Union match reports

Match report: New York Red Bulls 0-3 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Goals from Brendan Aaronson, Kacper Przybylko, and Matt Real powered Philadelphia Union to a 3-0 win over a toothless New York Red Bulls side in Harrison, N.J. on Sunday afternoon.

Both sides entered the match coming off a defeat. The Union dropped their first match since February at Columbus in midweek, while New York’s loss on Wednesday to D.C. United led to the firing of manager Chris Armas. Interim manager Bradley Carnell took charge of the Red Bulls for the first time in Sunday afternoon’s match.

Jim Curtin made just one change from the side that started midweek in Columbus, swapping in Jakob Glesnes for Jack Elliott as Mark McKenzie’s partner in central defense. With Kai Wagner still injured, Olivier Mbaizo earned his second straight start at left back.

Both teams started the match in cagy fashion, just twelve days after the last clash between the two. New York spent most of the first fifteen minutes in the Union half, but the hosts failed to generate much danger. Kacper Przybylko put one over the bar on a volley from outside the top of the box, the first good chance for Philadelphia.

The Red Bulls squandered a golden opportunity to tie the game in the sixteenth minute when a whipped-in cross from Jared Stroud on the right flank found Daniel Royer open four yards from goal. The Austrian striker, however, couldn’t put his one-time attempt on frame.

Sergio Santos generated a two-on-one breakaway in the 25th minute, using his strength to take the ball away at the halfway line and his speed to burst into the final third. His pass found Przybylko wide open at the edge of the six-yard box, but Striker Muffin’s touch gave Kyle Duncan time to recover and toe-poke the ball away. Making things worse, Santos appeared to do hamstring on the breakaway, forcing Curtin to summon Andrew Wooten as an early substitute.

A wonderful strike from Brendan Aaronson gave the Union the lead in the 36th minute. Making a run down the right side, Alejandro Bedoya hit a square ball to Aaronson at the top of the Red Bull box. Left with plenty of time, the Homegrown attacker smashed one from distance that found the inside of the far post. It was a sweet strike — another showcase of Aaronson’s abilities to the European clubs who are circling for a possible transfer.

That goal would be the difference between the two sides heading into halftime — a half in which the Union did not concede a shot on goal.

New York piled on the pressure in the first ten minutes of the second half, aided by a spete of Union turnovers in midfield. However, Philadelphia did well to funnel the pressure to the flanks, where the Red Bulls were forced to rely on low-danger crosses to generate chances. The poor form of Tom Barlow helped; the striker had a dangerous look from about eight yards out but his shot proved to be a damp squib.

As is custom, Ilsinho entered the game in the 61st minute. Uncustomarily, he replaced Jamiro Monteiro, who went right down the tunnel to the locker room after the sub.

Philadelphia doubled their lead with a pretty team goal in the 68th minute. Aaronson found Bedoya with a no-look pass running through the midfield, and the club’s captain played Wooten into the box. Wooten found Przybylko with his first touch, and he made no mistake putting a first-time finish past Ryan Meara.

Matt Real and Anthony Fontana entered ten minutes later, and it took less than a minute for them to kill off the game. In the attacking third, Fontana forced a turnover. Ilsinho took the ball and slipped in Real on the left edge of the box. The Homegrown’s first-time finish found the inside of the far post — a sweet finish for Real’s first MLS goal.

The Union next take the pitch on Saturday, the longest break they’ve had since the resumption of the regular season. They host the New England Revolution, with kickoff at Subaru Park scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Three points
  • I feel pretty. Three beautiful goals for the Union — a great individual blast from Brendan Aaronson, a sweet team move finished off by Kacper Przybylko, and a account-opener for Matt Real.
  • A winning defense. Another composed night from the Union’s back four, absorbing pressure and keeping the Red Bulls from much in the way of dangerous chances.
  • Striker situation. If Sergio Santos has to miss time with injury, the Union’s depth at striker will be tested. Andrew Wooten, who had two assists tonight, will need to step up, because Cory Burke’s potential return remains a big question mark.

Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake; Olivier Mbaizo (Matt Real 77′), Mark McKenzie, Jakob Glesnes, Raymon Gaddis; José Martinez, Jamiro Monteiro (Ilsinho 61′), Alejandro Bedoya, Brenden Aaronson (Anthony Fontana 77′); Kacper Przybylko, Sergio Santos (Andrew Wooten 29′)
Unused subs: Joe Bendik, Jack Elliott, Cole Turner, Jack de Vries, Michee Ngalina

New York Red Bulls

Ryan Meara; Kyle Duncan, Amro Tarek, Tim Parker, Mandela Egbo (Jason Pendant 67′); Jared Stroud (Omir Fernandez 57′), Cristian Casseres Jr., Florian Valot (Dru Yearwood 83′), Kaku (Brian White 82′), Daniel Royer; Tom Barlow (Mathias Jorgensen 67′)
Unused subs: David Jensen, Sean Nealis, Benjamin Mines, Samuel Tetteh

Scoring summary
PHI: Brenden Aaronson — 36′ (Alejandro Bedoya, Andrew Wooten)
PHI: Kacper Przybylko — 68′ (Andrew Wooten, Alejandro Bedoya)
PHI: Matt Real — 78′ (Ilsinho)

Disciplinary summary


  1. Dead Cows don't bounce. says:

    Jersey missed a couple of Bull-sitters, or it might have been more interesting.

  2. OneManWolfpack says:

    A rather nice destruction of the Pink Cows. I’ll take that any day of the week. The goals were all well taken and the defense was mostly good. Not much for me to complain about really.

  3. Union definitely played better in the first half against Columbus but it makes a difference as to who the opponent is. Brenden Aaronson is probably the only one who was significantly better in the first half tonight (and played fantastically all game).
    Any idea why Creavalle wasn’t available as a sub tonight?

  4. This was a mighty satisfying game. There was a bunch of sloppy passing in the midfield, especially early on. But in the second half when they’d give it to NY, they’d counterpress and get it right back. Goals were all lovely. Mbaizo is starting to show why they’ve been keeping him around.

    And Fontana looked great; I know there are rumors of a Derrick Jones-like situation with him and Curtin, but I hope Jim can nurture him back into the fold, because the kid really looks promising. Real does too (but maybe as a wing midfielder rather than a wingback…).

    • Thanks for noting the sloppiness. I tuned in late and without the score box at the top of the screen, might have thought that this game was problematic. I saw no less than a dozen unforced errors and giveaways within the first few minutes that I saw. Against another team, that might have been problematic. I like seeing the combinations beginning to develop up top, but some of the midfield transactions were pretty rough.

  5. In Tanner We Trust says:

    Most complete match we’ve seen this year?

    • I think they played better against DC. Yes, Blake let up the soft goal but that was due to the wet ball more than anything. Against NJ the Union gave up several chances that should have been put away and when McKenzie fell over on his own with the ball, it was just scary.

      • In Tanner We Trust says:

        Good points. My thinking is, DC is terrible. Red Bulls were missing guys to injury, but I don’t think they were atrocious or anything like that. I think we just dominated them. Also, DC literally did not shoot yesterday. 2nd time in league history that’s happened.

  6. Well… good teams are supposed to beat bad teams. I’m ready for this good team to beat the bad teams and start beating the good teams again. Standing by.
    Otherwise… can’t argue. Any pounding of a New York team is a welcome pounding.

  7. Noticed that Aaronson is up for Goal of the Week.
    On a separate note, the Union announcers were remiss in not mentioning that the Union II game down in Tampa had been weather delayed and that people could watch it after the Union game. (Not sure if it was on the Union website but it was on ESPN+). I ended up watching it this morning. Not unexpectedly, Union II lost 2-0. Former Union player Leo Fernandez is still playing with Tampa.

    • Just getting back from a great weekend away…who was announcing the game? Tommy and who? I keep seeing LeToux but I may be looking at completely the wrong place.

      • LeToux was halftime and postgame (and maybe a brief cameo pregame). It was the same guy who did the play by play in the Columbus game, but I don’t remember his name.

  8. fontana and real definitely play well together especially on the attack from the left. nice to see wooten get the assists. the red bulls are a hot mess. i almost feel sorry for them. even the ny play by play homers had nothing but praise for the union/ espn plus app sucks. hope to see the aaronson brothers on the national team playing together.

  9. Really nice to see them put away the Pink Cows! Mostly a good professional game! Some things were sloppy as noted above! But I think the game schedule is starting to show.

  10. Is there anything to read into, “he replaced Jamiro Monteiro, who went right down the tunnel to the locker room after the sub.”

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