Preview: Philly welcome RBNY for grudge match on ESPN2
PHILADELPHIA UNION vs NEW YORK RED BULLS
PPL PARK, Chester, Pa.
May 13, 2012 (WEEK 10, MLS Game #95)
12:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2/Deportes)
The New York Red Bulls put their three-game winning streak on the line Sunday afternoon when they travel to PPL Park to face Philadelphia Union. The Red Bulls have recorded three consecutive 1-0 shutouts, the last on Wednesday evening in a home win against the Houston Dynamo. Union are coming off a fourth shutout on the season, a 1-0 loss at Seattle Sounders FC last weekend.
REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. SAR (bench): C.J. Morgante; JAR (opposite): Greg Barkey; 4th: John McCloskey
MLS Career: 79 games; FC/gm: 24.7; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 23; pens: 23
- PHILADELPHIA UNION - OUT: MF Roger Torres (L knee surgery recovery); FW Krystian Witkowski (concussion); GK Zac MacMath (concussion symptoms); DOUBTFUL: DF Chris Albright (L big toe sprain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Danny Califf (L hamstring strain); PROBABLE: DF Gabriel Farfan (L hamstring strain)
- NEW YORK RED BULLS -- OUT: FW Jose Angulo (R knee sprain); FW Thierry Henry (R hamstring strain); DF Stephen Keel (back strain); DF Wilman Conde (L groin strain); MF Teemu Tainio (R knee sprain)
ESPN2 Preview: Philadelphia vs. New York
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: PHI: Gabriel Farfan (through May 13)
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: PHI: Gabriel Gomez
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NY: Dane Richards, Dax McCarty
ALL-TIME (2 meetings): Union 2 wins, 4 goals ... Red Bulls 2 wins, 4 goals ... Ties 0
AT PHILADELPHIA (2 meetings): Union 2 wins, 3 goals ... Red Bulls 2 wins, 1 goal ... Ties 0
RETURN MATCHES: 7/21: New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN/Deportes); 10/27: Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls, 1:30 (NBC Sports)
LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/9: PHI 1, NY 0 (Torres 68)
10/20: NY 1, PHI 0 (Richards 8)
- The home team has won all four meetings lifetime between the clubs. Each team claimed 1-0 victories at home in their meetings of a year ago.
- The teams also met in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match in 2010, won by New York at Red Bull Arena.
- Coaches record: Peter Nowak vs. NY: P16 W9 L4 D3 ... Hans Backe vs. PHI: P4 W2 L2 D0
Philadelphia Union fell for a second consecutive match, this time on the road in a 1-0 defeat by Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. Union are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 7 points from 8 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Union falter at CenturyLink Field
- The game's lone goal came in the 63rd minute. Fredy Montero found Mauro Rosales on the right wing with a perfectly weighted pass from the top of the penalty area. The Argentinean took one touch and beat Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath to the far post.
- Sounders FC goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, making his first professional start, was credited with one save in the shutout.
- Union boss Peter Nowak made one change to the team that dropped a late 2-1 decision to the San Jose Earthquakes at PPL Park. Keon Daniel came into the midfield in place of Amobi Okugo.
- PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Raymon Gaddis - Freddy Adu, Michael Farfan (Danny Mwanga 76), Gabriel Gomez (Josue Martinez 83), Keon Daniel - Kai Herdling (Brian Carroll 61), Lionard Pajoy.
- The Union have been shut out four times in eight matches this season. Their five goals are tied for fewest in MLS, with Chivas USA, after Week 9 of the season.
- "It's the second week in a row we lose the game by a goal against two of the best teams in the league right now, so we don't feel like we're not there. We know we can play better, we know we have to fix this problem we have of being more dangerous and opening teams up a little more, creating some chances and taking some more," said Union assistant coach John Hackworth. "We'll just have to continue to work on that. I think we all believe that we are a good team, we've put our back against the wall and we have to play out of it. It's still very early here so no need to hit the panic button at all. We have a lot of young guys in our locker room, a lot of new guys in our locker room we just need to give ourselves time."
- Hackworth was on the sideline in place of suspended manager Peter Nowak. "From our side, we didn't do enough to make Seattle really defend us well," he said. "We have to be a little more dangerous in the final third. We didn't do a great job of that."
- Union were credited with just one shot on target on rookie goalkeeper Bryan Meredith. Union are last in MLS in shots on goal this season, averaging just more than two per game.
- "With a rookie goalkeeper in there making his first start, we talked about putting balls in the box and testing him and putting shots on frame and getting numbers forward," Hackworth said. "And we continued to struggle a little bit with that, so we're disappointed."
