The New York Red Bulls just couldn't get past the Philadelphia Union in their two previous matches, a 2-0 MLS loss, and PK loss in the USOC at home. Coming down to Philadelphia, revenge had to be in the back of the mind for the Red Bulls.
The match started off with both sets of supporters providing noise, but the noise was clearly lacking from the Red Bulls side. Numerous attacks fell short too far away from goal. Those that did result in a shot did not force a save from the Union's John McCarthy as the Red Bulls failed to register a single shot on goal. The Union weren't any better, while they had 7 total shots, not a single one was on goal. This despite the Red Bulls owning possession 60% to 40%. It was a pretty disappointing half by both sides, one each team would probably like to forget.
The second half started out a little differently as Bradley Wright-Phillips recorded the first official shot on goal from McCarthy's right, but the keeper was able to palm it away. Damien Perrinelle then dragged down CJ Sapong, and got a yellow which will take him out of the team's next match due to accumulation. Anthony Wallace also picked up a yellow card for a foul on Ayuk that looked a little bit like a job.
Shaun Wright-Phillips made his MLS debut in the 61st minute, and immediately paid dividends. He drew a foul outside the box a few minutes after entering that ended up being wasted by Sacha Kljestan on a free kick. He followed that up a few minutes later when he drew a penalty from the Union's Tranquillo Barnetta (also making his MLS debut). Kljestan stepped up to the penalty spot and put one down the middle to make the game 1-0 to the visitors.
Sebastian LeToux made it 1-1 a few minutes later after putting away a bouncing ball in the box, but Shaun was not going to be outshined this night. He hooked up with his brother Bradley Wright-Phillips to make the score 2-1. The game got really chippy at that point. Felipe and Robles went down with injuries for a few moments. The Red Bulls got some questionable calls in their favor including a Matt Miazga push.
Anatole Abang made sure to give the Red Bulls some insurance in stoppage time on a breakaway fed by Sacha Kljestan, and the Red Bulls took a measure of revenge with a 3-1 road victory.
The starters for the Red Bulls did not seem to have a lot of energy from the start of the match. Too many times they couldn't hold onto the ball and needlessly gave it away. It wasn't until Shaun came on that the team seemed to have what it needed to do the job. It could've been the heat as temperature was around 90 degrees 2 hrs prior to the start of the match, but the team can't afford slow starts against most teams in this league.
The addition immediately showed why the Red Bulls got him. Within the first fifteen minutes, he drew two fouls, 1 for a Penalty, and had an assist. This was only a sub appearance, so we won't know how he'll hold up over 90 minutes, but it's a good sign.
Shaun came on for Lloyd Sam. Anatole Abang came on for Mike Grella. Karl Ouimette came on for Bradley. I don't know what the strategy of Jesse Marsch was, but you can't say that the changes didn't work out for him.