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Red Bull fell to the Empire on Star Wars Night


J.J. Pavlick

The Red Bull enters tonight's match dead last with just one victory on the year, 3 losses, and 6 draws for 9 points. The Union is doing better than the Red Bull but not as well as they usually are in MLS having suffered major defeats to LAFC in the CCL Championship in a rematch of last year's finals. Jim Curtain was outcoached by a country mile and then some. Red Bull, they're still without their 5-million-dollar striker Donte Vanzeir who is out due to suspension. The Red Bull has been anemic on offense this year the last time they scored two goals was the home opener, since then it's been one or none for the struggling side. Also of note, the once stellar and stingy Red Bull defense has been beating itself and giving up quality shots on goal. This is the first time since 2009 that Red Bull has fewer than ten points in its first ten matches. The last time resulted in them not making the playoffs. This season they get a little extra help from MLS who expanded its playoffs to 9 teams. The Union currently sits in 10th place with an anemic record of (3-4-2 for 10 points). The Union currently ride a 9-game streak without a loss to their rivals from New Jersey. With both sides struggling and Struber's job hanging in the balance we could be in for his final act tonight if he doesn't produce a result. This team can't continue its tie-or-lose play style that's been on display this season. They will need Cory Burke and Elias Manoel to wake up and produce. The Red Bull Southward is anemic and outnumbered by the visiting Sons of Ben. Further proof that Star Wars anything will draw a crowd, wouldn't be surprised if some Stormtroopers start a battle with the Jedis and Mandalorians in attendance tonight. The Sons of Ben are embarrassing the Southward tonight by out chanting the home supporters' section from the nosebleeds. The fans are taking over for the lack of luster Southward which is now being out-chanted by the fans and the Sons of Ben. The Union traveled well while the Red Bull Support section stayed home.

The first half started with the Sons of Ben letting the Southward have it, in a shocking turn of events they decided to stick around tonight but are barely heard from the Sons of Ben in tonight. Just 3' into the match and we had our first VAR check before a Red Bull corner kick. VAR says no handle in the box, so the Red Bull will take a corner instead. The corner produced no danger being headed well wide of the 1st post. Gazdag in the 6' will want that one back, he was wide open in front of goal and was a split second late to the well-played cross, if he is there it's a goal without question. Omir Fernandez was wide-open with plenty of space, and he shanks the shot well wide of goal from 18 yards out in the 9'. Tolkin is utterly robbed of a goal by Andre Blake who needed every inch of his body to make the diving save on the screaming bender from 16 yards out, in the 10'. It's the match we all expected to see wide-open chaos and we're all here for it. Burke is down in the 17' but can continue without treatment from medical. Coronel punches clear a free kick in on goal from 25 yards, but it causes issues and the Red Bull center back Reyes clears it from danger in the 23'. Sean Nealis runs back like an X-wing starfighter to deny the Union a goal and then nearly gives one up on a bad touch but heads it out before the Union can pounce in the 24'. The referee issues a yellow card to Reyes in the 25' for a careless tackle, ironically, he didn't issue a yellow when Yearwood was kicked down by the Union minutes before. Center Vadar has decided to call a dive, a penalty kick that's some serious joke, VAR tells the referee Vadar aka Dickerson to go take a look because he got it wrong badly. He decides to fall on his lightsaber and stick with the bad call. So, dives are penalty kicks now. The Red Bull and the fans are all over the center from Coruscant. Philadelphia Gazdag converts the gift from the empire in the 32' to give the Union a 1 - 0 lead. In the 36' the referee issues a yellow card to J. Flach of the Union. Bedoya getting chippy with the Nealis clan of Massapequa, knocking the ball away, and shoving Dylan in the 40'. Union chants start to take over Red Bull arena in the 41', Omir again misses a golden chance this time a bad first touch over the goal line in the 43'. Casseres shanks a ball on the 16-yard mark so wide it ends up in the bleachers by the photographers 25+ yards from where the goal is in the 44'. Another delayed restart by Philly, with no repercussions, Gazdag is wide open in on goal, and he passes into space to Tolkin and S. Nealis who clear the ball with ease. Burke is taken down just outside the box and no call. The 4th official showed a minimum of 6' to be added. Fans trying to get the Red Bulls going and a loud Let's Go Red Bulls chant takes over the arena. The header by Burke goes over the crossbar and out of play in the 90'+4', Unions D. Lowe is down and getting attended to by medical staff, more time should be added for the lengthy delay in the restart. The Red Bull was the better team in the 1st half of play, but a gifted penalty kick by the referee to the Union is the difference so far. The Union O. Sullivan is shown a yellow card after taking out Coronel in the box in the 90'+7'.

