On a perfect day to night for soccer, a small but vocal crowd of 4,009, watched the Philadelphia Union hold on to beat the New York Red Bulls in the US Open Cup round of 16, 2-1.
Red Bulls Starting XI:3-3-3-1
GK: Luis Robles; Ds Aurelian Collin, Connor Lade, Hassan Ndam, Kemar Lawrence, Tim Parker; MFs Tyler Adams, Marc Rzatkowski, Kaku, Derrick Etienne Jr.; F Carlos Rivas
Union Starting XI: 4-2-3-1
G Andre Blake; Ds Raymon Gaddis, Auston Trusty, Mark McKenzie, Keegan Rosenberry; MFs Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin, Ilsinho, Fafa Picault, Borek Dockal,; F Cory Burke
For being scoreless, it was an action packed opening 45’+. There were plenty of chances for both sides – Philly outshot NYRB 11-4, 6-3 on target -but nothing that scary. The U – especially Burke – did hit some shots over and wide of the goal that could have added to the on goal numbers.
The second half continued the torrid pace with the Red Bulls looking dangerous early.
But it was the U that finally broke the tie on a left foot blast by Medunjanin in 52′. Bedoya would get his first assist of the night.
It felt like they had iced the W as Cory Burke, who had many chances to score in the first half was sprung by a tic-tac-toe play by Meunjanin and Bedoya, and broke on goal alone. He did not miss this one, to make it 2-0 in 61′
Right before the goal NYRB had subbed in the big guns, which seemed to pay off as one of the best, Bradley Wright-Phillips cut the lead to one in 78′
3′ later though Blake made what probably turned out to be the save of the match on Kaku.
8′ + 4’+ of stoppage time and a bunch of chippiness later, the Union had held on for the 2-1 decision.
Red Bull Subs:
Daniel Royer for Etienne and Bradley Wright-Phillips for Rivas 61′
Florian Valot for Ndam, 73″
Marcus Epps for Ilsinho 65′
Warren Creavallefor Dockal 82′
David Accam for Burke 90′
Red Bull Cards:
Surprisingly enough for what was a rivalry match there were no cards issued and it was only in the tense waning moments that things got at all dicey. It was a well played match by both sides, trading runs from start to finish, and all in all a very exciting match to watch.
About the only quibble is that once again especially in the first 45′ the team had a hard time finishing good runs, and they easily could have had a one or two goal lead going into halftime. But hey, they won the match, nobody got injured, and they have a full week of rest until their next league match, so all is good.
One other thing is that again for a rivalry match, that only 4K showed up for this, is a real shame. Hopefully the next Open Cup match will be better attended, for this was exciting soccer, and every player left all they had on the pitch. I implore the Union faithful to take advantage of the lower prices and the Free Parking to do the same.
Finally, with Father’s Day tomorrow it is time for my annual PSA about PSA testing.
As a Prostate Cancer Survivor and now 6+ years C-Free, I urge all men of a certain age to get tested, as early detection probably saved my life, as it has many others. #DontFearTheFinger
The next MLS match for the Union will be at home against Vancouver WhiteCaps FC (6-5-5, 23 Pts, 4th Place Western Conference) on Saturday 6/23/18 at 5:00 PM.
The Union have already won the draw to host the next round of the US Open Cup on July 18th against either DC United or Orlando City FC who play on Wednesday 6/20/18 at DC United.