The New York Red Bulls defeated the Philadelphia Union, 3-2 on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena behind goals from Sacha Kljestan, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dax McCarty. The win extends the franchise-record unbeaten streak to 14 games in MLS, and 18 games overall.
“I think Philly’s a good team,” said coach Jesse Marsch. “They came in here, they played hard. They made it hard on us, kept coming at us. I thought overall it was a really good game. A good game for the league and a good game to watch, and a good game to be a part of.”
With the win New York improves to 14-9-9 and finishes the weekend atop the Eastern Conference, tied with New York City FC on points but ahead on goal differential.
New York is also 12-2-2 at home, tying a franchise record for home wins in a season with one game remaining at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls set the record last season. Twelve home wins is also the most of any team in MLS this year. New York is one of just three teams in the league with double-digit wins at home, and the only team in the Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia opened up the scoring with a goal from Fabian Herbers in the 14th minute. New York equalized late in the first half, with Kljestan scoring from an opportunity inside the box. Kljestan played a short corner to Felipe, and then worked himself into space to direct a low shot by Andre Blake.
Wright-Phillips made his mark on the scoreline just on the other side of halftime, ripping a shot past Blake in the 47th minute to bring the Red Bulls up 2-1 with his 21st of the season, tied with New York’s David Villa for most in MLS.
Philadelphia would level again, but minutes later McCarty found the game-winner, heading home a set piece from Kljestan for his third of the year. McCarty also had two headed goals in the 7-0 win over New York City FC on May 21. The Red Bulls captain was awarded assists on the first two New York goals.
“So I told them after the game that for two years we’ve talked so much about getting better when things got tougher,” Marsch said. “And I think watching that tonight, I was really impressed with our group. I was really impressed with their commitment, with their sharpness, with their competitive will, with their heart and character, so much in there that we’ve been trying to be about for two years. So I think this group’s coming together in a good way.”
New York will break next weekend for the FIFA window before returning to Red Bull Arena on Sunday, October 16th at 3 p.m. to face the Columbus Crew SC in the home regular season finale. New York then closes out the league schedule with a match at Philadelphia on October 23