- Said Freddy Adu: "That's how soccer is, somebody makes a brilliant play and then the floodgates open. Then goals start pouring in, that's just how it is. We've got to keep going, we've got to keep doing the things we're doing. This is a tough place to play and we only lost 1-0 here. We still lost, but I thought we fought hard and at the end of the day they got a goal and we didn't. We have to be better at that."
- Goalkeeper Zac MacMath was able to finish out the match despite taking a knee to the head in the first half. However, he will miss the New York as part of the league's concussion protocol after suffering concussion-like symptoms.
- On Wednesday, Union defeated FC Schalke 04 of the German Bundesliga 2-1 in a friendly at PPL Park. Lionard Pajoy put Union ahead in the 21st minute, but after Schalke missed a penalty kick, they tied the game with a goal from Sergio Escudero on 41 minutes. But Chandler Hoffman hit for the game-winner two minutes from the end.
Vista Previa Partido: Nueva York
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls won by a 1-0 scoreline for a third consecutive match, this time against the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls moved into second place in the Eastern Conference, with 19 points from 10 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Red Bulls get third straight shutout victory
- The game's lone goal came after seven minutes. Kenny Cooper raced onto a lazy back pass from Dynamo defender Corey Ashe, and deflected the ball into the back of the net as goalkeeper Tally Hall attempted to clear.
- Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara was called upon to make three saves on the night in recording a third consecutive shutout.
- Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made no changes to the team that knocked off the LA Galaxy 1-0 at The Home Depot Center
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-4-1): Ryan Meara - Brandon Barklage, Tyler Ruthven, Markus Holgersson, Connor Lade - Dax McCarty - Dane Richards, Mehdi Ballouchy (Juan Agudelo 46), Joel Lindpere, Jan Gunnar Solli (Roy Miller 87) - Kenny Cooper (Jhonny Arteaga 91+).
- The Red Bulls extended their shutout streak to 293 minutes, the sixth-longest streak in MLS this season. Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe maintained the same back four he's run out for all three shutouts in the streak.
- "Brandon Barklage now has played three games and you can say after three games that he has a future as a right fullback. He defends phenomenal, he's quick, he's very composed in the attacking game. Of course I'm surprised that a player like Tyler Ruthven has never played in an MLS game before, playing for Atlanta. Connor Lade coming from the Academy, doing so well," said Backe. "I was quite worried before when we got all these injuries."
- After going his first seven professional starts and allowing 14 goals - multiple goals in five of seven - Ryan Meara has been credited with three consecutive shutouts.
- "Ryan Meara from Fordham University, having clean sheets, having made maybe one mistake in all these games. Of course it's a huge surprise," said Backe. Said Dax McCarty: "For a young back line and a young goalkeeper, three 1-0 wins in a row, you can't ask much more than that."
- The three 1-0 wins have all basically come without Designated Player Thierry Henry - he was forced out of the 1-0 win vs. New England before the game was a half-hour old, and missed the LA and Houston games.
- "I think you lose a guy like Thierry Henry and it really changes how we play. He's so good with keeping possession for us, he's so good with dropping back and helping us keep the ball," said McCarty. "I think at this point right now, we're a little bit timid, we're a little bit scared. I think some of the new guys are really focused on making sure that they don't make mistakes and when you play like that it just kind of radiates throughout the team. I think we need to do a better job of trying to keep the ball, and keep possession and create chances when we're up 1-0."
- While Rafa M·rquez was again available after serving his three-match suspension, he was held out of the lineup with a minor ankle injury. Dax McCarty again filled the role of a holding midfield screen in front of the back four.
- "That's a good position for him," said Red Bulls center back Markus Holgersson. "He reads the game and we talk to each other and keep it tight, so that's important."
- Backe said M·rquez could figure in the trip to Philadelphia. "He picked up an ankle injury [Tuesday] during training. I would say his future is to play in a holding midfield role. I think it's a soft one so he can be back any day now," Backe said.
- Kenny Cooper scored his eighth goal of the season, but his first since April 14 (four games), the last game of a four-game stretch where he hit for six goals.
- "I think if you look at the record, the stats with Kenny, he's always been good for around 10-15 goals," said Backe. " ... He's more of a striker that runs the channel, hardworking, sometimes tap-ins and things like that like the goal today. But he's a typical team player. I think he can improve."
- Jan Gunnar Solli maintained his place on the left side of the midfield for a second consecutive match. "He's a versatile player. In Norway he played all midfield positions in a 4-3-3 wide, and I think with his running capacity, he's definitely an option in midfield," said Backe.
Dax's domination vs. Houston