Match Preview

Preview | Union kick off busy September against rival Red Bulls


Philadelphia Union will kick off September at home, hosting Eastern Conference rival New York Red Bulls on Sunday night with the match presented by Green Mountain Energy. Tune in to the free match on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV or FS1 at 7:30 p.m. to watch the action unfold!

The Boys in Blue will face Red Bulls for a third time this season and they’re aiming to finish the 2023 series in sweeping fashion. The rivals squared off nearly a month ago in the Leagues Cup Round of 16, where the Union emerged victorious in a 4-3 penalty shootout that knocked New York from the tournament. Red Bulls took the lead early, scoring four minutes into the match. The Union didn’t respond until well into the second half, when a 68th minute Kai Wagner cross found the head of Nate Harriel who went airborne to send the ball toward the back of the net.

The Union played a defensive 3-5-2 lineup in that match, starting Harriel and Wagner as wingers. Though the team hasn’t utilized the shape in weeks, Curtin could reprise the formation due to multiple unavailable players. Venezuelan midfielders Jesús Bueno and José Martinez are out due to a red card and yellow card accumulations from the midweek road contest at Toronto FC in the charged final moments of the match. Midfielder also Leon Flach went down with an injury as well, waning the team’s typical arsenal of solutions for Saturday.

Both teams enter the match following a busy week -- Troy Lesesne’s will arrive with two losses fresh in their mind. The team shutout by both New England Revolution and Inter Miami CF, making their season record 7-8-11. It'll be the Union's third game in eight days as well, earning a win against D.C. United and a loss against Toronto F.C. on the road.

Sunday’s event will mark the 43rd matchup between the two sides with the Boys in Blue owning a 18-16-8 advantage since their inaugural meeting in 2010. The Union has had the upper hand as of late, remaining unbeaten in their last 11 matches against the New Jersey-based squad. The stage is set for a tense meeting at Subaru Park, as is standard for the 1-95 rivals, but this fixture could bring about a new layer of aggressive play thanks to a hostile end to the Leagues Cup knockout game. Plus, New York sits below the playoff line at 12th place with 29 points and a win could send them back up the standings into contention.

Tune in at 7:30 p.m. to watch the Union's fight to Beat the Bull in front of a home crowd on Sunday night!