Harrison, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of heated rivals will tangle on Sunday as the Philadelphia Union travel to Red Bull Arena to face the New York Red Bulls in an Eastern Conference clash.
It's a tale of two sides on opposite sides of the standings this season as New York enters the clash in third place in the East with 17 points from 10 matches, while Philadelphia has struggled most of the season and has just two wins through 12 matches.
Philadelphia comes into the match on an upswing after earning its second win of the season with a 1-0 result against then-East leaders D.C. United last Sunday at PPL Park.
On a day when Union supporters group the Sons of Ben staged a protest before the match in light of the team's struggles, Jim Curtin's side gave the home fans something to cheer about when homegrown player Zach Pfeffer buried the winner in stoppage time.
"I couldn't be happier for the guys," Curtin said. "They've put a good shift in. We went with an experienced, older group and they really emptied their tank for me tonight and left a lot on the field. They left it all on the field."
Pfeffer, who shook off being left off the United States U-20 World Cup roster, put in perhaps his best performance in a Union kit and was rewarded for his effort.
"It's great for Zach to get on the end of that," Curtin added. "[He came] into the game and giving us energy and some legs. I thought Fabinho came into a tough spot and it's tough as a defender. Zach did very well on the goal but you have to look at the little things off of the ball that you don't see that lead up to the cross."
"It's a great moment for myself, but more importantly a great moment for the team," Pfeffer said. "We finally got that win that we've been yearning for and now hopefully that'll ignite us and push us to keep going. Kind of switch the season and gain some more momentum now. But, a great feeling, I'm so happy."
New York, meanwhile, will aim to get back on the winning track after being held to a scoreless draw by FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium last Friday.
The Red Bulls put together a few good chances in the first half. First Felipe let one go from outside the box in the 25th minute, but FC Dallas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy came up big to keep things level. Five minutes later Dax McCarty's header from the center of the box just missed to left.
The best chance of the game came in the second half at the 70th minute mark when Michael Barrios chipped one over the head of Red Bull goalkeeper Luis Robles head but Felipe was on the goal line to boot it away.
"The back line, overall, did really well," said Red Bull manager Jesse Marsch. "[Fabian] Castillo is one of the most dangerous players in the league, if not the most dangerous and we didn't give much away. He had one chance at the end that resulted in almost a broken play, but Chris Duvall was up for the task. I think Karl Ouimette did a very good job filling in, and the pairing of him and Damien [Perrinelle] was quite good, and Kemar Lawrence played well."
This will be the first meeting of the season between the clubs, which met three times last year. Each team won at home along with a 2-2 draw at PPL Park on Sept. 13.