NYCFC looked the more active side in the first half, with six shots to the Union's three and about five-eighths of possession. Santiago Rodríguez had some prime opportunities to get the visitors ahead in the opening stanzas, including a 23rd-minute shot that went just wide. Jesus Medina was also active in the first half, though that activity included being tagged with a yellow card.
However, Union left back Kai Wagner showed some All-Star flex with an incredible free kick in the 21st minute that came close to connecting with a teammate for the opener. And Wagner came out firing right after halftime, looking to be a catalyst from his fullback position.
But NYCFC had some chances for the opener before the hour mark, with Malte Amundsen driving a promising free kick toward goal and Valentin Castellanos trying to get on his bike in front of goal in the 60th minute.
NYCFC then tried their hand at subs, first switching out two players in immediate response to the goal, and then going for a more daring triple sub in the 78th minute to expend the visitors' personnel options. But the most positive impact those subs made on the match was Andre Jasson drawing a foul from Bedoya in a dangerous free-kick location.
Alexander Callens had a headed chance to equalize in the first minute of second-half stoppage time, but the Union weathered the danger and earned three crucial points in the East race.
- 67' – PHI – Alejandro Bedoya | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Philadelphia's win puts them even with NYCFC on points at 31, shifting Jim Curtin's team within striking distance of third place in the Eastern Conference standings. While losing 1-0 to a rival on the road isn’t the worst loss a team can suffer, NYCFC had some early chances to take the lead, and really could have come away from Subaru Park with at least a point. The Cityzens' six-game unbeaten streak is over.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Alejandro Bedoya's first goal of the year came at a crucial juncture and kept Philadelphia's strong home form moving forward.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Kai Wagner delivered the assist and created several attacking chances. The German defender repeatedly proves his quality along Philadelphia's backline.
- PHI: Saturday, August 21 vs. CF Montreal | 8 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
- NYC: Heineken Rivalry Week Match — Saturday, August 21 at New York Red Bulls | 8 pm ET (FS1, FOX Deportes)