On a beautiful early summer night for soccer in North Jersey, the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls met for the right to advance to the US Open Cup Quarterfinals in mid-July. It was a good thing that the weather cooperated because it took 120+ exhausting minutes, followed by Penalty Kicks to decide this 1-1 (5-3) victory by the Red Bulls over the Union.
Red Bulls Starting XI:4-2-3-1
GK Ryan Meara, D’s Damien Perrinelle, Aurélien Collin, Aaron Long, Kemar Lawrence, MF’s Tyler Adams, Felipe, Sal Zizzo, Sacha Kljestan, Sean Davis, F
Union Starting XI:4-2-3-1 Bradley Wright-Phillips
GK John McCarthy, D’s Josh Yaro, Jack Elliott, Keegan Rosenberry, Fabinho, MF’s Haris Medunjanin, Derrick Jones, Roland Alberg, Fafa Picault, F’s CJ Sapong, Jay Simpson
The Red Bulls dominated the first half out-shooting the U 12-4, 4-2 on target, and 59-41 in possession. The ball was constantly in the Union end, but somehow McCarthy and the D kept the NYRB off the board until some of the worst defense of the season handed the ball right to B-W-Phillips who then neatly fed the ball to Kljestan all alone at the penalty spot, for an easy tally 42′.
The half ended 1-Nil, with the only positive that it could have been a lot worse.
The second session started pretty much like the first until around the 65′ or so the Union seemed to pick up the pace. In the 71′ -73′ minute Sapong had some great opportunities – one hit the inside of the post and bounced out.
Out of nowhere in the 86′ a long pass by Elliot to Alberg caught NYRB off guard, they all, as well as this on-line watcher, felt he was off-side, and he buried the equalizer.
No score in either 15′ session but the Union seemed the better team throughout. Both Sapong and Picault missed very good opportunities to score.
Unfortunately this one came down to PK’s, as I have stated often, not my preferred way of deciding a soccer match of any kind. The obvious Man Of The Match, NYRB GK Ryan Meara, who made great saves throughout the night, was the only one to stop a PK, which led the Red Bulls to move on, via a 5-3 advantage.
Felipe 37′, Damien Perrinelle 90′ +4
Connor Lade for Collin 23′ injury, Daniel Royer for Long 77′ injury, Gonzalo Verón for Davis 100′
Marcus Epps on for Simpson 62′, Adam Najem for Jones 82′, Chris Pontius for Sapong 105’+, injury
Now the Union can at least get back to saving their actual MLS season with yet another important Eastern Division Match against the NE Revolution (5–5, 20 Pts, 8th Place) Sunday 7/2 at 5;00 PM. on FS1. The Revs are only 1 Pt ahead of the U, with one more game played. Every match against a team between you and the Red Line is just about a “must win” at this point. A win there will erase tonight pretty quickly among the Union Phaithful. I will be at Talen Energy Stadium covering that one.