Swooning Union hope to regroup before facing Red Bulls

League: MLS

Posted on: 05 Jul, 2024 at 10:24 PM

Credit: Melissa Tamez-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Union will try to halt their summer swoon on Saturday when they host the New York Red Bulls in Chester, Pa.

Philadelphia (4-9-8, 20 points) has lost five in a row and won only one of its last 15 matches, and on Wednesday night absorbed what might have been its most heartbreaking defeat yet.

Leading 3-1 deep into the second half, the Union conceded three times from the 82nd minute onward in a 4-3 defeat that dropped Philadelphia to second-to-last in the Eastern Conference.

"We started conceding corners that we didn't need to concede, and the little things become big issues," Philadelphia coach Jim Curtin said. "And then the thing that we've been pretty good at over the years, defending set pieces, we come up really small and get punished. It hurts, again, and I sound like a broken record to you guys I'm sure, but the group will have to regroup quickly and go again against New York."

Daniel Gazdag (team-high 11 goals) scored one goal and assisted another in his first start since returning from international duty for Hungary at Euro 2024. But the Union are still playing considerably short-handed. Defensive midfielder Jose Martinez remains with Venezuela at the Copa America, and striker Mikael Uhre is out with an adductor strain.

The Union fielded only 18 players to their 20-man roster in their loss in Chicago.

The fifth-place Red Bulls (9-4-8, 35 points) are unbeaten in their last four but have settled for draws in three of those, most recently 2-2 against D.C. United despite playing the last 70 minutes up a man.

But New York did twice overcome deficits to earn the point, and attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg came off the bench for his first minutes since June 1 after picking up a foot injury on national team duty for Sweden.

"What we have to improve, especially in the ball possession, is the structure, which we had lost in the second half in some switch moments (against D.C.)," Red Bulls boss Sandro Schwarz said. "The mentality to come back, that was good, not to lose this game and to get this one important point."

--Field Level Media