Patryk Klimala celebrates converting his PK in the rain.  (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

The Red Bulls squandered a great opportunity to secure three points against one of their biggest rivals Thursday night.

Despite playing wiith a man advantage after a Philadelphia Union red card, New York allowed the visitors to score the equalizer in the 86th minute en route to a frustrating 1-1 draw in the rain at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.

“I think that we have to be a little more mature and see the game now better,” team capttain Sean Davis said. “It’s disappointing not to walk away without [winning] no doubt about it.”

Added Red Bulls head coach Gerhard Struber: “In some moments you can feel the emotion is bigger. I think young players, they have to learn … [so] that they can manage and handle moments. This is my responsibility to help the boys too, don’t lose them [and] don’t run like a headless chicken.

“The result, in the end, was not good enough.”

The Union played the final 33 minutes after goalkeeper Matthew Freese was red carded in the 57th minute.

If you want to get technical, Philadelphia actually scored its goal with the teams playing even.

Red Bulls defender John Tolkin wound up injured near the right sideline, allow the Union to even things up. The visitors quickly took a thrown and Oliver Mbaizo sent a long looping ball was sent into the penalty area. Standing on the left side, Sergio Santos headed his shot off the left post and past goalkeeper Carlos Coronel for a 1-1 deadlock.

Until then, the Red Bulls ready to thank the Concacaf Gold Cup for an apparent victory.

Had there not been the competition, Jamaican international goalkeeper Andre Blake, regarded as many as the best at his position in the league, would have been in the net for the Union.

Instead, it was backup Freese, who made a fatal mistake that led to a penalty kick.

The game turned in the Red Bulls’ favor in the 57th minute when Red Bulls midfielder Will Carmona went after a back pass from Jakob Glesnes defender to Freese. Freese control the ball well, held up Carmona and was given his marching orders.

Goalkeeper John Bendik entered the game cold with the challenge of trying to stop Patryk Klimala’s impending penalty kick.

Klimala waited just a second to see where Bendik was going to dive and sent his shot into the lower right corner as the keeper dove in the opposite direction in the 60th minute.

It was double jeopardy for the Union, who were forced to play a man down for the remaining half hour.

New York was missing three defenders prior to kickoff – Andrew Gutman (knee), Aaron Long (Achilles), who is lost for the season, Andrés Reyes (hamstring). Amro Tarek left the game with an injury in the 78th minute and was replaced by Mandelo Egbo. Tolkin also was replaced due to an injury late in the contest.

The start of the game was held up for almost a half hour to due severe weather and lightning in the area.