Match Review: Philadelphia Union vs. New York Redbulls Sunday June 23 2013 PPL Park
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better… They kind of did.
In front of a sold out PPL Park, the Philadelphia Union took to the pitch with three points in mind and got just that against a New York Redbull side that seemed just as baffled by the result as some of the Union faithful. With goals by Connor Casey and Antione Hoppenot, the Union now sit tied with New York at second place in the Eastern Conference. This was a must win for the Union, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time.
Union starting XI- MacMath, Gaddis, Parke, Okugo, Williams, LeToux, Daniel, Carroll (C), Cruz, McInerney, Casey.
Redbulls Starting XI- Robles, Miller, Pearce, Holgersson, Barklage, Steele, Alexander, McCarty, Sam, Luyindula, Henry.
Philadelphia started early, putting pressure on the Redbulls with several scoring chances, but with an early Casey goal that was called back for offsides in the opening minutes, Casey struck again from Sheanon Williams to put the Union up 1-0 in the seventh minute. The Union continued adding pressure in the first half, which seemed to frustrate New York at times. And then, the bubble burst.
At the 28th minute, due to a hard challenge to Mid-Fielder Danny Cruz, Lloyd Sam was issued a straight red card that sent him towards the tunnel and into the jaws of the Sons of Ben. At that point, the match seemed to get a bit chippy and the Union’s pressure seemed to slack off a bit. The Redbulls, on the other hand, were facing problems of their own. After the Sam red card, New York tried to add a little pressure of their own, but the Union back line did a nice job clogging up the attack led by Thierry Henry and company. Henry at times seemed a bit frustrated with his team mates who were often were not in position to recieve any passes. In the 36th minute, Manager John Hackworth makes the first subsitution as birthday boy Micheal Farfan replaced Danny Cruz, who appeared to have been injured by the Sam challenge. Farfan came out agressive, and as a result, was given a Yellow card in the 42nd minute. By the end of the half, the Redbull supporters seemed a little ticked off by the lack of effort from the visiting side.
In the second half, the match seemed to go back and forth at times with both teams creating chances, and at the 64th minute, Casey strikes again on his own with a strike to the bottom right corner of the goal to give the Union a 2-0 lead and silencing the Redbull supporters a little more. Nine minutes later, Casey comes off and is subsituted by Antione Hoppenot, who created some magic of his own scoring in the 88th minute to seal the deal, and give the Union a much needed three points.
Well the Red Card certainly did help, however, the Union were not able to capitalize on the one man advantage. The score could clearly had been 3-0 at the half.
After the Casey goal that was called offside, the Union did not fold. They kept the pressure which is something that is not often seen.
Marfan, LeToux, Carroll. They all played well and were a positive factor in the winning effort.
Connor Casey. If you snag a couple of goals, you’re added as a game changer for sure. In a much needed win, the Union will look ahead to Saturday when they host FC Dallas. Certainly, this win should give them a momentum boost to push forward.
Oh, and on a side note. In case you were wondering, Nick Wallenda made it across the Grande Canyon unscathed.