On a Sunday afternoon where the Red Bulls need a big three points to leap frong a few sides in playoff positioning, ran into the Philadelphia Union who are having a horrible year and near the bottom of the east.
After the full ninety minutes were up both sides end this tilt with a scoreless draw as the disjointed Union played terrible and looked uninterested trying to find a way to get some passes together and find a clear chance on net.
This match had Andre Blake making save after save on a Red Bulls B squad as Jesse Marsch needed to save some of the big boys for their US Open Cup Final this coming Wednesday.
No BWP, no Kljestan but what you saw was something wonderful when a prospect like Derrick Etienne Jr. got a big chance to start this match and looked like the dangerous player he was when he was with the USL Bulls last year.
Crisp passing, clinical touch and made the defense look absolutely silly with his ball control movement as he was inside the area and ripped his chance that was stopped by Blake.
But we have to talk about Gonzalo Veron as he took the brunt of the attack and tried to find ways to score, yet he made solid runs to get to the net. He never lost a step as Veron made many life difficult for the Union Defense, but sadly the one constant was Andre Blake.
Blake found ways to get into great position and made the necessary saves to keep the Union in this match, even with subbing in both Sacha Kljestan & Bradley Wright-Phillips towards the middle of the second half. Blake stopped both men and he showed why he is one of the top keepers in MLS as well as the top keeper for Jamaica.
“The game would’ve been done a hell of a lot if an early goal would’ve been scored or added a second one and a late goal would’ve put the final nail in the coffin, but Philly hangs on.” said Jesse Marsch, “Makes it difficult and sometimes we have this game at home where we are just a little bit unlucky.
Thought we played really well, thought we had a lot of these great performences, thought we were unlucky not to get the three points, but we go through a period in the season where we don’t tie any games, but now we are. So now we need to switch from this game against Philly and get ready for Wednesday.”
The first half looked very strange for Luis Robles in goal. For over forty minutes Robles had nothing to do in goal. There was no sense of trying to string passes for an attacking run. He had no action till the 43rd minute when he prevent a cross in front of his goal.
“The big challenge today was to stay mentally alert, because of the humidity, the conditions and of course I wasn’t dealing with a lot of stuff.” said Robles, “One of the best ways to stay involved and engaged is to communicate and yet at times with the humidity and the heat the fatigue sets in and the last thing you want to do is to open my mouth and be vocal.
Yet I continue to push myself to do that because I know that it’s not just a great benefit to myself, but also to the team.” The stats are very eye opening as the Red Bulls held Possession for over 60% of the match while the Union had below 40%
But now these ninety minutes are over and done. It’s time for the Red Bulls to take their attention and look squarely on the US Open Cup final and face Sporting Kansas City to try and win their first title in club history.