On Saturday night, CJ Sapong missed the net on a second-half penalty kick and Tim Parker saved a shot off the goal line in the first half as the two Eastern Conference rivals settled for a scoreless draw.
The high-scoring Red Bulls, who came into the contest having won four straight, were shut out for only the second time this season.
Andre Blake preserved the shutout with a couple of big saves, including a leaping grab of a Kaku shot in the 13th minute, for the Union, who are unbeaten in their last three. Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara also had a big stop to thwart a Marcus Epps breakaway in the 29th minute.
THE BIG PICTURE: Considering how bleak things looked for the Union just few weeks ago, a point on the road against one of the league’s top teams is a nice accomplishment and perhaps a sign they're on the rise. The Red Bulls, meanwhile, have some questions to answer after failing to score on a Union backline that features teenage center backs Auston Trusty and Mark McKenzie, especially after pouring in multiple goals vs. New York City FC and Atlanta earlier this month.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Union looked primed to take the lead when Kemar Lawrence — back from a scary-looking injury last week — handled an Epps shot in the box and Sapong stepped up to the spot. But Sapong badly missed his 53rd minute PK even after fooling Meara — a microcosm of the striker’s rough season after he enjoyed a 16-goal campaign in 2017.
CJ Sapong to give Philly the lead from the penalty spot and well, it's been that kind of year. pic.twitter.com/Agv52V5Aqr— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) May 27, 2018
MAN OF THE MATCH: Andre Blake did Andre Blake things to keep the game scoreless — the kind of performance the Union need on the road from their star goalkeeper. Meara was also impressive for the Red Bulls, though the best save of the game may have come from Parker, whose dad was given Twitter updates from the team while on vacation in Aruba.
Your son just made an amazing clearance off the line to keep the game scoreless. We thank his genetics and upbringing. https://t.co/VCgDW3B6UP— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) May 26, 2018