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Union-Red Bulls Preview
Jim Curtin believes the rivalry clash with the New York Red Bulls "brings the best" out of his Philadelphia Union team.
The Union have won their last four MLS games against the Red Bulls, having previously beat their east-coast rivals in May.
Philadelphia head into the contest two places and two points above the Red Bulls, with the Union coming on the back of a defeat in Nashville.
The Red Bulls, meanwhile, beat Orlando City 2-1 in their last outing, and Curtin is hoping the rivalry meeting will inspire the Union once again.
"[The Red Bulls] are a team that tends to bring the best out of us," Curtin said.
"Our matches against Red Bull are always very high intensity, two teams that know each other fairly well and put a lot into the games.
Curtin knows that beating Gerhard Struber's team will be no easy feat, though.
"It starts with the coach," Curtin added. "I think he's done an incredible job because they've dealt with a lot of big injuries to top players. The group that we played a month and a half ago is not the same group, personnel-wise, that's on the field now for them.
"What they've really shown this year is a lot of tactical flexibility. Their formations are changing in-game a lot. Their pressure remains the same: they're very intense with how hard they work."
Struber, meanwhile, wants the Red Bulls to keep the confidence up after their win in Florida.
"We have to keep this confidence the same way and make sure we don't lose our identity. When we're playing at home, we make the place ours and now we showed we can do that on the road as well," he said.
New York Red Bulls - Fabio
With his match-winning goal against Orlando on Saturday, Fabio has been directly involved in eight goals since May 1 (two goals, six assists).
Philadelphia Union - Kacper Przybylko
Kacper Przybylko has netted three goals for the Union this term, yet the German has not scored since May - a run of four matches.
- The Union have won the last four meetings between the sides, including a 4-3 win in the 2019 playoffs. Philadelphia has had just one longer winning streak against a single opponent in the team's MLS history, a seven-game run against D.C. United from 2017 to 2020.
- The Red Bulls have won six of their last seven home matches (L1) including the last four in a row. New York has scored in its last 10 matches at Red Bull Arena after going three in a row without finding the net at home in September 2020.
- Philadelphia lost, 1-0, at Nashville on Saturday, ending an eight-match unbeaten run (W5 D3). The Union last failed to score in consecutive regular season matches in May 2018 against Toronto and Columbus.
- Only Carles Gil (one goal, tie assists) has been involved in more goals in MLS than Fabio since May 1.
- The Union have received 29 yellow cards this season, tied with Inter Miami for most in MLS. Six Union players have at least three yellow cards, more than any other team in the league.
Updated July 7, 2021