Cann's Corner: A shutout for the U

Strong but disappointing

Philadelphia Union became the second team to shut out New York Red Bulls, and the first to do it at Red Bull Arena. Even so, Jim Curtin mentioned that there was disappointment in the locker room because the team knew they had played well enough to earn three points in a difficult environment. The Union earned a penalty and produced eight shots in the box against a squad that has been very stingy with shots all season. Additionally, Curtin was able to use three attacking substitutes to continue pressuring the Red Bulls back line late into the match, showing off a depth up front that the Union have not boasted in the past.

The American way

Jim Curtin opened his post-game comments by focusing on the large American presence on the pitch. Both teams are heavily invested in talent from the United States, and homegrown players have played a large role in both clubs’ current and future goals. The entire Union back four was American, and they held strong behind fellow US players Alejandro Bedoya, Marcus Epps, Fafa Picault, and CJ Sapong. Although Bedoya is the only heavily capped player of the group, the others remain ambitious to follow in his footsteps.

Answering the intensity

Two of the Union’s homegrown talents formed a teenaged central defensive pairing aiming to combat MVP candidate Bradley Wright-Phillips. Curtin noted that it is impossible to recreate the level of intensity Red Bulls bring to every 90 minutes they play, but that Auston Trusty and Mark McKenzie answered the call on Saturday evening. That intensity meant the teenagers could never switch off, and both relied on a mixture of intelligence and athleticism to contain the prolific Wright-Phillips.

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