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Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls | MLS Match Preview

5 p.m. ET, Sunday, June 23, 2013
ESPN/Deportes; TSN2


Philadelphia Union and the New York Red Bulls meet for the second time this season in a key match at the head of the Eastern Conference when the clubs face off Sunday afternoon before an ESPN audience at PPL Park. Union returned to their winning ways in their last match, a 3-0 home win against the Columbus Crew on June 5. For the Red Bulls, it's been even a longer layoff from league action, their last match a 2-1 home loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC that put an end to their undefeated streak at seven games in league play.


REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; AR2 (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Jorge Gonzalez
MLS Career: 153 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 51; pens: 60

SUSPENDED: NY: Jamison Olave (through June 23); Juninho (caution accumulation; through June 23)

ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Union 2 wins, 7 goals Ö Red Bulls 6 wins, 14 goals Ö Ties 0
AT PHILADELPHIA (4 meetings): Union 2 wins, 5 goals Ö Red Bulls 2 wins, 7 goals Ö Ties 0
FUTURE MATCH: 8/17: New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
*    The teams are meeting for the second time this season. A goal from Thierry Henry in the 81st minute snapped a 1-1 tie and gave the Red Bulls the victory, March 30 at Red Bull Arena.
*    The Red Bulls have won the last five meetings between the clubs, dating back to the last meeting in 2011. The Union goal in the first meeting this year snapped a 287-minute goalless drought in the series.
*    Union's only two wins in the series have both come at PPL Park, in their first two home meetings with the Red Bulls (2010 and 2011).
*    Coaches record: John Hackworth vs. NY: P3 W0 L3 D0 Ö Mike Petke vs. PHI: P1 W1 L0 D0

3/30: NY 2, PHI 1 (McCarty 55, Henry 81 ñ Casey 61)
*    The Red Bulls broke through in the 55th minute. Jonny Steele whipped in a ball from the left side and a swiveling Dax McCarty managed to flick it past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath and off the far post with the outside of his boot despite being tightly marked.
*    But seconds after entering the game as a substitute, Conor Casey struck for the leveller. He got onto the end of a long throw-in from Sheanon Williams and headed the ball in from close range for his goal with Philadelphia.
*    The winner came in the 81st minute through a touch of sheer class. Thierry Henry brought down a delicate pass from Peguy Luyindula with his thigh before beating MacMath with a smooth left-footed strike from inside the area.
*    NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Kosuke Kimura, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Heath Pearce - Eric Alexander (Lloyd Sam 73), Juninho, Dax McCarty, Jonny Steele - Tim Cahill (Thierry Henry 59), Peguy Luyindula.
*    PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-1-3-1-1): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis - Brian Carroll - Danny Cruz (Antoine Hoppenot 61), Michael Lahoud, Michael Farfan - Sebastien Le Toux (Conor Casey 61) - Jack McInerney (Keon Daniel 80).

Philadelphia Union return to action after winning for the second consecutive match at home last time out, a 3-0 defeat of the Columbus Crew on June 5 at PPL Park. Union sit in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with 22 points from 15 matches.

*    The game's three goals came in a six-minute span in the first half. Union opened the scoring in the 25th minute when Brian Carroll jumped in front of a lazy Columbus pass, cut to the right and fired a shot from distance that deflected off Crew defender Eric Gehrig and into the net.
*    Four minutes later, Carroll helped set up the Union second when he flicked a Sebastien Le Toux corner to the back post, where right back Sheanon Williams was waiting unmarked to volley a shot past goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
*    It was 3-0 in the 31st minute when Sebastien Le Toux forced a turnover, raced untouched down the sideline and played a low cross to Conor Casey, whose diving header put the game beyond all doubt.
*    Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath made four saves, including a couple late in the contest to preserve the shutout.
*    Union team manager John Hackworth made two changes to the team that came back for a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC at BMO Field. Keon Daniel and Conor Casey came back into the side in place of Jose Kleberson and Michael Farfan.
*    PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis - Danny Cruz (Roger Torres 82), Keon Daniel, Brian Carroll, Sebastien Le Toux (Aaron Wheeler 90) - Conor Casey (Antoine Hoppenot 72), Jack McInerney.
*    It was a second consecutive home win for Union after a three-game winless run at PPL Park, and started a three-game homestand which concludes with a visit by FC Dallas following the New York game.
*    "It's hard because I think some of our road success this year has been the opposite. We have got results from being Philly tough. Just dropped our line a little bit and had success,î said Union team manager John Hackworth. "At the same time when we are at home and we have been able to press people, we have shown opponents that we were really good. I think that we are taking that next step and I hope that we can play the same kind of style every game,î
*    Playing on the right side of midfield, Sebastien Le Toux recorded his third career two-assist game in MLS in the win against Columbus. Le Toux took over the league lead with six assists, entering Week 17.
*    "He's putting balls in dangerous spots, he's whipping them in hard, he's picking out people,î Carroll said. "He's really been tremendous. And hopefully that continues. He put in a lot of good effort down the line tonight both offensively and defensively. I'm sure he's gassed but he did great for us.î Said Le Toux: "It's a good spot for me right now to contribute offensively. Maybe it's not as a forward but we all knew I could play this position.î
*    Brian Carroll scored his first goal of the season to send Union on their way against Columbus. He has scored one goal in seven of his 11 MLS seasons. Carroll also assisted on the second goal, the first time in an MLS game he's scored a goal and assisted on another in the same game (he did have a career-best 2 assists April 22, 2006 while playing for D.C. United vs. New York.
*    "In the last month I think he has turned his game up and up and we are now seeing results. Brian's playing well, I think it's great, he certainly deserves it. I'm happy for him because he certainly deserves it,î said Hackworth. "I don't like to throw out those kind of accolades because I think the team was really good, but Brian certainly deserved it.î
*    "[McInerney has] drawn so much attention from the defense just through his run right now. It's time other guys stepped up,î Carroll said.
*    It was the third shutout for Union in their past six games ñ all victories. They have allowed 10 goals in the three other games ñ two losses and a draw.
*    Roger Torres made his first appearance since the season opener, coming on for the final eight minutes. "We have been talking what he needed to do to increase his playing time and I think he understands that and knows there some opportunities in the next  couple weeks for him as well. Great to get him on field,î Hackworth said.
*    A week following the last league match, Union were dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup in the fourth round, falling 3-1 to D.C. United at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Jack McInerney scored Philadelphia's lone goal, amidst a Dwayne De Rosario hat trick.
*    Here's the Union team: Zac MacMath, Raymon Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Jeff Parke, Sheanon Williams, Keon Daniel (Leo Fernandes 46), Brian Carroll, Sebastien Le Toux, Michael Farfan (Don Anding 73), Conor Casey (Antoine Hoppenot 65), Jack McInerney.
*    Union also continued their buildup to league resumption with their annual friendly against USL PRO affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders, getting goals from Brian Carroll, Seba Le Toux, Antoine Hoppenot and Roger Torres on their way to a 4-2 victory.
*    Here's the Union team: Chris Konopka, Raymon Gaddis (Don Anding 46'), Amobi Okugo (Jimmy McLaughlin 46'), Jeff Parke (Chris Albright 46'), Sheanon Williams (Matt Kassel 46'), Brian Carroll (Cristhian Hernandez 46'), Keon Daniel (Leo Fernandes 46'), Danny Cruz (Michael Farfan 46') Sebastian Le Toux (Roger Torres 46'), Jack McInerney (Aaron Wheeler 45'), Antoine Hoppenot

