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Red Bulls beat Union, 3-1

Tranquillo Barnetta didn't have a memorable debut for the Union, and his team continued a pattern of creating chances and failing to finish. It added up to the Union's 3-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls in a Major League Soccer match Saturday before 18,883 at PPL Park.

Tranquillo Barnetta didn't have a memorable debut for the Union, and his team continued a pattern of creating chances and failing to finish. It added up to the Union's 3-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls in a Major League Soccer match Saturday before 18,883 at PPL Park.

The Union are 6-13-4 with only 11 games left and are facing an uphill battle to earn one of six Eastern Conference playoff spots. New York improved to 9-6-5.

Barnetta's first minute as a Union player won't be fondly remembered by the Swiss international midfielder. Signed on Thursday, Barnetta received a huge ovation when he entered the game in the 64th minute. About a minute later, he was called for a costly penalty kick.

Barnetta was trying to slow down and fell into Bradley Wright-Phillips. In fairness to Barnetta, it was a questionable call. Sacha

Kljestan then nailed the penalty kick to open the scoring in the 66th minute.

"For me, it wasn't really a foul," Barnetta said. "I was standing behind and he fell down, and the ref thought I hit him, and it happens like this sometimes in-game."

The Union got the equalizer in the 73d minute, and Barnetta played a key role. He fed Cristian Maidana on the right flank, and his cross into the box was deflected off the foot of Fernando Aristeguieta to Sebastien Le Toux, who banged in his 50th career MLS goal from six yards out.

A minute later, the Red Bulls took the lead on a combination from the Wright-Phillips brothers. Shaun Wright-Phillips beat Ray Gaddis on the left side and crossed to Bradley Wright-Phillips, who one-timed it in from six yards out. Gaddis was making his 100th start with the Union.

"I thought Ray was excellent tonight, but on that play he got beat one-v-one," Union coach Jim Curtin said.

The Union had 17 shots, but only three went on goal.

"We didn't take our chances very well," Curtin said. "We had a lot of opportunities and missed a bunch."

Anatole Abang ended the scoring on a breakaway in the 94th minute.

John McCarthy started in goal for the Union in place of Brian Sylvestre, who had started the previous 12 games, but was out with a right hand injury suffered in practice that required five stitches.

With the Red Bulls up, 2-1, keeper Luis Robles made a diving save of a Conor Casey header in the 84th minute to preserve the lead.

@sjnard