New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union: Match Preview

After knocking the boys from New Jersey out of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup ten days ago in dramatic fashion, the Philadelphia Union will host the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night.

The match will kick off from PPL Park at 7 p.m. ET and will be televised on MSG. It’s been a big week for the Harrison side, who signed veteran Englishman Shaun Wright-Phillips, brother of Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips. Even if SWP doesn’t make his debut against the Union, the Red Bulls have been in good enough form of late, winning four of their last five matches, to give their Eastern Conference rivals a good game.


History

Meeting for the third time in 2015, twice in league play and another in U.S. Open Cup, the Red Bulls will be looking to draw blood at PPL Park after falling 2-0 at home back on May 24. New York haven’t defeated the Union since April 16, 2014, where the Red Bulls secured a 2-1 victory at home. Jesse Marsch’s men are seven points clear of the their Philadelphia opponent and have three matches in hand as well.


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Philadelphia Union

The Union are coming off of a disappointing road loss to Eastern Conference leading DC United on Sunday, June 26. After securing a two-goal advantage just four minutes into the match by way of forward CJ Sapong and Sebastian Le Toux, Philly managed to concede three goals, falling 3-2 at RFK Stadium.

The Red Bulls weren’t the only side to make a transfer market splash this week. Head coach Jim Curtin and the Union added Swiss international Tranquillo Barnetta on a free transfer on Wednesday. Barnetta, 30 years old, most recently played his club football with German Bundesliga side Schalke 04.

Philadelphia are 4-2-1 all-time against the Red Bulls at PPL Park, although Saturday’s clash will pose a tough task for the home side.


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New York Red Bulls

Naysayers will claim that the team’s victories over Premier League side Chelsea and Portugal’s Benfica didn’t mean anything, but don’t be so quick to write off those wins. Not only have the Red Bulls won four of their last five league matches, but the two aforementioned International Champions Cup wins have this team flying high over the last month.

In addition to the Red Bulls adding SWP, sporting director Ali Curtis is reportedly closing in on another move for a speedy attacker. Various reports this week have linked the Harrison club with Argentine Gonzalo Verón, who has played his football at San Lorenzo since joining the team in 2012. While he won’t be featured against the Union, it’s very possible the 25-year old will appear against rivals New York City FC in eight days’ time.

As far as this match pertains, New York remains one of the healthiest sides in Major League Soccer. They are in jeopardy of losing two players to yellow card accumulation though, should either man pick one up in Philly on Saturday. Both Felipe and Damien Perrinelle will need to play smart, but cautiously against the Union if they want to avoid a one-match ban. 


Red Bulls Projected Starting XI

Projected Starting XI


What To Watch For

  • Will the Wright-Phillips brothers both be featured?
  • Can the Union break through New York’s back line? (NYRB have only conceded four goals in their last five MLS matches)

Prediction

The Red Bulls are surely looking for revenge after their lackluster home performance against the Union last time out. The Wright-Phillips boys, along with midfielder Lloyd Sam will give Philadelphia’s back line fits. Injuries to Philly’s Andrew Wenger and Vincent Nogueira, coupled with New York’s solid recent form will be too much for the home side to overcome.

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Philadelphia Union