Preview: Fresh off ASG, Union & PPL Park welcome Revs

PHILADELPHIA UNION vs NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
PPL PARK, Chester, Pa.
July 29, 2012 (WEEK 21, MLS Game #205)
7 p.m. ET (NBC SN)

The Philadelphia Union will be aiming to regain their recent winning form when the New England Revolution come to PPL Park for a Sunday evening match in front of an NBC Sports Network audience. The Union saw their three-game winning run put to a stop last weekend in a 2-0 defeat at the New York Red Bulls. The Revolution are now winless in their last three games, after a scoreless draw at Sporting Kansas City last weekend.

REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. SAR (bench): Steven Taylor; JAR (opposite): Craig Lowry; 4th: Kevin Terry Jr.
MLS Career: 47 games; FC/gm: 22.4; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 4; pens: 5

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE HERE (PDF)

INJURY REPORT:

  • PHILADELPHIA UNION – OUT: FW Krystian Witkowski (concussion symptoms); QUESTIONABLE: DF Bakary Soumare (R knee menisectomy recovery); PROBABLE: FW Chandler Hoffman (L big toe fracture)
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: DF Darrius Barnes (L adductor strain); FW Alec Purdie (L ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Benny Feilhaber (R ankle sprain); PROBABLE: MF Clyde Simms (R gastroc tightness); MF Chris Tierney (R knee contusion)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: NE: Jerry Bengtson (Honduras; Olympic Games)
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: PHI: Michael Farfan, Brian Carroll, Gabriel Gomez, Carlos Valdes, Lionard Pajoy, Gabriel Farfan … NE: Benny Feilhaber, Chris Tierney, Shalrie Joseph

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Union 2 wins, 10 goals … Revolution 0 wins, 6 goals … Ties 2
AT PHILADELPHIA (2 meetings): Union 2 wins, 10 goals … Revolution 0 wins, 6 goals … Ties 2
RETURN MATCHES: 9/1: New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. ET; 10/6: Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution, 7 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS):
7/17: NE 0, PHI 3 (Ruiz 11; Valdes 24; Williams 90)
9/7: PHI 4, NE 4 (Torres 28; Adu 54; Le Toux 80, 90 – Soares 9; Lekic 21; Zerka 25; Feilhaber 33)
• The Union have never lost to the Revolution, with two wins (and two draws) in four meetings all-time.
• But the Union have yet to win against New England at PPL Park, with draws in the first two meetings in Chester. Philadelphia have won both meetings at Gillette Stadium.
• Coaches record: Jay Heaps vs. PHI: first game … John Hackworth vs. NE: first game

PHILADELPHIA UNION
The Philadelphia Union saw their season-long three-game winning streak come to an end, falling 2-0 to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday afternoon at Red Bull Arena. The Union are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 20 points from 18 games.

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: NY 2, PHI 0

• Both goals came from the same source on either side of halftime. In the 43rd minute, Joel Lindpere fed Connor Lade with a pass down the left, and the rookie hit a pinpoint cross that Kenny Cooper rose to and headed home.
• It was déjà vu not long after halftime. Lade and Thierry Henry combined on the left flank before the Frenchman whipped in a ball that Cooper finished with his head, doubling the lead in the 58th minute.
• Union interim manager John Hackworth made two changes to the team that got a late winner for a 2-1 win against the Montréal Impact at PPL Park. Michael Farfan and Lionard Pajoy came into the side, in place of Freddy Adu and Keon Daniel.
• PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Amobi Okugo, Gabriel Farfan - Michael Farfan, Josue Martinez (Antoine Hoppenot  60), Brian Carroll, Michael Lahoud (Gabriel Gomez 59) - Lionard Pajoy (Roger Torres 72), Jack McInerney.

