New on Sports Illustrated: Union-Red Bulls Preview

September 05, 2020 at 12:11AM

Mired in a three-match winless rut and struggling to produce goals, the New York Red Bulls are moving forward without coach Chris Armas leading the way.

After Armas and the club parted ways Friday, the Red Bulls look to get back on track when they host the Philadelphia Union on Sunday night.

Not quite two seasons after guiding the Red Bulls to the Supporters' Shield in 2018, Armas is out as New York coach. He went 29-21-11 during his tenure and took the Red Bulls to the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. However, the club is just 3-4-2 in 2020 and has managed only seven total goals - two over the last six official contests.

New York fell 1-0 to D.C. United earlier this week in its most recent match, the second time in three games it failed to score.

"On behalf of the organization, I'd like to thank Chris for his hard work and dedication to the club," New York's head of sport Kevin Thelwell said via a statement. "In this business we have to make difficult decisions based on performances, and fundamentally, results. At this time, it's my decision that we must go in a different direction in order to meet the ambitions we have for our football club."

Assistant coach CJ Brown has been tabbed to run the team for the interim while the club searches for a permanent coach.

Philadelphia coach Jim Curtin took the news of Armas' departure rather hard as the two are former teammates and good friends. The Union also beat New York for the franchise's first playoff victory in 2019.

"It hurts, man," Curtin told the official website of MLS. "I'm upset. I've been saddened by it. Chris is a guy who taught me so much in the game. I can't speak to the goings-on behind the scenes, but I can speak to the quality person Chris Armas is."

The Red Bulls' current winless stretch began with a 1-0 road loss to Curtin's Philadelphia side on Aug. 25. Kacper Przybylko's goal in the 31st minute was all the Union needed to post the victory. Philadelphia followed with a 4-1 win over D.C. United, then lost 1-0 at Columbus earlier this week.

Przybylko recorded three goals over a two-game stretch before the Union were blanked by United. New York, meanwhile, has only one player - Kyle Duncan - with more than a goal on the season.

Though the Union have won the last two meetings between these clubs, both came at home. New York is 8-1-3 against Philadelphia all-time on its home pitch. The Union have also failed to score in each of their last three trips (0-1-2) to Red Bull Arena.

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