Know Your Enemy

Top of the Eastern Conference up for grabs in huge rivalry showdown

Philadelphia Union are unbeaten at home in 2022. New York Red Bulls have taken every single available point on their travels this season. Now the two teams at the top of the Eastern Conference put strength against strength in an early season matchup. 

So far these powerhouse clubs have nearly mirrored each other on the pitch. Through ten games, Red Bulls have scored 15 and the Union have scored 14. Both teams average fewer than a goal allowed per match with eight let in each. According to AmericanSoccerAnalysis, New York’s Expected Goals (xG) hovers close to 19, second best in MLS. However, their Expected Goals Against (xGA) is above nine, meaning they may be a bit better in attack and worse in defense than the results on the pitch currently show. 

Philly is pretty close to both their xG and xG Against and remain one of the best defensive squads in the league. 

Both teams play a frenetic, direct style that emphasizes winning transitions and exploiting space behind the other team’s back line. To win the battle, the Union need to be the more organized side defensively and keep Red Bulls’ midfielders heads down so they can’t pick out passes in transition. 

Another key for Philly will be getting the first goal of the match. Even when Jim Curtin’s men haven’t scored early, they have proved adept at creating dangerous moments before the opponent can settle. Finishing one of those will allow the Union to better pick their moments to press and attack and wear out their rivals.

That early goal is so crucial because Philly doesn’t create a huge volume of shots and New York allows the fewest (7.5) per match. Meanwhile, the visitors create the third most shots per match, and the Union will need to ensure those shots are taken from distance and under duress. 

Philly will be flyin’ on Saturday night as the Union and Red Bulls battle for conference supremacy at 7:30 p.m. ET at Subaru Park. Tune in live on PHL17 or if you can’t make it to the match!

Next Home Game

Next Home Game

It's rivalry night the next time Philadelphia Union are back at Subaru Park as they host the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, May 14th. You won't want to miss out on the energy of the crowd as they cheer on the Boys in Blue!