Wallingford, Pa. (April 10, 2011) - After a heated battle at PPL Park Saturday night, the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls met again Sunday morning to kick off play in the re-launched MLS Reserve League. Philadelphia came away victorious again, edging New York 2-1 at Chester Park.
Jack McInerney and Chris Agorsor were the goal scorers for the Union, while John Rooney accounted for the lone Red Bull tally. Each side started nine first team members.
The Union held an early edge in possession and generated the first scoring opportunities of the match. 16-year-old Zach Pfeffer narrowly missed a goal from 20 yards out, sending a curling strike just wide and high of the near post. Juan Diego Gonzalez had an opportunity to finish a loose ball in the area following a half-bicycle from Agorsor, but the defender’s header was just off the mark.
Rooney had two near misses in the latter stage of the first half, curling a ball wide of the far post from the top of the area and having another attempt blocked by McInerney at the edge of the six-yard box.
New York’s best chance of the first half came after 2011 first round pick Corey Hertzog beat his man along the right touchline. Goalkeeper Thorne Holder was able to parry away the rookie’s close-range, angled attempt to keep the match scoreless.
The Union closed out the first half with a golden opportunity. Saturday night’s hero Roger Torres sent a through ball to McInerney that was deflected by defender Tyler Lassister. Agorsor ran onto the loose ball and was all alone on goal, but his first touch was too strong, enabling goalkeeper Alex Horwath to charge off his line and break up the play.
The Union quickly broke open the scoring after the break. In the 50th minute, Torres sent a cross in from the right corner to McInerney, who headed near post from six yards out past a diving Horwath for a 1-0 lead.
New York didn’t wait long to equalize. Two minutes later, Mehdi Ballouchy sent a free kick low to Marcos Paullo, who found a wide-open Rooney at the top of the area. Rooney fired low and hard to the far post, beating a frozen Holder to level the match at one goal apiece.
It appeared as though New York took the lead midway through the second half. Paullo finished a cross from Rooney, but the referee came charging in to waive off the goal due to an offside call.
In the 81st minute, the Union would find their go-ahead goal, ultimately the game-winner. Substitute Cristian Hernandez – a striker out of Philadelphia’s academy – sent McInerney through into space all alone within New York’s area. The 18-year-old’s initial attempt was blocked on the goal line, but Agorsor was there to tap home the rebound for a 2-1 lead.
The Union have a long break before their next reserve match, which will be played at home against DC United on May 16. New York’s reserves will return to action April 22, away against DC United.
PHI – Jack McInerney (Roger Torres) 50’
NY – John Rooney (Marco Paulos) 52’
Phi – Chris Agorsor (Unassisted) 81’
Philadelphia Union – Thorne Holder, Andrew Welker, Ryan Richter, Juan Diego Gonzalez, Roger Torres (Danny Mwanga 60), Zach Pfeffer, Michael Farfan (Christian Hernandez 79), Levi Houapeu, Jim McLaughlin, Chris Agorsor, Jack McInerney (Christiano Francois 84)
Substitutions Not Used: Zach Steffan
TOTAL SHOTS: 8; SOG: 5; FOULS: 11; OFFSIDES: 9; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 2
New York Red Bulls – Alex Horwath, Matt Kassel, Stephen Keel, Tyler Lassiter, Theodore Schnieder (Sacir Hot 75), John Rooney, Carl Robinson (Branden Allen 46), Dane Murphy, Mehdi Ballouchy (Dan Metzger 54), Marcos Paulos, Corey Hertzog
Substitutions Not Used: Chris Konopko
TOTAL SHOTS: 8; SOG: 3; FOULS: 9; OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 3
NY – Matt Kassel (Reckless Tackle) 27’
NY – John Rooney (Reckless Tackle) 39’
PHI – Jack McInerney (Reckless Tackle) 72’