would have the first clear cut chance of the match in the 19th minute. Alejandro Bedoya found the speedy striker in behind the New York defense, Santos took a touch to settle and fired a shot that beat Luis Robles but hit the crossbar and bounced over.

It would be the visitors that drew first blood in the 29th minute through Kaku. Kyle Duncan did well to find space down the New York right and Marc Rzatkowski found him with a good cross field ball. Duncan rolled a pass to Kaku that he hit first time, finding the far corner of the goal beyond Andre Blake.

Brian White would double the Red Bulls lead in the 42nd minute. Alex Muyl played a long ball over the Union defense and neither Auston Trusty or Jack Elliott could deal with it and White got a touch to push it high over Andre Blake, who was well off his line.

Super sub Ilsinho would replace Aaronson in the 53rd minute.

The Union would get a goal back through Monteiro in the 60th minute. Ilsinho did well to drive down the right wing and get to the endline before firing a low cross back against the grain that Monteiro hit first time, beating Robles to the far post.

It would be two goals inside a minute when Ilsinho drew the Union level in the 61st minute. This time the Brazilian beat two Red Bull’s defenders cutting in from the right side before firing a quick toe poked shot past Robles from 7 yards.

Philadelphia would take the lead in the 72nd minute. Alejandro Bedoya found himself in acres of space behind the New York defense and tried to square a ball back across the box, but his cross was cut out by the hand of Sean Nealis and referee Kevin Stott was quick to point to the spot. Jamiro Monteiro stepped up to take the spot kick, but Robles did well to dive to his left to deny the shot, only for Ilsinho to pounce on the rebound and bounce a shot into the far post on the right.

Ilsinho would only be denied his hat trick by a brilliant save from Luis Robles. When New York failed to fully clear a Union corner kick and the ball fell to the Brazilian, who struck a fierce volley, that Robles did ever so well to tip over the bar.

The announced attendance was 18,767, a second sellout of the season. With over 200 Red Bulls fans in attendance, it was perhaps the best atmosphere of the season. The Union is next in action on Wednesday, when they travel to Washington to face D.C. United in the U.S. Open Cup.

Three Points

  • Ilsinho. Skillsinho. Cheat code. Call him whatever you want. Entering in the 53rd minute, the Brazilian single handedly changed the match with arguably the best substitute appearance in Union history.
  • Is this real life or is this fantasy? The Union will go into the Gold Cup Break first in the Eastern Conference on points and points per game, second in the league (six points behind LAFC) and leading the conference in goal difference, goals scored, wins, and home wins.
  • The pitch. The pitch at Talen is awful. Alejandro Bedoya blamed it for a second half injury and called it a “disgrace.” With a few weeks off, we’ll all hope the grounds crew can do something to improve the playing surface.

Line Ups:

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Ray Gaddis, Jack Elliott, Auston Trusty, Kai Wagner, Jamiro Monteiro, Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin, Brenden Aaronson (Ilsinho 53′), Sergio Santos (Fafa Picault 74′), Kacper Przybylko
Unused Subs: Matt Freese, Aurelien Collin, Olivier Mbaizo, Fabinho, Michee Ngalina

New York Red Bulls
Luis Robles, Connor Lade, Tim Parker, Kyle Duncan, Amro Tarek (Sean Nealis 48′), Sean Davis, Kaku, Marc Rzatkowski, Alex Muyl (Omir Fernandez 65′), Daniel Royer (Marcus Epps 73′), Brian White
Unused Subs: Ryan Meara, Marcus Epps, Cristian Casseres Jr, Mathias Jorgensen, Tom Barlow

Scoring Summary
NY: Kaku – 29′ (Kyle Duncan, Marc Rzatkowski)
NY: Brian White – 42′ (Alex Muyl)
PHI: Jamiro Monteiro – 60′ (Ilsinho)
PHI: Ilsinho – 61′ (Alejandro Bedoya)
PHI: Ilsinho – 72′

Disciplinary Summary
NY: Amro Tarek – 14′ (unsporting behavior)
NY: Kyle Duncan – 58′ (unsporting behavior)
PHI: Jamiro Monteiro 90+1′ (handball)


  1. I am still coming to grips with the fact that my team… The Philadelphia Union… is capable of coming back from a 2 goal deficit to take all 3 points. That my team… The Union… can score 2 goals in a single minute. That my team… the guys with snakes on their jerseys… are in first place in the conference, with the second-best record in the entire league.

