The New York Red Bulls hadn’t won a road game in five months, but with a bye into the Eastern Conference semifinals on the line, the Red Bulls finally showed their capable of taking three points away from Red Bull Arena.
Kenny Cooper scored a pair of goals, and Thierry Henry added his own beautiful finish, to help the Red Bulls cruise to a 3-0 victory against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon.
The victory essentially clinched third place in the East for the Red Bulls, who will now face the winner of Saturday’s match between D.C. United and the Chicago Fire (if the teams tie, the Red Bulls would play D.C. United).
The Union went into the match without injured starter Sheanon Williams, and without Freddy Adu, who was left out of the match-day roster for the second straight match. Without Adu, the Union offense was reduced to playing long balls to Jack McInerney, who came up short in his bid to make it five straight games with a goal.
The Red Bulls opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Cooper converted a penalty drawn by Tim Cahill, who was brought down by Carlos Valdes in the penalty area.
Henry made it 2-0 by racing past Valdes and beating Zac MacMath from close range for his 15th goal of the season.
Cooper added his second of the day, and 18th of the season, when he raced onto a Connor Lade pass and beat MacMath with a low shot to put the match out of reach.
The match marked the second straight shutout for the Red Bulls. The back four of Heath Pearce, Markus Holgersson, Rafa Marquez and Connor Lade looked sharp again, with Lade and Pearce pressing the flanks and Holgersson and Marquez holding up well against McInerney.
The loss ends a disappointing season for the Union, which will now head into the off-season with plenty of questions to answer, ranging from whether the team will keep Freddy Adu, to whether the team will be able to find some key pieces in the international player market.
Here are the match highlights:
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