Match Recap

Uhre, Gazdag keep scoring as Union roll Red Bulls, 2-0

Philadelphia Union continued its push for not only the top spot in the Eastern Conference but the league as they won their fourth-straight match behind second half goals from Mikael Uhre and Daniel Gazdag to defeat rivals New York Red Bulls, 2-0.

The second and final regular season matchup between the two rivals was much like the previous affair that took place in May at Subaru Park. A tactical chess like approach with both sides sitting back to press should the play come into the midfield. With a playoff like intensity between the white lines, the opening 20 minutes saw neither side find any success in the middle of the pitch with the backlines forced to stay in sync and deny second ball chances. The pressure was amplified when Union center back Jakob Glesnes earned his place in the referees notebook in the eight minute with a yellow card.

The Union nearly sprung Cory Burke just past the 10th minute but Red Bulls goalkeeper Carlos Coronel was off his line and chested it away. Red Bulls got their first chance just past the 23rd minute as a Union set piece presented a prime opportunity to counter attack. A pair of direct passes made its way to Lewis Morgan who faced a 1v1 battle against Jack Elliott. Elliott protected the middle of the box and forced Morgan wide to prevent a shot but the Red Bull playmaker snuck a centering pass into the path of Luquinhas. The homeside’s leading scorer tried to opened the scoring with a crafty backheeled flick but Andre Blake stood tall to keep it scoreless.

In the 32nd minute Burke was shown a yellow card and was joined by Elliott four minutes later to have the Boys in Blue booked on both ends of the pitch.

As halftime crept closer things began to open up for both offenses with Red Bulls nearly scoring off a second ball that bounced at the top of the box to Lewis Morgan but his blast was blocked cleverly by Glesnes. Moments later it was Mikael Uhre got his first taste of the rivalry as the forward made a long, physical run from the midfield. On the verge of ripping a shot, the Dane was taken down at the top of the box but fortunately it sprung out to homegrown Matt Real. Real nearly bagged his second goal of the week as he unleashed a low left-footed shot that went just wide of the post.

The final chance of the first half came from the midfield as Jack McGlynn finally found space to create and shot a long ball to Burke. The Jamaican flicked a header to the feet of leading scorer Daniel Gazdag and the Hungarian dribbled to the end line. As he looked for a target in the box, he saw the long run from Burke and ripped a cross to the back post but the Jamaican international couldn’t put much on the cross.

Seeing the progress made before the break, the Union repeated the process and it paid off with McGlynn setting up the opening goal. In true Philly fashion it was a quick counter with Daniel Gazdag leading the charge in the Union half of the pitch before finding the Union homegrown running down the middle of the park. When a defender tried to slow him down, McGlynn showcased his impressive footwork with a quick flick to get around the Red Bull. Calm, cool and collected, he threaded the middle of the Red Bulls defense into the path of Uhre who tucked it into the bottom left corner to put the Boys in Blue ahead against their rivals.

Down a goal, the New Jersey based side fought back with the Union getting a pair of key stops from their Reggae Boyz. Red Bulls sought to cash in off a corner kick and recycled ball into the Union box but Burke raced back to get a toe in on a ball intended for Luquinhas. The ensuing corner saw another highlight reel save by MVP-candidate Andre Blake. Kyle Duncan headed ball into the box that was whipped to the far post for Elias Manoel who redirected it on frame. Running from one side of the goal to the other, Blake stuck a left hand and kept it out to preserve the lead.

Just before the hour mark, Head Coach Jim Curtin unloaded a few pieces from his stacked list of substitutes with Alejandro Bedoya and Julian Carranza entering for Real and Burke. In the 69th minute the duo nearly doubled the lead as Carranza fought for a second ball and won it against Aaron Long. The Argentinian quickly sent his forward partner into space and laid it off to Bedoya but the captain is denied by Coronel.

Five minutes later the Union did find the second goal once again with a hustle play in the air via Carranza. Kai Wagner sent a blast up the pitch to alleviate some pressure and it quickly led to some issues for the Red Bulls backline as Carranza won the ball off the bounce. The forward played a quick one-two combo with Uhre and then fed Gazdag into the box. With Duncan right on his heels, the Hungarian unleashed a left-footed shot from the center of the box that snuck in for his 18th goal to continue the charge for the Golden Boot.

Philadelphia Union returns to Subaru Park next weekend as they welcome Orlando City SC on Saturday, September 10th. The match is presented by Subaru with kick off from Subaru Park set for 7:30 p.m. ET. The contest marks the Union's annual Kick Childhood Cancer Night with our Fearless 43 being celebrated and honored. The match will also see the birthday celebration of everyone's favorite mascot, Phang with fun activities planned on Subaru Plaza and around the stadium. Tickets are going fast so be sure to secure your spot at Subaru Park!