    I guess I should maybe finally sell my timeshare at the Cliff of Union Despair. (Except I know that if I do that they’ll start losing…)

  2. Ilsinho is literally Jesus

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    Nice comeback in the second half after a first half that was very reminiscent of last month’s 0-1-2 homestand.
    Definitely more than 200 Pink Cow fans there as there were a lot more than just the ones in the supporters section.
    Probably the longest it ever took us to get out of Lot A after a game (sorry I didn’t make the PSP event but my wife wasn’t feeling well and was resting in the afternoon).

  4. el Pachyderm says:

    The place erupted after ilson Jr toe poke gol. I haven’t heard that kind of thunder in a long time down there..
    What a match. Needed it. Stay in cat bird seat for the next month. My hopes are Jim chewed them out at half time ‘we have a full house of people out there for first time in awhile and they’re sitting on their hands. Get your shit together.’

  5. Red Bull’s were snake bit by Ilsinho..what a comeback!

  6. OneManWolfpack says:

    Unreal atmosphere. Unreal comeback. Ilsinho is a magician. What a great night down there. Also sorry I missed the PSP event, had a family party to be at before the game…. please do another one soon!!
    I really believe in this team. That makes for some dangerous… but FUN times to be a Union fan!!
    Tanner – Get a striker. Put this team over the top.

  7. John Mastrippolito says:

    I was feeling pretty miserable at the start of the second half, anticipating a frustrating 2nd half full of NY time wasting and fake injuries to kill the clock.
    But then, Ilsinho!!! Single-handedly changed the entire match. An assist, two goals and absolutely robbed of a hat trick by a desperate flail of the fist by Robles. Super exciting comeback and great atmosphere.

    I’ll leave any criticisms of the team for others, but since I sit in the fifth row of 107, and had a very clear view of the pitch; I have to mention that the ruts in the pitch in front of the Red Bulls bench were absolutely AWFUL. Monteiro was nearly dispossessed by the pitch twice.

    We’re a first place team, we need a pitch that we can rely on.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Agree on the field. And it’s a shame too because that field was pristine for years. Hopefully this break – Open Cup/Gold Cup, moving the next few Bethlehem Steel games, canceling the camp out tonight – can give it time to take root. Way too many issues with it

  8. Darth Harvey says:

    The Philadelphia Ilsinho 3 – north jersey bovines 2

  9. HopkinsMD says:


  10. Just an amazing 2nd half! The atmosphere was electric after they tied it up. Our whole section was saying, “get the ball to Ilsinho”. It’s unbelievable how one guy can change it like that.

    Have to give runner up props to Monteiro on an outstanding game. Great movement on and off the ball and sharp passing. What a finish off the Ilsinho cross. And he had a hell of a shot in the 1st half that came close.

    Ok 2 negatives…1st Ray Gaddis…Ugh c’mon, this was especially bad even by Ray’s standards. It’s high time for Mbaizo to take over. 2nd…this field. Does anybody notice how Aaronson suffers the most from this field? Basically anybody who has the ability to make sharp cuts is more likely to slip. And that’s Aaronson’s prime quality as a young player. It costed us better opportunities in the 1st half I believe.

    All in all, the Union are in first place and it feels so good.

    • Roger That says:

      Agree on both runner-up props to Monterio (not only sharp ball movement and passing, but the way he constantly harasses opposing players and wins the ball back time and again adds a lot to this team), and that its time for Mbaizo to start in place of Ray.

    • I’d like to see Mbaizo get some minutes, and I think the upcoming midweek USOC match is good for that. Play Mbaizo, Freese, maybe give Ngalina his first professional start. Give the young guys a chance to make their case.
      That said, I support not playing Mbaizo against NYRB, as I think Ray offers more in the type of physical, challenge-heavy game this was always going to be. And I think Ray showed that in the last 15 minutes, when I thought he really stepped up his level to help see the game out, and made a couple good challenges and some decent plays to keep possession when the Union really needed it.

  11. Great One says:

    What a game. Ilsinho is ridiculous, it’s almost not real how professional defenders just can’t guard him and look foolish. It’s so much more fun watching the game with the crowd like that. I hope it can stay that way.
    Can’t help but think the field is something with the owner being cheap. Why did we Change from something that wasn’t wrong?

