An early goal from Cory Burke proved the difference as Philadelphia Union sent their rivals back to New Jersey with a 1-0 defeat at Subaru Park.
Jim Curtin gave Kacper Przybylko a rest and started Anthony Fontana behind Cory Burke and Sergio Santos. Fontana helped set up a fabulous goal less than ten minutes into the match. The homegrown spotted Jamiro Monteiro in space and the Designated Player coolly slotted a pass to Burke streaking down the left side of the penalty box. At full sprint, the Jamaican entered a hard slide and used his momentum to lift the ball past former Union goalkeeper Carlos Coronel and into the net.
Philly was not content to rest on their lead and nearly doubled it in the 25th minute. Right back Olivier Mbaizo sent a pass to the endline for Alejandro Bedoya who flicked a back-heeled pass into the six-yard box. Fontana met the pass in stride and fired a on goal but was left to grimace as Coronel pushed it away. Three minutes later Bedoya again sent a crafty pass into the box that looked destined for a second Burke goal but a diving tackle prevented the striker from finishing the play.
As Red Bull pushed forward in search of an equalizer, the Union exploited the space on the flanks with quick direction passes that kicked off counterattacks flowing through Monteiro, Bedoya, and the two fullbacks.
The 50th minute saw Bedoya run into the open space after Burke pulled Aaron Long upfield but the resulting Santos shot was blocked. Bedoya led another raiding party into the box minutes later and picked out Fontana at the top of the area. . With the defense collapsing, a nifty backheeled pass was the only option for the attacking midfielder and though he picked out Santos, a vital deflection kept the ball out of the Red Bull net.
Head Coach Jim Curtin threw a new wrinkle into the lineup and injected Kacper Przybylko at the No. 10 spot to replace Fontana. This created a lot of attacking options for the Union but the match itself opened up as a result. The Red Bulls nearly converted on a counter in the 70th minute as Patryk Klimala collected a pass across the box on the right, but a retreating Kai Wagner timed his recovery tackle perfectly.
Bedoya left the match with cramping and Quinn Sullivan entered to finish things off for the home side. Although Philly was the stronger team throughout, they never found an insurance goal and finished off their foes by a 1-0 scoreline.
The Boys in Blue get a much needed rest before turning their focus to another rivalry. The squad travels down I-95 to face D.C. United on Sunday, May 23rd. Kick from the nation’s capital is set for 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on PHL17 and streamed live on PhiladelphiaUnion.com.