New York Red Bulls head coach Sandro Schwarz believes his side must improve against a ‘tough’ Philadelphia Union side ahead of their encounter at Subaru Park.

The Red Bulls maintained their four-match unbeaten run with a 2-2 draw against DC United last time out, aided by Cristian Dajome’s early dismissal for the visitors.

Schwarz’s side sit fifth in the Eastern Conference and are among a cluster of teams tightly packed in the middle of the division, with every victory important at the halfway stage of the season.

The Red Bulls head coach praised his side’s mentality to gain a point against the Black and Red’s last time out but expects a difficult match against the Union.

“I think what we have to improve, especially with our ball position is the structure which we have lost in some moments which we will analyse ahead of the game,” Schwarz said.

“But the mentality to come back was good to not lose the last game and to get this important point at home. We analysed this and it is very clear how we want to play, and we want to create these situations and these moments.

“They are a very good team with a good structure, they are aggressive in their pressing and have that individual quality as well.

“They have the quality to build-up with the centre-backs and have good deep runs, and it will be a tough game for us.”

For Philadelphia, their winless run continued against fellow strugglers Chicago Fire as they were edged out of a seven-goal and are now without a win since their 3-0 triumph against New England Revolution back in May.

The Union had led 3-1 entering the final 10 minutes of play before conceding three goals in nine minutes to lose 4-3, marking the first time in the club’s history that they had lost a match in which they led by multiple goals entering the 80th minute.

Their latest defeat was their fifth in a row and leaves them second-bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, level on points with DC United at the foot of the table.

Head coach Jim Curtin was left hurt by the loss and highlighted their inability to defend set-pieces as something to work on before facing the Red Bulls.

“The guys did well to get themselves from 3-1 up, from there it was pretty comfortable until about the 82nd minute, and we started conceding corners that we didn’t need to concede,” Curtin said.

“The little things then became big issues. The thing that we have been pretty good at over the years which has been defending set-pieces, we have come up really small and we get punished.

“It hurts, but again, I sound like a broken record, but the group will have to regroup quickly and go again against New York.”


Philadelphia Union – Daniel Gazdag

Following his return from international duty with Hungary at Euro 2024, Daniel Gazdag found himself on the scoresheet once again in the Union’s 4-3 defeat to Chicago Fire last time out.

Gazdag’s goal and assist at Soldier Field took his tally 12 goal involvements in 17 MLS appearances, and his influence in attack will be needed if Philadelphia are to return to winning ways.

NYRB – Cameron Harper

After scoring in three consecutive MLS matches in May, Cameron Harper has rediscovered his goal-scoring touch for Schwarz’s side.

The American has scored two goals in his last two games against Toronto FC and DC United and should he find the back of the net again, he will become the first player since Bradley Wright-Phillips in 2016 to have multiple streaks of three or more games with a goal in a single season.


Despite Philadelphia slightly edging Opta’s data-led simulations, their recent form suggests that the encounter at Subaru Park will be an evenly contested affair.

The Union have lost their last five league matches for the first time in the club’s history following a 4-3 defeat to Chicago Fire on Wednesday.

However, Curtin’s side can take confidence from their recent record against their opponents. Philadelphia are unbeaten in their previous 12 meetings with the Red Bulls in all competitions (W8 D4) dating back to 2019.

But New York will take confidence from their 2-2 draw with DC United. It marked the 12th time this season the Red Bulls have scored multiple goals in a match after doing so just eight times during the entire 2023 season.


Philadelphia Union – 38.9%

Draw – 26.5%

NYRB – 34.5%