Before this game was played on a lovely late Sunday afternoon you looked at the Eastern Conference standings to see the Red Bulls in the top six above the playoff line and the Philadelphia Union at the bottom of it. If you were a confident fan of the Red Bulls then the thought process is it’s going to be three points today.
But as the old saying goes in this league “MLS is so unpredictable” and unpredictable the result was as the Red Bulls fall for the first time at home to the Union by a final of two goals to nil. The Union were sitting back and waiting to go on the counter to convert and they were able to do so in the 57th minute.
Cristian Maidana was able to corral a loose ball along the near corner of the field and ripped a shot on frame, but Vincent Nogueira was in the right place to deflect the ball past Luis Robles and looking at the far side assistant twice to make sure the flag wasn’t up for offside was able to celebrate for the Union.
Five minutes later it would be two for Philadelphia as another counter was on its way as Maidana gives a nice ball to Fabinho attacking down the left side. There were numbers back for Robles to get help, but Karl Ouimette lost the foot race to C.J. Sapong as he beat Robles with a strong tap in off the cross from Fabinho.
All throughout the first half the Red Bulls were the stronger side and created plenty of chances as well as some half chances to score or squeak a goal past Brian Sylvestre, but sadly those chances were never converted. But Felipe and Mike Grella thought they had a goal in if not for the posts to prevent them from going in. If one or both were able to go in, then we would be talking about a different result and the Red Bulls might be a bit higher in the standings after today’s match. But this is the eleventh game of the season for the Red Bulls and it’s their first home loss and second loss of the season, but against the Union at Red Bull Arena this is the first loss at home against the Dark Blue & Gold. Last time the Union earned any form of points in Harrison was on August 18th of 2013 in a scoreless draw, so for the Union this first win was sweeter than normal.
But it’s still a long season and the Red Bulls have two more games against the Union later in the summer and the fall, so while it’s not a good result for the club, they know that they need to tighten things up for their next big match on the road into the Pacific Northwest to face the red hot Seattle Sounders.