The 1-0 final really didn’t show how dominate the Philadelphia Union came out in their Eastern Conference battle against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night, but an early goal from Cory Burke and a level of play throughout that suggested the home team was the one with a week of rest led to a much needed three points for the Union.
After struggling mightily against Atlanta United in the Champions League, the guy we like to call Scory Burke has turned it on his last two games, scoring now in both of the Union’s two league wins on the season in Chicago and inside 10 minutes against the Red Bulls.
Jamiro Monteiro, playing as an eight according to the lineup graphic, was the provider on the quick strike and was solid on the night both as a provider, highlight-reel maker and disruptive presence on the left side of the midfield Jack McGlynn had covered the previous two matches.
After a frenetic opening 45 minutes where the Union really would’ve benefited from a second goal, the visitors worked their way back into the match and created a number of chances they could’ve used to punish the Union defensively. But the story there was a similar one this season with Andre Blake shining again and Kai Wagner and Jakob Glesnes coming up with some vital interventions to cut down chances as the match wore on and the legs from a stretch of 7 matches in 19 days started to show.
Leon Flach played his third straight match covering for the suspended Jose Martinez and proved that while he may not have quite the bite or presence El Brujo brings to the position, losing the fiery Venezuelan international is not a reason for Union fans to panic. Anthony Fontana’s return to the No. 10 role saw him pick up from a solid sub appearance the game prior showing more influence on the game and was generally sharper on both sides of the ball than he had been in his previous starts.
Alejandro Bedoya, meanwhile, did what marquee players do in games like this, giving everything he had in another standout performance that shows that though his age may be a concern over the long haul if he isn’t given periodic rest he can still be counted on when needed most.
As things often do, the match got chippier as it wore on. Red Bulls sub Austin Yearwood managed to pick up two yellows in a 14-minute cameo and Quinn Sullivan again found himself subbing on to a melee but do you really expect anything else when these two teams meet?
What did you think of the individual performances on Saturday, with Kacper Przybylko subbing in to play the 10 and what other feedback do you have from the game? Let’s hear it it in our Community Player Ratings Poll.