Fabio (9) is marked by the Union’s Alvas Powell (29) and midfielder Jose Andres Martinez (8). (Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
The Red Bulls were eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs on Saturday.
And the sun also rises.
For the 12th consecutive season, the Red Bulls failed to reach MLS Cup as they exited the postseason in the opening round. This time they suffered an excruciating, heart-breaking defeat to the Philadelphia Union deep into extratime at Subaru Park oin Chester, Pa.
Jakob Glesnes tallied off a 25-yard shot in the 123rd minute, three minutes into stoppage time of the second extratime period, to boost the Philadelphia Union to a 1-0 victory over the seventh-seeded side in the first round of the Eastern Conference bracket.
Glesnes, who scored put three times during the regular season, got a hold of a headed clearance by Andrew Gutman and sent a high, looping shot into the upper right corner of the net and out of the reach of goalkeeper Carlos Coronel.
It was recorded as the latest goal in Major League Soccer history.
The second-seeded Union will play the winner of the Nashville SC-Orlando City SC match, which will be played on Tuesday night.
For the 26th MLS season, the Red Bulls will return home without a championship. They have reached MLS Cup only once – in 2008, when they lost to the Columbus Crew in Carson, Calif.
Let’s face it. The first half was dull, physical and scoreless and hardly an advertisement for the beautiful game.
In fact, it was downright ugly.
Philly’s Alvas Powell held the distinction of putting the only shot on target when he forced Carlos Coronel to make a quick save in the seventh minute.
Paxten Aaronson tried an off-balance volley off his left foot in the 32nd minute that sailed over the crossbar.
After that, there were near misses, but no goals.
Fabio, selected by head coach Gerhard Struber to start over Patryk Klimala at striker, was a non-factor and it was difficult remembering if he actually touched the ball, especially in the attacking third.
The second half did not improve much, if at all, on the opening 45 minutes.
Struber brought in Klimala for Fabio in the 58th minute, but he did not make that much of a difference.
Union striker Kacper Przybylko had two opportunities to put the game away with time running out. After taking a feed from Sergio Santos, Przybylko placed a shot over the bar from eight yards. Three minutes later, while racing in on Coronel, Przybylko was denied by defender Tom Edwards.
The scoring fuility continued into extratime.
Four minutes into the first extra period, Klimala, off a Cristian Casseres, Jr. feed, sent a shot that rolled wide left of its intended target.
A minute later, a Sean Davis feed set up Klimala again. This time goalkeeper Andre Blake dove to his left to knock the ball out of harm’s way.
Coronel came up big two minutes into the second extratime, when he denied Santos, off a right-flank feed, from point-blank range.
On the opposite end of the stadium, it looked like Kyle Duncan was about to decide matters, but his shot from the right side of the box, which looked like it was going into the net, bounded off the left post.
In the 118th minute, Burke looked like he was going to put this one way for the hosts, but his close-range shot missed by a considerable amount as Andrew Gutman managed to get a foot on the ball.