The New York Red Bulls saw their undefeated run put to an end at seven games in their last league match, a 2-1 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on June 1 at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 25 points from 16 matches.

*    The Red Bulls took a 51st-minute lead through some good fortune. Jonny Steele was freed on the left side of the area and tried to pull a pass back to the spot, but Greg Klazura redirected the ball into his own net.
*    Seven minutes later, Whitecaps FC were level. A cross from Lee Young-Pyo wasn't well cleared and Jordan Harvey pounced on the loose ball, rifling it home on the volley.
*    The Red Bulls went a man down in the 75th minute, when Jamison Olave was shown a second yellow card by referee Jorge Gonzalez after a late foul on Kenny Miller.
*    The visitors then took advantage in the 83rd as Miller beat a defender to reach a Russell Teibert cross and headed the ball downward past Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles.
*    Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke made two changes to the team that got a late equalizer for a 2-2 draw with the Columbus Crew at Red Bull Arena. Roy Miller came into the back four for Heath Pearce, and Juninho came into the midfield in place of Tim Cahill, away on national team duty.
*    NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Luis Robles - Kosuke Kimura, Jamison Olave (sent off 75), Markus Holgersson, Roy Miller - Dax McCarty - Eric Alexander (Lloyd Sam 72), Juninho, Jonny Steele (Heath Pearce 78) - Fabian Espindola (Peguy Luyindula 70), Thierry Henry.

*    It was the first loss for the Red Bulls since a 1-0 home loss to Sporting Kansas City on April 17. They had won five of seven league games in between, with two draws.
*    "I keep on saying that ñ for maybe five, six, four games in a row I've said that ñ and our luck is going away Ö We had chances to put it in the back of the net in the end, but the luck is going away,î said Thierry Henry. "We've got to work hard and play a lot better than that to win games and Vancouver deserved to win.î
*    It was also the third loss this season for the Red Bulls after scoring the opening goal ñ the most in Major League Soccer. Only New England and Kansas City have lost more than one game after scoring first (two each).
*    "Just crossing the ball in front of the goal, you call that opportunities and playing well, I don't call that playing well,î Henry said. "I don't know how many crosses we had to put in the box properly and the ball went, I don't know where, so I don't think we played well and like I said our luck went away.
*    After missing three matches after he was forced off injured just 25 minutes into the 2-1 win against MontrÈal on May 8, Peguy Luyindula made a return to action, coming on for the final 20 minutes.
*    Since their league match, the Red Bulls were also bounced out of the U.S. Open Cup, dropping a 4-2 decision to the New England Revolution in a fourth-round match June 12 at Harvard University. Fabian Espindola and Jonny Steele scored for the Red Bulls.
*    Here's the Red Bulls team: Ryan Meara, Brandon Barklage, Markus Holgersson, Heath Pearce, Kosuke Kimura (Andre Akpan 80), Lloyd Sam (Peguy Luyindula 46), Dax McCarty, Juninho, Eric Alexander, Fabian Espindola, Jonny Steele.
*    Petke started the Open Cup with a tactical change, with Espindola as the spearhead in attack and Lloyd Sam and Jonny Steele providing thrust from attacking wide positions.
*    "I didn't think that our outside midfielders grasped exactly what we were trying to accomplish,î said Petke. "I think they were way too deep at times. There was big gaps. [Forward Fabi·n Esp"ndola] was alone up top a lot of the time, especially in the first half. Second half, we bring on PÈguy to give Fabi·n a bit of help up there, push Eric [Alexander] back out wide and flatten it out and go for it. It looked good up until the last 20 minutes or so.î

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Season Stats

Philadelphia UnionNew York Red Bulls
15Games Played16
24Goals Conceded19
63Shots on Target66
203Fouls committed207
166Fouls suffered147

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