The Other Side

THE OTHER SIDE: What You Need to Know About Philadelphia Union


Get to know who the Red Bulls will be playing in their upcoming match with The Other Side:

How They’re Doing

Philadelphia began the first-ever Leagues Cup with a bang, topping Group East 1 with six total points through two matches, cruising to wins over Club Tijuana and Queretaro F.C.

The Union’s first challenge of their Leagues Cup run did not come until the Round of 32, when the club hosted D.C. United on Thursday. In the match, the clubs battled to a scoreless draw in regulation, and were faced with a penalty shootout to see who would earn a bid to the Round of 16.

In the shootout, D.C. goalkeeper Alex Bono put the Union’s back against the way early, saving Daniel Gazdag’s first penalty attempt for Philadelphia. Things were not looking good for the Union, as D.C. was three-for-three in the shootout, until a fourth-round miss from the Black-and-Red allowed Philadelphia to level the score.

In the sixth round of the shootout, D.C. missed another attempt, leaving Philadelphia with an opportunity to seal the victory. The Union’s Olivier Mbaizo converted his penalty attempt, sending his club to the Round of 16 in the first-ever Leagues Cup.

In MLS regular season play, the Union currently sit third in the Eastern Conference with a record of 12-7-4. Philadelphia played to a 2-2-0 record in July, taking back-to-back losses to Atlanta United and LAFC, before bouncing back to defeat Nashville SC and NYCFC.

Head-to-Head History

Monday’s matchup with be the 42nd all-time contest between the Red Bulls and the Union. Philadelphia holds a one-win advantage over New York, with its 17 wins in the series compared to the Red Bulls’ 16. The teams have played to a total of eight draws.

In the clubs’ only matchup of 2023 so far, the Union earned a 1-0 victory over New York at Red Bull Arena. Gazdag was the game’s lone scorer, burring a penalty kick in the 31st minute.

With Monday’s match needing a winner to advance to the quarterfinals, the Red Bulls will have to do something they have not been able to do since 2019: beat Philadelphia. Since September 22, 2019, when the Red Bulls secured a 2-0 win over the Union, Philadelphia has earned seven wins against New York. The other three matches since 2019 between the teams have ended in draws.

Player to Watch: Goalkeeper Andre Blake

Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake has been with the club since 2014 and has been a huge part of the team’s success in recent years. He ended the 2022 MLS regular season having conceded just 26 goals, the lowest mark of all time.

Blake has been a big factor in the Union’s success so far in the inaugural Leagues Cup. The May Pen, Jamaica native has allowed just two goals in three matches, making 12 total saves. He also recorded a clean sheet in the team’s Round of 32 match against D.C.

Blake will be someone to keep an eye on during Monday’s match against New York. Through their first three Leagues Cup matches, the Red Bulls have scored three goals, one of them being Omir Fernandez’s penalty kick on Thursday night against NYCFC.

To beat the Union for the first time since 2019 and advance to the next round of the Knockout Stage, the Red Bulls will have to find a way to get the ball by Blake, something that will not be easy.