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In the last 11 MLS games, New York Red Bulls have managed to clinch all three points on just one occasion. Apart from that, the side have lost four games and drawn six. Their solitary victory came in March when they defeated Columbus Crew 2-1 courtesy of an 86th-minute winner from Dante Vanzeir. After that win, the NY Red Bulls drew four and lost two games. Last week, they held Chicago Fire FC to a 1-1 draw.
Despite being runners-up in the MLS last year, Philadelphia Union have failed to retain their top form and are struggling in tenth place. The club were on a five-game winless run in the MLS this season before they ended that with a spectacular 4-2 win against Toronto FC two weeks ago. The Union have a game in hand and can move from tenth to seventh in the Eastern Conference table with a win against NY Red Bulls.
Despite being at the bottom of the table, New York Red Bulls will be a tough nut to crack. At this point, even a draw would be frustrating for Philadelphia Union. However, the club may have enough determination and skill to eke out a win at the Red Bull Arena.
New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union have met 34 times in the MLS. Both sides have won 13 games each, and eight encounters have ended in a draw. Last season, the Philadelphia Union were undefeated against the NY Red Bulls. They settled for a 1-1 draw at home and then beat the Bulls 2-0 at the Red Bull Arena.
In the last ten games, New York Red Bulls have only beaten the Union once, and that win came in the 2019 MLS season. After that, Philadelphia Union have won six of the last nine encounters, with the remaining three ending in a stalemate.
Of the 15 games in which New York Red Bulls have hosted the Union, seven have gone in favor of the hosts, while just three resulted in three points for the visitors. However, six out of the seven wins at home for the NY Red Bulls against Philadelphia Union came before the 2017 MLS season.
After that, in seven games at home against the Union, NY Red Bulls have only won once. Two have gone in favor of the Union, while four have ended in draws.
In the 2022 MLS season, New York Red Bulls finished fourth, just two points behind their arch-rivals and neighbors, New York City FC. This season has gotten off to the worst possible start for the Bulls as they find themselves at the wrong end of the table.
The season is still in its early days, and New York Red Bulls are only three points away from the last playoff qualification spot. However, the deficit to the top of the table increases with every point they drop.
As things stand, New York Red Bulls are trailing league-leaders New England Revolution by 12 points and will be eager to reduce that gap in upcoming days. However, getting a positive result against last year’s runners-up will be challenging.
The gap to the summit would have been far greater had it not been for all the late equalizers New York Red Bulls have scored over the past few weeks. Almost a month ago, in the match against San Jose Earthquakes, Tom Barlow scored an equalizer in the 17th minute of stoppage time.
Omir Fernandez scored an 89th-minute equalizer a week later against Houston Dynamo FC. The trend is still ongoing, as Cory Burke rescued a point for the Bulls with an 89th-minute equalizer against Chicago Fire last week.
A couple of the late equalizers were scored at the Red Bull Arena, which helped New York Red Bulls dodge defeat at home. So far, the club has played four games at the Red Bull Arena this season.
Of those four games, three have ended in draws, and the only win came against Columbus Crew almost two months ago. Although the hosts would like another win in the next game, a draw would also be a good result considering the opponent's stature.
Like their next opponents, Philadelphia Union have also failed to start the new season in the best possible manner. They are only two points ahead of the New York Red Bulls but have a game in hand.
A positive for the visitors ahead of their next match will be their performance in the last MLS game they played against Toronto FC. Mikael Uhre nabbed a hat-trick as the Union wrapped up three points with a commanding 4-2 victory.
However, that positive could be nullified by the fact that the Union are yet to win an away game this season. While they have won three out of five home games, Philadelphia Union have lost three out of four away games and drawn one.
Another disappointing factor for Philadelphia Union will be their semi-final exit from the CONCACAF Champions League earlier this week. For a club eagerly waiting for its first trophy, the Champions League would have been the perfect addition.
However, that will not be the case this season for the Union, as they were eliminated by defending MLS champions Los Angeles FC. Now the team's entire focus will be on the MLS campaign as they try to inch closer to the top.
With no further distractions, the onus of bringing Philadelphia Union back in the title race will fall on the shoulders of the attackers. Uhre bagged a treble in the last game, taking his season’s tally up to five goals in nine appearances.
The goal-scoring responsibility will also be shared by striker Julian Carranza and attacking midfielder Daniel Gazdag. Carranza has scored three goals in eight games, while Gazdag has four assists and 3 goals in eight appearances.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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