Back in June, New York Red Bulls though they were bringing the Union back to Earth after Philly took over first place with a win in Minnesota (still the only home loss for the Loons this year).
There was one problem: Chris Armas and company forgot about Ilsinho. The Brazilian has lived through a few rivalry matches against Red Bulls in the past, and he was around last season when an incredibly strange penalty call provided the only goal of the game for New York. Two goals and an assist later, Philly was ahead. Red Bull, a club and organization that prides itself on being the aggressor, shrunk into a stunned shell.
Will Ilsinho do it again on Sunday, or will New York come out with a chip on its shoulder?
Home Game Clinch?
There are many scenarios in which the Union clinch a home playoff match this weekend. But as is always the case, you want to do everything you can to help yourself. Knocking off Red Bull will put Philly in fantastic position to bring playoff soccer to the City of Brotherly Love this October.
The real Homegrown Game
Tom Barlow has earned minutes up top for Red Bull this season and Sean Davis continues to patrol the midfield, but the story of 2019 is how Philly’s homegrowns have taken center stage and pointed to a shift in academy power. The Union are now the team in this rivalry that’s pumping pro-ready homegrown talent into the first team while Red Bulls search for impact players to replace the departed — and undeniably exceptional — Tyler Adams. Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie are likely to start, and Anthony Fontana continues to be the next man up behind the Union’s excellent starting trio in midfield.
Catch all the action beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 22 on PHL17.