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Back on Top: Union defeat NYCFC 2-0

With the win over NYCFC, the Union are first in the Eastern Conference once again.

Trey Madara

The Philadelphia Union had little trouble in defeating their neighbors to the north on Saturday, as they coasted to a 2-0 victory. The win sees the Union rise to the top of the Eastern Conference.

The Union took the lead 26 minutes into the game, when Chris Pontius finished off a cross from Tranquillo Barnetta. The Swiss midfielder, making his first start of the season, took a few tidy touches before squaring the ball back to Pontius. The winger's finish rolled under Josh Saunders and into the goal for his third tally of the season. Pontius has already equalled his goal total from last season.

CJ Sapong extended the Union's lead 15 minutes later, scoring a goal that wouldn't look out of place at a Flyers game. Noted Flyers fan Sebastien Le Toux fired a shot that would have likely went wide, were CJ Sapong not able to redirect it into the bottom corner of the net. Sapong's four goals is a team-high.

New York City FC recorded only one shot on goal. David Villa had his side's two best chances, but he failed to put either of them on net.


  • Fabinho will miss next week's game due to yellow-card accumulation. That Ray Gaddis replaced him in the second half seems to suggest that he will do so for the full 90 minutes next week.
  • In his first start of the season, Barnetta was given control of set-piece operations. Though he didn't have any opportunities to score from a dead-ball situation, he set up his teammates to do so on multiple occasions.
  • Coach Jim Curtin doesn't think that the Union have fielded their best eleven yet. With Tranquillo Barnetta, Roland Alberg, Ilsinho, and Chris Pontius likely all available for selection next week, we might find out what his preferred lineup is.