That’s Bull! Union fall to New York: Match Report

It was a week of optimism for Philadelphia Union fans. Despite coming off of a defeat to DC after leading by two just four minutes into the game, the team had finally made the move to sign former Schalke midfielder Tranquillo Barneta. It was unknown if the midfielder would start against New York, but there was a feeling of fresh air blowing around PPL Park…but that was quickly dashed away.

The game started in scrappy fashion for the Union with the Red Bulls being almost gifted possession from the Union’s Defense. Six minutes in it was Mike Grella who picked off a Maurice Edu pass only to fire wide of the mark.. The Red Bulls were flooding the Union, yet it was the home side who went into the goalless half with the better stats. Nine corners were won by the Union but no goal was to be found. There were plenty of chances for the Union to score but there seemed to be a lack of composure in the early stages.

The second half was a highly anticipated scene for both sides as two new players took to the field. Brother of Bradley, (Wright-Phillips, he’s better than Shaun) Shaun Wright-Phillips took to the field whilst Barnetta stepped onto a hotly anticipated debut for the Union.

All eyes were on the Champions League veteran as fans were desperate to see if he could become PPL Park’s next star..but the opening moments were anything but promising. After some fantastic goalkeeping from John McCarthy yet again, the momentum began to change once both new players graced the field. Then, the two experienced footballers collided..resulting in a New York penalty. Barnetta had ran into the back of Shaun Wright-Phillips in the area as the ref pointed to the spot.

Kljestan then broke the deadlock by converting his penalty, beating a well composed McCarthy who was just a touch away from making the stop. The fans were anything but happy as their new saviour had indeed created a goal on his debut..but for the wrong team…”THAT’S SO UNION” has been doing the rounds on social media today as a result.

The home side were eager to leave their fans with a smile though as they bounced back inside ten minutes to tie the game. Sebastien Le Toux broke his goal drought after a Chaco Maidana cross landed perfectly at his feet. The Union had never swept the Red Bulls and won every game in a year..could this be a comeback of kings?


Under sixty seconds had passed before Shaun Wright-Phillips completely dispersed of Gaddis before finding his brother..the one who’s better than Shaun to find the slotted finish. Gaddis had suffered from poor positional play all game long and it was the Premier League experience of Shaun who exploited it completely. Catching the defender who played his 100th game for the Union during that match completely off guard.

The Red Bulls, now 2-1 up took complete control of the game when wonderkid Abang put the nail in the coffin. McCarthy was almost left defenseless as he suffered a two on one, he did all he could but unfortunately the 18 year old was able to find goal number four of his season.

The Union still fought and fought bravely. Maidana again was one of the only players who performed superbly, creating plays out of seemingly nothing to give the likes of Conor Casey perfect chances, which the Union failed to capitalise on. Most of their play in the last chance saloon period came down the right hand side, something which did not make sense when you have a much more threatening attacking player on the left hand side of the field.

The game ended 1-3 to the Red Bulls and leaves the Union with an average of 0.96 points per game, just one spot above the bottom of the MLS in that statistic. For the Red Bulls, it’s one step closer to chasing DC..for the Union, it’s one step closer to a missed play-off berth.

The team simply have to rebuild and recover for their next challenge. An Open Cup Semi-Final looms and a fixture with and in form Orlando is right around the corner. Barnetta should not be criticised too much for his penalty giveaway, yes it was sloppy but it wasn’t a daft challenge and should not be treated as such. For the remainder of the game he began to find his feet and contribute much more to the Union’s attacking play. It remains to be seen if he can transform into the player the Union know he can be in the upcoming crucial fixtures.


Did we mention that?

No Bias..we promise.