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MLS Match Preview: Philadelphia Union vs New York Red Bulls

courtesy mlssoccer.com

courtesy mlssoccer.com

On Wednesday, July 16th the Philadelphia Union welcomes the New York Red Bulls to PPL Park in Chester, PA for a mid-week match. The Union enter this match sitting in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 4-8-7 (win-loss-tie) while the Red Bulls enter sitting in fifth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 5-5-8 and just four points clear of Philadelphia. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm EST and can be seen ESPN2 or MLS Live.

Philadelphia Union saw their home winless streak extended to seven matches after losing a 2 goal lead late in their match last week against the Colorado Rapids. The Union are 2-1-2 in their last five matches. They have recorded one clean sheet in those five matches and have outscored their opponents 13 to 9 during that time. The Union saw their home winless streak extended to seven matches, now 0-2-5 since opening their home campaign with a 1-0 win over New England on March 15

The Red Bulls are coming off a 4-1 win over the Columbus Crew and will be looking to extend their unbeaten streak to six games. New York is 2-0-3 in their last five matches and have also record one clean sheet in that time frame. They have outscored their opponents 11 to 6 in their last five matches. Bradley Wright-Phillips maintained his lead in the MLS Golden Boot standings with his 15th goal of the season. Wright-Phillips has 14 goals over the last 11 league games dating back to April 23rd. 

What to Watch for

As I just mentioned Wright-Phillips is leading the league in goals and I am curious to see if the Union can stop him or at least contain him. Thierry Henry is dangerous as always when it comes to scoring goals or assisting on them. The Red Bulls will be without Roy Miller  for at least the next two games. He just returned from World Cup duty with Costa Rica but because of a left leg injury sustained in late June he is not expected to play and is tentatively not expected back until the club’s friendly against Arsenal on July 26.

For Philadelphia they will get Maurice Edu back who was serving a one game suspension but the team will be without both Michael Lahoud and Amobi Okugo for the red cards they received against the Rapids last week. Here is what interim Head Coach Jim Curtin had to say about last weeks match:

“Up until the red card, I thought we had one of our best performances. We created three goals. It felt comfortable, as I’ve said, but in MLS you have to finish games. You have to close things. There is a feeling of trying to please the fans. Our players know it’s a real thing and we haven’t won here in too many games in too many weeks. In 18 weeks, somebody said, we haven’t won a game at home in league play, which is unacceptable. It’s a tough thing. They feel that pressure, and we were close tonight to ending that, and we should have ended that, but we didn’t.”

MLS Fantasy Alert

There are many names you can pick from New York to have on your fantasy team. Wright-Phillips, Henry and goal keeper Luis Robles are a few to name. For Philadelphia there is Sebastien Le Toux and Conor Casey if you are looking for attackers.

Prediction

Philadelphia is a much better team since the last time these two teams met in April. I strongly believe Jim Curtin has this team going in the right direction. I’m just not sure if the right direction continues at home against New York. New York looks a lot better then they did earlier in the season and have not lost a game in almost two months. I see the Philadelpia Union picking up their second league home win of the year, winning 3-2.

Philadelphia Union 3, New York Red Bulls 2

Related Links:

MLS Match Preview: LA Galaxy vs New England Revolution

MLS Week 19 Preview: Columbus Crew vs Sporting Kansas City

MLS Week 19 Preview: Toronto FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Chris Blakely writes for Stoppage Time SoccerYou can follow him on Twitter @TheRealCBlakely.

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