Saturday night, The Philadelphia Union played a highly anticipated game against the New York Red Bulls. This was a major game for Philadelphia, with New York not far behind in the play off race, the Union needed a win to stay in first.
For the past few weeks, every team that came to Talen Energy Stadium played a defensive game. Many wondered if New York would come to Chester and do the same. The questions were answered at the end of the first half when The Union and New York went into the locker room with The Red Bulls ahead 2 - 0.
Jim Curtin then threw Ilsinho into the game and the whole night transformed. Using his fancy footwork to dance around New York’s defense. Ilsinho would end the night with a pair of goals and an assist, being the main reason of a Philadelphia Union come back that will be remembered by the fans for a very long time.
Ilsinho has been receiving high praise from past teammates and the league over his extraordinary performance Saturday night. Being named to the MLS team of the week, FIFA team of the week, and the MLS player of the week.
It wasn’t a normal line up from Jim Curtin Wednesday as Philadelphia came out in a 4-2-3-1 wide formation. This is an unusual starting formation this year, being different then the usual 4-4-2 diamond formation. Jim Curtin had his hands tied with multiple players being called up to their national team camps, multiple injuries, and the U.S. Open Cups limit of only 5 international player spots allowed on the roster.
The Union would end up scoring the first goal of the match after 112 minutes played. Anthony Fontana was the goal scorer after being subbed on for Sergio Santos. But Philadelphia’s celebration didn’t last long. Soon after, Chris McCann connected on a corner kick from Wayne Rooney to tie the game. Minutes later, Alejandro Bedoya took Luciano Acosta down in the 18-yard box, giving Rooney the chance to take a Penalty Kick against 20 year old Matt Freese, ultimately winning the game for DC 2-1.
The Union are now eliminated from The US Open Cup and have 2 weeks off to heal up and prepare for New York City FC. How do you rate the performances of the players over the past two games? Check back in to see who won the Man of the Match, and who the community believes should be playing better.