Sports

Union to host Red Bulls in first round of MLS Cup Playoffs

The Philadelphia Union will face a familiar foe in the first round of the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Jim Curtin’s side clinched the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference in Sunday’s regular season finale and will host the New York Red Bulls on the weekend of Nov. 20-21. A 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium against New York City FC on Sunday afternoon was enough to give Curtin’s squad the No. 2 seed and a rematch with the Red Bulls in playoff action.

It will be the second-ever playoff meeting between the two teams, and a first since the Union’s 4-3 extra time playoff win over New York in 2019. That result was the Union’s first home playoff game and one of the most important in club history.

The Union drew NYCFC on Sunday after Kacper Przybylko’s 17th goal of the season across all competitions helped break the deadlock. NYCFC was reduced to 10-men earlier in the first-half after Gedion Zelalem was given a red card for his late challenge on Leon Flach, which VAR ruled in favor of.

However, Valentin Castellanos’ equalizer in the second-half helped Ronny Deila’s side fight back to earn one point in their regular season finale. Andre Blake made two saves in the draw for the Union while Sean Johnson made three for NYCFC.

Subaru Park will be bouncing in the playoffs as the Union aim to rebound from last season’s early exit from the postseason. Should the Union advance to the semifinals, they will face either Nashville SC or Orlando City in the final four of the Eastern Conference.

First the team will see ten players head out on international duty as the November FIFA break begins this week. Blake, Jamiro Monteiro, Daniel Gazdag, Olivier Mbaizo, Alvas Powell, Cory Burke, Jose Martinez, Paxten Aaronson, Quinn Sullivan, and Jack McGlynn will all head on international duty before returning for the start of the playoffs.


You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at lhenry1919@gmail.com.

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