MLS: Union king and master of the Eastern Association

Having beaten CF Montreal earlier this week, the New York Red Bulls could strike a blow against the Philadelphia Union. The top team in Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Eastern Conference, however, easily fended off the crown contender, beating them 2-0 on Saturday at Harrison.

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At home at Red Bull Arena, New Yorkers could overtake second-placed Montreal with a win and close in on Union. Now strong with a streak of four victories, the representatives of Pennsylvania have decided otherwise.

If the Union is doing so well these days, it is largely due to Daniel Gazdag. The Hungarian striker took his goalscoring tally to 18 when he scored in the 74th minute, setting a franchise record for a campaign. It’s also his 11th goal in as many games for him.

Designated player Mikael Uhre opened the scoring shortly after returning from the locker room.

With little hope for the Red Bulls coming back in second half stoppage time, Dru Yearwood was shown a red card for kicking the ball into the crowd. Aware of the seriousness of his gesture, the Englishman climbed the stands to try to offer some comfort to the young woman he hit.

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At TQL Stadium, FC Cincinnati climbed among the teams eligible for the playoffs by beating Charlotte FC 2-0.

Defender Nick Hagglund was the first to shake the ropes in the 38th minute. The American redirected a corner kick with a header.

Luciano Acosta capitalized on a clumsy throw-in from goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina in the 80th minute to double the home favorites lead. The Croatian passed the ball dangerously to a defender, who, surprised, did not see Yuya Kubo appear. The latter found “Lucho”, who shot in an empty cage.

Cincinnati is now seventh in the East with 38 points, two more than Inter Miami CF, its closest pursuer.

Also in the same pair, Chicago Fire goaltender Gaga Slonina made nine saves to silence the Columbus Crew offense, which settled for a 0-0 draw.

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