The match, which featured the earliest scheduled start (9 a.m. ET) in MLS history, was the first for the Eastern Conference rivals since the league came to a halt in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Andre Blake made seven saves for the Union (1-1-1, four points; 1-0 tournament), whose players eschewed sporting their own names on the back of their jerseys in favor of those of the Black community who have been victims of police brutality. The players also had the phrase "One name too many" on the back of their jerseys.
Philadelphia was able to convert on its first semblance of offense in the second half en route to snapping a four-match losing skid to NYCFC (0-3-0, 0-1 tournament).
Brenden Aaronson's shot from the center of the box was blocked in front, producing a rebound deep in the right side of the box for Bedoya. The Union's captain deftly wired a shot that deflected off the right hand of a diving Sean Johnson for his first goal of the season and 11th in his career.
Blake preserved the slim advantage after making a diving save on a point-blank shot from Heber in the 86th minute and another from Gary Mackay-Steven during stoppage time.
Johnson made three saves for NYCFC, who have been shut out in all three of their MLS matches this season after finishing atop the East with an 18-6-10 record in 2019.
NYCYC dictated the pace to begin the second half, with Blake required to make a two-handed diving save on Valentin Castellanos' right-footed shot from just above the box in the 61st minute.
Bedoya's second-half goal lifts Union past NYCFC
Ale Bedoya's lone strike in the second-half lifts Philadelphia to a 1-0 win over NYCFC. Watch MLS on ESPN+.
Philadelphia Union reveals jerseys honoring Black victims of police brutality
Players from Philadelphia Union are wearing names of Black victims of police brutality on their jerseys.