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This Saturday the New York Red Bulls visit Philadelphia Union. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m ET. 

Here are the Keys to the Game, presented by TriHonda Dealers: 

Start Strong

Against Nashville, the Red Bulls scored their quickest goal of 2021. Fábio’s goal in the first 35 seconds of the match provided a huge boost to New York as it sought a place in this year’s playoffs.

After starting the season with a 1-8-2 record on the road, New York earned a mark of 4-1-1 in their final six road matches while outscoring their opponents, 9-3, in those matches.

“I think that is what our job is as older guys on a young team and letting guys know what is expected of them every single day,” said Captain Sean Davis after the Red Bulls clinched their place in the playoffs. “I think that our habits, our mentality day in and day out evolved as the year went on and I am just so proud of the group and proud of the staff for how we all adjusted, how we all looked into the mirror and ultimately got the job done. I am really proud of that, again, it is a club with really high standards, and it is important that we protect the culture and continue to move in the right direction.”

The Red Bulls’ excellent away form in recent months is an important boost when they visit Subaru Park this Saturday. 

Best Defense Entering the Playoffs

The Red Bulls only allowed 33 goals this season, which is tied for the second lowest in MLS this year and the second lowest in a 34-game schedule in franchise history.

Since August 4, New York have only allowed 13 goals, which is the lowest in MLS during that timespan. In the 19 matches during that time, New York have recorded nine clean sheets. 

Goalkeeper Carlos Coronel finished his first full season as a starter in MLS with 13 shutouts and a 0.97 goals against average, which is tied for the second lowest in franchise history in a single season. 

Philly Won 11 Home Matches

This season the Red Bulls drew twice 1-1 against the Union at Red Bull Arena and lost 1-0 at Subaru Park. 

Philly only lost three home games this season. 

To close out the season, the Union won five home matches and drew once. Their last home defeat took place against the New England Revolution in early September.