On Wednesday, Philadelphia Union will face I-95 rival, New York Red Bulls, in the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup Round of 16. Kickoff is scheduled 7 PM EST from Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania.
In Major League Soccer regular season play, both teams are through 17 games and are only separated by three points. Philadelphia currently sits atop the MLS Eastern Conference with 26 points, while New York finds themselves in third place with 23 points.
17th all-time meeting
In all-time regular season play, the Red Bulls, in 16 total matchups, have won nine, while the Union has only won five. In Talen Energy Stadium, Philadelphia has fared better. In eight previous matchups, the Union has four wins to the Red Bulls’ three.
To get to the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16, Philadelphia disposed of Harrisburg City Islanders, 3-2, on June 15th at Talen Energy Stadium thanks to a last-minute Roland Alberg free kick goal. Also on June 15th, New York traveled to the Rochester Rhinos and came away with a 1-0 win on the back of a Sacha Klejstan first half penalty kick.
However, Wednesday’s matchup is part of the U.S. Open Cup, where the two squads have had a brief, but entertaining saga. In 2010, New York got the best of Philadelphia in the qualification stage of the competition to the score of 2-1.
2015 game filled with drama
In 2015, the two teams met in the Quarterfinals in an extra-time, drama-filled match at Red Bull Arena. Philadelphia forward Conor Casey was sent off in the 40th minute for a stomp on an opposing Red Bulls player. Philadelphia, playing with only ten players, would go on to score in the 56th minute and hold the lead until the fourth minute of stoppage time.
In the fourth minute of stoppage time, after an offensive barrage against a bunkering Philadelphia squad, New York winger Lloyd Sam equalized the score and sent the game into extra time.
The game would go all the way to penalties, where Philadelphia would win 4-3 after Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips both missed for New York. One of the other narratives that came out of this match was the excellent goalkeeping of Philadelphia’s John McCarthy, who withstood shot after shot to keep his team in the game. On the day, McCarthy made nine saves including one in penalty kicks.
As the history shows, Wednesday’s matchup will be a tight and tough battle for either team to advance to Quarterfinals to take on either New York Cosmos or New England Revolution.