The Union lost in North Jersey but thanks to results around the league, clinched a home match anyways.
Give us a home match. Since 2011, supporters have often lamented that the Union have not been at home for the first round of the playoffs, forcing them to go on the road into a house of horrors and ultimately lose. Thanks to the Toronto FC draw, the Union are guaranteed that home match, despite dropping all three points to the Red Bulls on Sunday night.
Union first XI: Andre Blake; Ray Gaddis, Jack Elliott, Mark McKenzie, Kai Wagner; Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya; Fafa Picault, Jamiro Monteiro, Brendan Aaronson; Kacper Przybylko
The Red Bulls came out in their typical pressing, disruptive style on a hot night in North Jersey. The Union didn’t put together their first chance until the sixteenth minute, when Monteiro played Fafa into the box on a quick restart from midfield. RB keeper Luis Robles saved the effort but came way out for it, allowing Alejandro Bedoya a chance at an open net. Bedoya’s effort was blocked by a defender however, and the match stayed scoreless.
The boys in blue pulled out a little razzle dazzle from a corner in the twenty-eighth when Medunjanin hit a low ball to Monteiro at the top of the box. Jamiro had a clean shot on goal, but couldn’t hit the target. Three minutes later, Bedoya found Przybylko at the top of the box who missed the target.
Just a minute after that chance, the Red Bulls scored against the run of play when Sims hit a cross and Blake couldn’t quite claim it, only tipping it along the ground to a waiting Barlow who pounded it home into the open net. The Red Bulls led 1-0, and that’s how the half ended.
The Red Bulls took control in the second half, forcing Blake into save after save to keep the margin at one. It was “Blake save on a low drive” then “Blake tips Kaku’s effort just over the bar” and on and on and on. In the last minute, RBNY scored a cosmetic goal when Bradley Wright-Phillips set up Adam Royer in the box to make it 2-0 and provide the final margin.
It wasn’t all bad for the U; they combined and generated changes, but just couldn’t find the mark. They’ll go into San Jose on a short week next Wednesday to see if they can right the ship in time for the playoffs.