Philly-New York rivalry opens new chapter at PPL Park

Aiming to regain their early-season winning start, Philadelphia Union return home to take on the New York Red Bulls in a real East Coast derby. Union saw their season-opening winning streak come to an end last weekend in a 1-0 loss at the LA Galaxy. The Red Bulls are still unbeaten on the young campaign, after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by the Houston Dynamo last weekend.

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REFEREE: Alex Prus. SAR (bench): Rob Fereday; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Mark Kadlecik

MLS Career: 178 games; FC/gm: 27.7; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 42; pens: 49

INJURY REPORT: PHILADELPHIA UNION – OUT: MF Gabe Farfan (R little toe sublux); PROBABLE: DF Danny Califf (L knee meniscus) …

NEW YORK RED BULLS – OUT: DF Chris Albright (knee surgery recovery); GK Greg Sutton (concussion)


SUSPENDED: PHI: Jack McInerney (through April 10)


ALL-TIME (2 meetings): Union 1 win, 3 goals … Red Bulls 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 0

AT PHILADELPHIA (1 meeting): Union 1 win, 2 goals … Red Bulls 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0

RETURN MATCH: 10/20: New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)


4/24: NY 2, PHI 1 (Ibrahim 50; Angel 67 – Le Toux 59)

10/16: PHI 2, NY 1 (Fred 8; Orozco Fiscal 28 – Borman 48)

- The teams split their two league meetings in Union’s expansion campaign, each winning 2-1 at home.

- The Red Bulls also dumped Philadelphia out of the U.S. Open Cup with a 2-1 victory.

- Coaches record: Peter Nowak vs. NY: P14 W8 L3 T3 … Hans Backe v PHI: P2 W1 L1 T0

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- The New York Red Bulls stayed undefeated on the campaign, settling for a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls have 5 points from 3 games, sitting in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference.


- Coming off the bench at halftime, newly acquired Canadian international Dwayne De Rosario quickly made his mark. De Rosario sliced a ball from the middle of the field to Dane Richards, who freed himself with a cutback and fired past goalkeeper Tally Hall in the 47th minute.

- But Houston responded with a goal of their own just three minutes later. Will Bruin flicked a header over the top of the Red Bulls defense, and as New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul came off his line, Cam Weaver lofted the ball over Coundoul.

- Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made six changes to the team that played to a scoreless draw against Columbus at Crew Stadium. Bouna Coundoul, Rafael Marquez, Tim Ream, Dane Richards and Juan Agudelo were all on international duty. while Thierry Henry was injured.

- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Bouna Coundoul - Jan Gunnar Solli, Rafael Marquez, Tim Ream, Roy Miller - Teemu Tainio - Dane Richards (Luke Rodgers 78), Mehdi Ballouchy (Dwayne De Rosario 46), Joel Lindpere - Juan Agudelo, Thierry Henry.


- After arriving earlier in the day following the blockbuster trade with Toronto FC, Dwayne De Rosario made his Red Bulls debut, coming on at halftime against Houston. He didn’t take long to make his mark, setting up Dane Richards’ 47th-minute goal.

- “He changed the game in the second half with his final passes for the first goal and also the way he could turn our game from go left, go right – terrific passes,” Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said. “(He was) very comfortable on the ball. He will be a key player for us.”

- Prior to De Rosario’s entry, possession between the two teams was split fairly evenly. However, after the break, the Red Bulls bossed nearly three-quarters of the possession vs. Houston.

- “You could see the difference for Thierry with De Rosario,” Backe said. “The passes to his feet, short killerpasses. It’s going to help a lot.”

- With De Rosario’s presence, Thierry Henry moved higher up on the park. The Red Bulls had a 24-9 shot advantage and Henry had six – but was not able to add to his MLS career haul of two goals.

- "Since I've arrived here, I don't think we've created that many chances in a game," said Henry. "It is disappointing. It is frustrating to go home with a draw."

- The player taken off for De Rosario – midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy, a late-season acquisition by Backe a season ago – still has a place in the team, the Red Bulls boss said. “I see him contributing at center mid still, right halfmid and left half-mid,” Backe said. “He can play all those positions.”

