The start of the 2015 season for the New York Red Bulls has been very surprising with their results as they have been unbeaten in nine of their first ten games. So far all the credit has to go to Head Coach Jesse Marsch who has done a wonderful job finding ways to get this side to be competitive and not resting on their laurels, but now they have a tough opponent coming over in the Philadelphia Union.
Their fourth matchup in the I-95 Corridor this season as the Red Bulls host the Union on MLS Super Soccer Sunday for this tussle and even if the Union have had a bad start to this season, you can throw it all the window as these two clubs absolutely hate each other and the Union have only recorded one point in the five plus years facing the Red Bulls. “We will not overlook them this has always been a tough game.” Said Lloyd Sam, “I’ve seen a lot of their highlights, they seem to be a bit unlucky with their results, and they gave a penalty to Salt Lake on Maurice Edu.”
Sacha Kljestan is familiar with this area and the northeast with all the chatter that goes around as he attended Seton Hall for their soccer program, so he is aware how big these games are. But he’s not too concerned about using that knowledge to face the Union.
“From what I’ve heard no one likes Philly in the locker room, it’s a big rivalry but this rivalry is fairly new. They made the playoffs once in their history, but it’s always a tough matchup. We feel we are a good team, but we are also a confident team when we get out on the field.”
Head Coach Jesse Marsch knows what he needs to do when he faces a challenge from the opposition in Union Striker Conor Casey who has found ways to beat this Red Bulls team no matter which side he’s been on. Every time Casey finds a way to get close to the Red Bulls net, he’s able to beat Luis Robles or whoever has been the keeper for this club as Casey scores with ease. “He did well against us in preseason as he found gaps underneath our defenders, holds up balls for others so he can advance himself into the attack. Conor is good coming from a wide position so when he does go wide we have to identify where he is so we can stop his attacks. We also have to battle so we can win loose balls.”
The big cog in the midfield for the Union is Maurice Edu and he will be unavailable as he is serving a one match suspension on yellow card accumulation, but in this game both Kljestan & Damien Perrinelle is one caution away from getting a one game suspension on accumulation. So the Red Bulls must be aware of that and hope to get the three points.