The New York Red Bulls and host Philadelphia Union will try to continue their rebound from slow starts in MLS play Saturday night at Subaru Park.
The Red Bulls hit the road looking to win their third consecutive game after they had lost their first two games of the season.
The Union, meantime, were winless in their first three MLS matches and will be trying to extend a new unbeaten streak to four games across all competitions. Philadelphia is the last remaining MLS club still alive in the CONCACAF Champions League. They pushed past Atlanta United FC on May 4 to earn a spot in the semifinals.
After the Union won 2-0 on the road against the Chicago Fire last Saturday, they followed with a 1-1 draw against the New England Revolution on Wednesday.
Kacper Przybylko scored in the 88th minute Wednesday to rally the Union (1-2-2, 5 points) to a much-needed point against New England. Yet, the Union were miffed in not capitalizing on the three points at home.
"Not our best night, we know that," Union coach Jim Curtin said. "Have to say, though, that New England is the best team we've played this season. So sometimes you do have to give credit to your opponent for making you uncomfortable.
"Overall, a draw, a point at home, we're disappointed. We want to win our home games obviously, but overall not good enough for us."
After giving up five goals while losing their first two games, the Red Bulls (2-2-0, 6 points) have responded with a 2-0 victories over the Chicago Fire and Toronto FC.
"The last games give every single player a very good feeling," coach Gerhard Struber said. "Results help to believe in our process."
Frankie Amaya and Caden Clark each scored in the shutout against Toronto FC.
"We have a very young team, a young group of guys willing to work hard for each other," Amaya said.
In the last two games, both home victories, the Red Bulls received solid contributions up and down the roster with a trend that must continue as they go back on the road against a difficult opponent in the Union, which won the 2020 Supporters' Shield with the best regular-season record in MLS.
"They're tough games," said Dru Yearwood, who has been a key player off the Red Bulls' bench. "I think we just got to stick to the same principles that we've had in these two home games, just build on it."
Goalkeeper Carlos Coronel is tied for the league with two shutouts. Coronel, on loan from RB Salzburg in Germany, previously spent part of the 2019 season on loan with the Union, appearing in four games with three starts.
--Field Level Media