June 23, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Philadelphia Union
Chester, Pa. (June 23, 2013) - Philadelphia Union (7-5-4, 25 points) earned a 3-0 victory against Eastern Conference Rival New York Red Bulls Sunday evening behind a brace from Conor Casey and another from substitute Antoine Hoppenot.
"Coach [John Hackworth] came to us and said, 'Everybody thinks we are just an OK team; we need a signature win,'" said Union defender Raymon Gaddis after the match. "And I think today we went out there and executed exactly what coach told us to do."
It was the Union that set the tone against a New York (7-6-4, 25 points) side devoid of three standout players in midfielders Juninho, Tim Cahill and defender Jamison Olave. And although world class striker Thierry Henry roamed the expansive pitch at PPL Park, it was the Union that showed class creating numerous chances - most notably putting away three.
"It is just one game, so we have to keep it in perspective, but the Red Bulls are a very good team," said Team Manager John Hackworth. "We started here well, put the game on our terms and still, even being up a man, it is awful hard to beat a team of the quality of the Red Bulls. So I'm very happy for the players and the team and this organization."
Casey opened the account in just the seventh minute, finishing off a curling in-swinging cross from Sheanon Williams. In the 64th, Casey was at it again, finishing off a deflected shot from Keon Daniel. Casey cut into the box just above the six, and used his left boot to slot the ball past New York goalkeeper Luis Robles.
"As a forward, obviously you want to score and the most important thing is to put the work in," Casey said postgame. "Jack [McInerney] has put the work in all year and it's good for the other guys like me to come in and take the load off of him...today was good for a lot of different reasons."
The goal for Casey was his fifth of the MLS regular season and his third of the year against New York, scoring in a 2-1 loss at Red Bull Arena on March 30. Hoppenot closed the affair finishing off a nice run down the right flank from Sebastien Le Toux. Drawing defenders, Le Toux smartly played the ball to the top of the box to an awaiting Hoppenot who buried his first of the season, while Le Toux improved to a League-leading seven assists.
The Union's tough stretch of games continues next Saturday when the club hosts FC Dallas at PPL Park (5:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network).