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      I don’t think it’s a cheap thing this time around. This offseason they replaced the entire field, I’m assuming because it was necessary. With too much rain and too much activity on it, never gave it time to root properly – the Union finally admitted that just this week. It’s nice that there is a break now, of about a month, where it should, with the warmer weather, take hold. It’s a shame too, because for years that field was perfect.

    • UnionGoal says:

      Tannenwald with good writeup of course.
      Note how he slips in one guy responsible now in New job in jonestown for undisclosed reasons. Poor guy when I’m guessing not entirely his fault.
      Is it possible firm they hired, possibly to save money, didn’t have experience with professional stadium pitches, soccer or other sports?
      Not an expert but field is crappy and won’t be surprised if an athlete injured at talen sues for loss of salary. Granted mls salaries aren’t as high as nba,nfl, or mlb but still…

  12. HopkinsMD says:

    The next morning, I’m still shaking my head. Had to come to this site to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

  13. HopkinsMD says:

    Bedoya’s quote about Ilsinho made me laugh…
    “He makes defenders go back and then as soon as they commit or something they can’t; he’s just too quick with his hips or something.”

  14. Amazing that no one else on the team can make those angled runs onto the box the way Ilsinho does. Maybe j should let him start coaching the midfielders. He just does it again and again and Defenders just can’t keep up. Helps when he has better targets for those back passes like Monteiro. Great win and well deserved. They look to be the real deal. Top of the East.

    Wonder if the guy tweeting that they were exposed as frauds after that first half is OK this morning.

  15. Great second half and I loved being there as the atmosphere was great and I had been really pissy standing in line at halftime.

    Can anyone tell me why Curtin didn’t use his last sub to waste time after going up a goal? Was Przybylko playing incredible defense? Was he pushing for a 4th goal? Glad it worked out okay but how pissed would we be today if it ended up a tie with a stoppage time goal?

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I think it was the limited options. He either had to bring in Ngalina (very inexperienced), swap one defender for another, or change formations by bringing in a fifth defender. All of those come with significant risks. My guess is that if Creavalle or Fabian had been available we would have seen one of them come in.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        I agree with Andy’s underlying premise of limited options. He had already used his two offensive pieces on his bench.
        And I would point out that at one point in stoppage time when Monteiro and Picault had busted guts getting forward, it was Przyblko who chugged back into the midfield to defend.

  16. UnionGoal says:

    Mike, thank you for good writeup.
    However this one of those times you could have written in two sentences:
    First half, red bulls had a scrimmage with a middle school team in a middle school pitch.
    Second half, then Ilsino.

    Done. Congrats to Ilsinho, second oldest on our “youth team”. wELL DONE!! Nice rest of team decided to make appearance second half.

    Ps. Anybody else see first half with heart in mouth as Blake slipped not once but twice kicking goal kicks? Then Robles playing landscaper in start second half, trying to make goal box halfway decent?
    Final statement on the rugby field—all goals same side.

  17. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Two thoughts on Ilsinho:
    1. How good would he have been in his career had he been in this kind of shape with this kind of program of speed work when he was young? he was actually fast in addition to being quick.
    2. New York’s left back was Conor Lade, not Kemar Lawrence. in the 2018 season Michee Ngalina destroyed Lade in a Bethlehem game at Goodman Stadium. Lade had to be subbed off at halftime by Red Bulls 2 coach John Wolyniec, on merit.

  18. Old Soccer Coach says:

    By moving the three Bethlehem games that were home during the gold cup break to different venues, “the Mac” at LaSalle and TBD, Talen lies dormant until July 6. that’s 28 days.
    That is comparable to the amount of time temporary grass has to “take root” when it is put down over artificial turf at a place like the NFL stadium in north Jersey where the Giants and the Jets play American football.
    We can only hope something like that is underway, from midnight yesterday.
    My only evidence is that McDermott and Sugarman walked the pitch in between games of the doubleheader back in April just after Andre Blake got hurt.
    If they moved the July 6th home game against Chicago to Franklin Field, the surface at Talen would be dormant for another 13 days totaling 41. That’s one short of six full weeks.

  19. Call me a NY hater if you will, but I relish reading their version of this game:

  20. Richie_the_Limey says:

    That Once a Metro match report is like a middle school assignment. Just awful! Please read it if you haven’t done so already to get an appreciation for what we have in PSP.

  21. Let’s Go Union!!!

  22. Pretty pathetic that I have to use my wife’s email to post a comment. Any reason why? Have we become china or the USSR? You sjw’s are ridiculous.

  23. 1984. George Orwell

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