Shorthanded Union are beaten by the Red BullsThe Philadelphia Inquirer — Marc Narducci The Philadelphia Inquirer
June 19--For the second straight game the Union had a late letdown against a New York team.
This time they might have had a better excuse.
Despite playing a man down for most of the second half, the Union appeared ready to earn one point until two late goals by the always dangerous Bradley Wright-Phillips provided the New York Red Bulls with a 2-0 win Sunday before 17,720 at Talen Energy Stadium.
In its previous Major League Soccer game, on June 3, the Union held a 1-0 lead before surrendering goals in the 80th and 85th minutes in a 2-1 loss at New York City FC.
The Union (4-7-4) have now lost three in a row following a team-record four-game winning streak. The Red Bulls improved to 7-7-2.
The turning point came in the 53rd minute, when Union rookie midfielder Derrick Jones earned a red card for violent conduct after taking down Felipe.
Jones had the studs of his cleats above the ball when making the tackle. There was very little deliberation as referee Allen Chapman made the call almost immediately.
"I don't think it warranted a red card, maybe a yellow, but [Chapman] made a quick choice and we have to live with it," Union coach Jim Curtin said.
Jones who wasn't available for comment, was playing for Alejandro Bedoya, who still wasn't 100 percent after tweaking his hamstring while with the U.S. national team during recent World Cup qualifiers.
A Red Bulls team that had played conservatively to that point was suddenly on the attack with the man advantage.
Curtin immediately replaced Ilsinho with Warren Creavalle, among the team's top defensive midfielders, indicating the Union would have been more than happy to escape with one point.
New York missed a great scoring chance when Alex Muryl hit the post on a header of a corner kick in the 63rd minute.
Wright-Phillips then pulled his magic to break the tie with two close-range goals, the first coming in the 87th minute when he one-timed a feed from defender Kemar Lawrence.
In second-half stoppage time, Wright-Phillips earned the insurance goal, his eighth of the season, on another one-timer near the goal.
After the red card, the Union didn't just sit back and had several runs on goal. A great chance came in the 78th minute, when Haris Medunjanin sent a free kick to the far post that Fafa Picault just missed getting a foot on.
In the first half, the Union had the better chances.
During the 22nd minute Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles made a great diving save on a Chris Pontius volley from just outside the six.
On the final play of the first half, Pontius didn't get enough of a Ray Gaddis cross and his header from close range went wide.
This was a hot encounter -- literally. The game-time temperature was 89 degrees, and for three minutes each in the first and second half the game was stopped for a cooling break.
Even Medunjanin, normally among the best conditioned players, was suffering from cramps late in the game.
"It was hot today and we played with 10 men, all the defending and running back [made it tough]," Medunjanin said. ". . . When you play with 10 men against the Red Bulls, it is always difficult."
The Union, who beat the Red Bulls, 3-0, at home on May 6, won't have a long wait for a rematch. The two teams will play June 28 at Red Bull Arena in a round-of-16 U.S. Open Cup game.
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