“We love playing at home and so anytime we play at home, that’s the standard, that’s the goal. We’re going to have to be at our best.” (Keith Furman/FrontRowSoccer.com)

HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls can pull even with the Philadelphia Union in the MLS Eastern Conference as they begin a two-game homestand against their Pennsylvania rivals at Red Bull Arena Thursday at 8 p.m.

Coverage is on on MSG, MSG Go and New York Red Bulls Radio in English and Spanish via TuneIn, the New York Red Bulls app and NewYorkRedBulls.com.

“This is another big test for us,” Red Bulls captain Sean Davis said.

The match will be the 30th MLS regular season game between New York (5-5-1, 16 points) and Philadelphia (5-3-4, 19) with the Red Bulls holding an advantage in the series at 14-10-5 In its last nine games, the Union has posted a mark of 5-1-3 record outscoring their opponents, 14-7. Before dropping its most recent matchup to Nashville SC, Philly was on a an eight-match unbeaten streak from May 8 to June 26.

“Philadelphia is a very good team, one of the top teams in the league,” Davis said. “We have a lot of respect for them, so it’s going to take a massive effort to get three points.”

The Red Bulls enter the match 4-1-0 at RBA this season.

“We love playing at home and so anytime we play at home, that’s the standard, that’s the goal,” Davis said. “We’re going to have to be at our best. Thinking back to the game against Philadelphia [a 1-0 loss at Philly May 15], we created some good looks, but we also gave up some chances as well. So I think there’s room for improvement from that last performance.

“It comes down to us, our intensity, our energy, and being good in both boxes. We’re in a good way right now but we have to continue to grow as a team and this is another big test for us.

The Red Bulls recorded their first road win of the 2021 season and Head Coach Gerhard Struber’s first MLS road win with the Red Bulls on Saturday, July 3 against Orlando City SC. Midfielder Cristian Casseres, Jr. has scored a goal in back-to-back matches and is tied for the team lead with four goals this season.

Out of the 18 assists New York has recorded this season, forwards have contributed 11 of those. That includes six from Brazilian striker Fabio, which ranks second among MLS players. Forward Patryk Klimala recorded his first multi-assist match last Saturday and has registered a goal or an assist in four of his five starts this year.

The Red Bulls will look to extend their home winning streak to five matches for the first time since 2018, which ran from Aug. 5 to Sept. 30 with wins over LAFC (2-1), D.C. United (1-0), Houston Dynamo (1-0), Toronto F.C. (2-0), and Atlanta United FC (2-0).

Following Thursday’s match, New York will finish its two-match homestand on Saturday, July 17, hosting Inter Miami CF.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.