Philadelphia Union – New York Red Bulls: Ilsinho And A Whirlwind Second Half Guide Union Past Red Bulls (3-2)

In one of the wildest matches in Major League Soccer this season, Philadelphia Union came from behind to beat fellow Eastern Conference foe New York Red Bulls. Thanks to halftime changes from manager Jim Curtin and the introduction of Brazilian midfielder Ilsinho, the Union blew apart the Red Bulls in the second half, after a lackluster first half performance.

Tactical analysis and match report by Carl Carpenter.

The Union entered this game atop the Eastern Conference, having completely turned around their poor start to the campaign. Since losing two from three early on, the Union have only lost twice, scoring goals for fun: tallying 28 (second in the league) thus far. A combination of young players, and experienced Designated Players, have helped shape Philadelphia this season into a team that finally has a realistic chance of playing a deep run into the playoffs.

Alongside these changes in personnel the Union have switched to a more attacking and exciting brand of football (hence the number of goals scored). Defense is where the questions remain; the number of transitions from attack to defense that occur can often times see them caught out.

The Red Bulls have had a similar story this season to their hosts: poor to begin with, bettering the results and play as the season has continued. Similarly, much like the Union, the Red Bulls employ an attacking style of football. However, compared to their counterparts, it is marked by much higher pressing and heavy use of counterattacks. A system they have employed since the days Jesse Marsch was manager . . .

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