The Union are in Harrison, New Jersey, tonight to put their new win streak to the test. There, they’ll run into an even hotter team in the New York Red Bulls. The Red Bulls have a win streak of their own, as they’ve come out the victors in each of their previous four games, three of which were on the road and two of which contested by conference leaders Atlanta United FC and New York City FC. RBNY lead the league in points per game and goal difference, but currently sit fourth in the East with games in hand on its closest competitors.
Suffice it to say that the Union are in for their toughest test of the season. They’ve recently pulled themselves out of a rut that saw them win only one of eight games, but they beat up on fellow cellar-dwellers the Montreal Impact and Real Salt Lake to do so.
Though the Union are heavy underdogs heading into Harrison, they’re still facing some pressure to come home with a result. Fans are understandably displeased with the team’s performance to date, and the wins over Montreal and RSL won’t be (and shouldn’t be) enough to dispel all discontent. A huge loss at the home of the club’s biggest rival will not be received well, no matter how likely that outcome is.
Bulls on parade
With 26 goals scored through ten games, the Red Bulls are the most productive offensive team in MLS. Upon visiting the stats page on mlssoccer dot com, one is met with the mugs of striker Bradley Wright-Phillips and midfielder Kaku, who lead the league in goals and assists, respectively. The two players have combined for 11 goals and 14 assists, but it’s not just them: BWP and Kaku included, the Red Bulls have six players with two or more goals, and eight players with two or more assists. For comparison, the Union only have three multi-goal scorers, and only four with multiple assists.
Whichever defenders Jim Curtin selects tonight, they’re going to have trouble containing a Red Bulls attack that is truly multi-faceted.
Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake; Keegan Rosenberry, Mark McKenzie, Austin Trusty, Fabinho; Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin; Marcus Epps, Bořek Dočkal, Fafa Picault; CJ Sapong
New York Red Bulls: Ryan Meara; Michael Murillo, Aaron Long, Tim Parker, Kemar Lawrence; Sean Davis, Tyler Adams; Florian Valot, Kaku, Danny Royer; Bradley Wright-Phillips
How to watch
Where: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey
When: 7:00 PM ET, May 26, 2018
Streaming: ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN (Canada)
Radio: Union Radio