The Philadelphia Union currently sit five points behind first place NYCFC in the Eastern Conference after a 1-1 draw at the feet of LAFC at a sold-out Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday.
To keep pace with the conference leaders, the Union need three points against another New York team to kick off a three-game road trip at a place they’ve won only once: Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
The Union’s lone win in New Jersey came on May 24, 2015 with a team that had just one player who is still on the roster in veteran backup left back Fabinho. The Union won 2-0 on the day with goals from Vincent Nogueira and C.J. Sapong and a clean sheet from Brian Sylvestre.
Below is the box score.
The only other real success the Blue and Gold have had in Harrison came two months later in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in July 2015 when they overcame a 40th minute Conor Casey red card and won a PK shootout to advance to the semifinals. The result officially goes down as a draw, as does a PK shootout they lost there in 2017.
Their only other non-league game at Red Bull Arena was in an Open Cup qualifier they lost in 2010. Their overall record is 1-8-5 with three draws coming in league play, including a scoreless draw last season.
This season of course has been different and is already the most successful in terms of points (52) the Union have collected. The Union also already have a win over the Red Bulls this season thanks to a game in Chester that is best summarized as the “Ilsinho game.”
After falling behind 2-0 at halftime from goals by Kaku and Brian White, the Union fought back to win 3-2 after a two-goal performance from super sub Ilsinho and a goal from Jamiro Monteiro on June 8.
The Union will need to have some of that magic in order to defeat the Red Bulls in a must-win game as they travel to face the San Jose Earthquakes afterwards for a midweek game before closing out their road schedule against the Columbus Crew and return home for the Decision Day finale against NYCFC.