Red Bulls edged by Union, 2-1, to kick off Reserve League action
Wallingford, PA -- After a heated battle at PPL Park Saturday night, the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls met again Sunday morning to kick off play in the re-launched MLS Reserve League. Philadelphia came away victorious, edging New York 2-1 at Chester Park.
John Rooney accounted for the Red Bulls tally, while Jack McInerney and Chris Agorsor were the goal scorers for the Union.
The Union held an early edge in possession and generated the first scoring opportunities of the match. 16-year-old Zach Pfeffer narrowly missed a goal from 20 yards out, sending a curling strike just wide and high of the near post. Juan Diego Gonzalez had an opportunity to finish a loose ball in the area following a half-bicycle from Agorsor, but the defender’s header was just off the mark.
Rooney had two near misses in the latter stage of the first half, curling a ball wide of the far post from the top of the area and having another attempt blocked by McInerney at the edge of the six-yard box.
New York’s best chance of the first half came after 2011 first round pick Corey Hertzog beat his man along the right touchline. Goalkeeper Thorne Holder was able to parry away the rookie’s close-range, angled attempt to keep the match scoreless.
The Union closed out the first half with a golden opportunity. Roger Torres sent a through ball to McInerney that was deflected by defender Tyler Lassister. Agorsor ran onto the loose ball and was all alone on goal, but his first touch was too strong, enabling goalkeeper Alex Horwath to charge off his line and break up the play.
The Union broke open the scoring after the break. In the 50th minute, Torres sent a cross in from the right corner to McInerney, who headed near post from six yards out past a diving Horwath for a 1-0 lead.
New York didn’t wait long to equalize. Two minutes later, Mehdi Ballouchy sent a free kick low to Marcos Paullo, who found a wide-open Rooney at the top of the area. Rooney fired low and hard to the far post, beating a frozen Holder to level the match at one goal apiece.
It appeared as though New York took the lead midway through the second half. Paullo finished a cross from Rooney, but the referee came charging in to waive off the goal due to an offside call.
In the 81st minute, the Union would regain the lead. Substitute Cristian Hernandez sent McInerney through into space all alone within New York’s area. The 18-year-old’s initial attempt was blocked on the goal line, but Agorsor was there to tap home the rebound for a 2-1 lead.
New York’s reserves will return to action April 22, away against DC United.
PHI – Jack McInerney (Roger Torres) 50’
NY – John Rooney (Marco Paullo) 52’
PHI – Chris Agorsor (Unassisted) 81’
NY – Matt Kassel (Reckless Tackle) 27’
NY – John Rooney (Reckless Tackle) 39’
PHI – Jack McInerney (Reckless Tackle) 72’
Philadelphia Union – Thorne Holder, Andrew Welker, Ryan Richter, Juan Diego Gonzalez, Roger Torres (Danny Mwanga 60), Zach Pfeffer, Michael Farfan (Christian Hernandez 79), Levi Houapeu, Jim McLaughlin, Chris Agorsor, Jack McInerney (Cristiano Francois 84)
New York Red Bulls – Alex Horwath, Matt Kassel, Stephen Keel, Tyler Lassiter, Teddy Schneider (Sacir Hot 75), John Rooney, Carl Robinson (Brandon Allen* 46), Dane Murphy*, Mehdi Ballouchy (Dan Metzger* 54), Marcos Paulos, Corey Hertzog