Union-Red Bulls Preview

The Associated Press

The winless New York Red Bulls may be the most disappointing team in MLS to this point.

The Philadelphia Union are only in a slightly better position.

The Red Bulls will be out to avoid the longest winless start in franchise history Wednesday night when they host the Union.

New York (0-2-4) fell 1-0 at D.C. United last Saturday, with this winless run the club's longest to start a season since beginning 0-1-5 in 2006. The Red Bulls won the Supporters' Shield a season ago.

"We didn't turn overnight from last year to this year into a bad team," coach Mike Petke told the Red Bulls' official website. "We're not a bad team."

Thierry Henry returned after sitting out the previous weekend at Montreal due to that match being on artificial turf. The superstar was encouraged after the Red Bulls held a 19-12 edge in overall shots.

"Today we played the way football should be played," said Henry, who had eight shots. "We didn't score. So that's why I'm pretty positive about the way we can rectify that, if we carry on playing the way we played in the second half."

Midfielder Tim Cahill missed his second consecutive game with a hamstring problem - the same issue that kept Spanish defender Armando out of the D.C. match. Both practiced Monday.

The Red Bulls are one of five winless teams left - only Montreal and San Jose have fewer points - and they have as many ties as Philadelphia (1-1-4). The Union played a third consecutive draw last Saturday, 2-2 at home against Real Salt Lake.

Maurice Edu rescued the point for Philadelphia as he scored the tying goal on a header off substitute Cristian Maidana's corner kick in the 90th minute. It marked the second straight game with a goal for the Union newcomer.

"We have so much talent on this club," Edu told the Union's official website. "There's so much talent at every position. We have a group here with extremely high character and passion for the game."

Philadelphia's Andrew Wenger also scored in his club debut after being acquired April 4 from the Impact.

Petke was criticized for using Peguy Luyindula at forward last weekend alongside Henry in the absence of Cahill. Luyindula has played well in a central midfield role in the past, and he is the only Red Bulls player with two goals.

"If I have 11 guys who are my best players and are playing in practice and showing me, I'm going to find a spot to put them in," Petke said. "Doesn't matter if they're not naturally a left midfielder or right midfielder or forward."

The Union have two draws and a defeat on the road this year. The Red Bulls are 7-0-4 in their last 11 regular-season home games, and they're 4-0-1 all-time at home versus Philadelphia.

Each team won once in the 2013 season series, with the third match a scoreless draw.

What to Read Next