Struber and the lads came to play today and have been the better side so far in this game despite being down 1 - 0. Red Bull need to convert on their chances they had 9 shots (1 on target, 5 off target, and 3 blocked). Jim Curtin is yet again being outcoached by a good margin, if not for the gifted penalty kick his side would have 0 shots this match. Struber needs to find the Millennium Falcon and make an impact sub the problem is the only pure goal scorers this side has are Dante who is suspended and Morgan who is still injured. We all know Barlow is not the answer and he is the only forward left on the bench for the coach. Unfortunately, Jedi Linquinhas is out with an injury and will not be able to will the force into a goal for his side. Maybe he can summon Gogru to use the force and help Burke bury two in the second half for a Republic win.

The second half started with the Red Bull continuing their domination of the Union, however, they still haven't found the back of the goal yet. Another great attempt was spoiled by Blake who punched a nice cross by D. Nealis before Burke could head it home. In the 56' of play the Union get their 2nd shot of the game, but the first actual shot in the course of play, by N. Harriel who missed the tap-in off a corner kick in the 56', Coronel reacted late but just enough to push it up and over the bar for another corner. That corner was cleared easily by the Red Bull, but unfortunately, nothing developed on the counter. The Union are starting to kill the clock by making long back passes to keep possession something they struggled to maintain in the first half of play. Wiki Carmona enters the match for the Red Bull replacing O. Fernandez in the 59'. In the 62' the Union bring in Uhre for Sullivan, Curtin is looking for something from his forwards who have been anemic tonight in scoring chances. Struber goes to Tom Barlow in an act of desperation, that any manager can get to find offense, he replaces Manoel in the 64', but he has done nothing tonight despite the Red Bull dominating the pitch. Lowe for the Union goes down again in the box, this time medical is waived off by the players. An extremely weak yellow card by the center to Burke of the Red Bull who was attempting to strip the ball away from Blake well outside the box in the 68'. The Vikings in the supporter's section are trying to use the force to will the team on while the other two-thirds of supporters stayed home or went on vacation. Tonight, are the qualifiers for Olympic diving, it's embarrassing that grown men in the professional ranks need to dive for calls that aren't fouls. I guess Curtain is going with the if you can't beat them with talent beat them in the swimming pool strategy. In the 74' Burke misses an easy header 1st post that would've tied the match and sent the building into a frenzy at the Copa Cabana. A minute later, Burke mistimes another header with an open net in sight. The Red Bull has outshot the Union 13 - 2 so far 78' into the match. In the 78' Philadelphia subs on Bueno for Bedoya. Reyes goes full Jedi and launches himself into the air to keep the Union from a breakaway in the 80'. Substitution for the Red Bulls, Dylan Nealis exits the match and Donker enters in the 81'. Struber going full offense now to find an equalizer late. Guess better later than never is the term in the referee's mind tonight. He lets play continue with the Union never having possession then calls a foul on the Red Bull well after the ball was stolen. The Red Bulls are running low on time as we enter the 86' of play and they're now facing a death star parked Union's side. The question remains will the Red Bull X-wing starfighters break the shields and score? Center Vadar issues Struber a yellow card, good on Struber he has every right to be annoyed tonight. VAR doesn't call the official over for a handling-in-the-box call that the whole arena saw. But he does award another diving attempt by the Union. In the 90' Philadelphia brings on Donovan for Carranza. Burke has another header that doesn't trouble Blake in the dying minutes of the match in the 90'+6'. The match is over the score is Evil Empire 1 - Red Bull 0, the Red Bull players are having many words with the officiating crew. Referee Vadar runs off the pitch with an evil smirk on his face, knowing full well the poor performance he had tonight.

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