- With the addition of Teemu Tainio over the winter and now the acquisition of De Rosario, the central midfield dynamo for much of last year – Estonian Joel Lindpere – has moved to a spot on the left of the midfield.

- “Last year, we got results, right?" Lindpere said. "But maybe we learned that the style wasn’t so perfect. So maybe now, maybe we play a little different than last year, more through the midfield. We create more chances, we produce more chances. That’s what it’s all about in soccer.”


Philadelphia Union suffered their first defeat in three starts this season, dropping a 1-0 decision to the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. Union have 6 points from 3 matches on the year, still atop the Eastern Conference to begin the week.


- The game's lone goal came from a David Beckham set piece in the 33rd minute. After Juninho was taken down some 30 yards out, Beckham lined up a free kick and sent it to the heart of the penalty area. Leonardo shook off Stefani Miglioranzi’s mark and rattled in a header off the right post.

- Union boss Peter Nowak made no changes to the team that defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-0 at PPL Park.

- PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-3-2-1): Faryd Mondragon - Sheanon Williams (Jack McInerney 73; sent off 95+), Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey - Kyle Nakazawa (Roger Torres 62), Stefani Miglioranzi, Brian Carroll - Sebastien Le Toux, Carlos Ruiz - Danny Mwanga (Keon Daniel 46).


- Leonardo’s goal, the only one in the weekend loss to the LA Galaxy, snapped the Union shutout streak to start the season at 213 minutes. Union became the final team in MLS to concede a goal this season.

- “After the last game in Vancouver, having two wins is nice. If you are not going to work the way you did before, and you don’t recognize the level of intensity and physicality of the game, then it is going to be difficult,” Nowak said. “I think we find a good understanding that in games like that, we have to raise our level of physicality and intensity, and then from this point we can be a good team. It is three weeks in the season, and this is the last thing you want, to believe we are already there because we are not.”

- Union did not force Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts – making his 2011 season debut – to make a single save. They managed four total attempts at goal, all after the 50th minute.

- "Before the first goal, I thought we felt too comfortable," Nowak said. "[Then] we tried to rush things. We tried to put the ball behind the defense. We need to be more patient. We need to be more smart with the ball."

- Union were without midfielder Justin Mapp, who missed a second consecutive match with a hamstring strain, though he returned to full training in advance of the two-game week for Union.

- Danny Mwanga started his second consecutive match in attack but was removed at halftime in place of Trinidad & Tobago international Keon Daniel, who made his MLS debut.

- “We didn’t play well in the first half. In the second half we obviously played better because they played with 10 men but we didn’t find the space to try and score. I think we played too many long balls and that was easy for them because everybody was defending,” said Carlos Ruiz. “We lost but we are going to keep going forward.”

- In an effort to snatch a late equalizer, Nowak threw on Jack McInerney – but the former U.S. youth international was sent off in stoppage time, ruling him out for the New York match.

- “We still have a couple of guys who aren’t 100 percent fit,” Nowak said. “.... As I said, we have a busy week, so we need to get those guys back, and the last thing you want after a game like that it to have our heads down. I believe that we have been through this last year when we had a couple of away games that weren’t good for us and the last thing you want to have is pointing fingers."

- On Wednesday, Union were dumped of the U.S. Open Cup at the first hurdle with a loss on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw with D.C. United.

- The two sides exchanged first half goals via Carlos Ruiz and Josh Wolff, and then in extra time, when DC defender Daniel Woolard and Philadelphia’s Brian Carroll scored eight minutes apart to force penalty kicks. United made all four of their attempts in the shootout, while D.C. ‘keeper Bill Hamid saved one.

- Here’s the Union team: Faryd Mondragon; Jordan Harvey, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Sheanon Williams (Danny Mwanga 73); Kyle Nakazawa, Brian Carroll, Michael Farfan, Keon Daniel (Roger Torres 66); Sebastien Le Toux, Carlos Ruiz (Jack McInerney 80)