TEAM NEWS
• The Union were shutout by the Red Bulls after scoring 12 goals in their previous five games. It was the first time Philadelphia were shutout under interim manager John Hackworth since his first game in charge, a 1-0 loss to D.C. United.
• “You can play really well and lose or play really badly and win,” said Hackworth. “I’m not saying we played really well, but we did in a lot of ways what we wanted to do. Obviously, the result didn’t go our way. We’re not frustrated by it. We’ll go back and keep making sure we’re prepared for the next game.”
• Said midfielder Brian Carroll: “As a group, we need to give our forwards more of an opportunity. They were just a little more sharp. That’s a credit to them. It’s just something that wasn’t as on as the past few games. It’s nothing to hang your head over. Obviously, we wanted to get a better result but we can’t dwell on it.”
• Freddy Adu was not available for the match in what the club called violation of team rules.
• “He’s a fantastic player but he wasn’t here today, so it was an opportunity for other guys to step up,” Hackworth said. “We can debate about whether we missed him or not. We didn’t get the result today so it kind of looks that way.”
• In Adu’s place, Josue Martinez made his second consecutive start after a four-match absence.
• “He’s a creative player and he creates a lot of good chances and he puts us through on goal a lot,” Union striker Jack McInerney said. “I think we definitely missed him but we had a lot of other good attacking players who could play in his position.”
• Both goals for New York came on headers from crosses – Union have conceded 10 goals from headers this season, tied for most in MLS (along with New England).
• “We can always defend better, and get more pressure on the cross,” said Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath. “Then obviously we can defend better on the cross with the guys in the box. [They were] two tough goals, with good balls in, and good headers.”
• Added center back Amobi Okugo: “They were good balls, but we can do better as a team defensively, whether it’s closing down the cross or trying to adjust Cooper’s run so he can’t head the ball that easily. The second goal, we thought it was offside, so that’s probably why he got a free header. But that’s in the past now and we’ve got to look forward to New England.”

 

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution saw their winless run extended to three games, reaching a scoreless draw with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Livestrong Sporting Park. The Revolution are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 23 points from 20 games.

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: SKC 0, NE 0

• Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis was credited with six saves on the evening, his best coming in the second half when he denied a snap header from Jacob Peterson with a sprawling fingertip save.
• Sporting 'keeper Jimmy Nielsen made three saves on the night, his best coming early on when he parried a powerful header from Ryan Guy on a corner kick.
• Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that dropped a 2-1 decision to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Stephen McCarthy came into the back four and Shalrie Joseph came into the midfield, for Clyde Simms and Saer Sene.
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, Stephen McCarthy (Blake Brettschneider 78), A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes (Fernando Cardenas 58) - Chris Tierney, Shalrie Joseph - Kelyn Rowe (Saer Sene 58), Lee Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber - Ryan Guy.

TEAM NEWS
• Facing a third game in a week, Ryan Guy started up top, his second consecutive start after missing six matches. Guy was playing in a new position, having also played wide in the midfield, centrally in midfield and at fullback.
• “Because we were so leg-weary, we had to make some tactical moves to put guys in,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “For instance, Ryan Guy started out up top, went to left midfield, and then even did a spell in the back. He was huge for us. If Matt Reis wasn’t able to get up, then Ryan Guy was going in goal. I think he would have set the record for number of different positions in one game.”
• The Revolution saw their road winless run extended to seven games, though they’ve taken points from two of their last three games away from Foxborough.
• “Three games in a week is never easy. Two of them were on the road, so we have been on the road since Tuesday,” said Benny Feilhaber. “It is good to get this point after the two losses in the beginning of the week but we need to obviously get more points at home and away to make the playoffs. It is a good stepping stone but we have to make something out of it.”

WATCH: Revs boss Jay Heaps previews Philadelphia

• After missing the Montréal match at midweek entirely, after he was forced off after just six minutes against Toronto after suffering concussion-like symptoms, Stephen McCarthy returned to the back four and played 79 minutes.
• “I’m so happy to be back with the team,” said McCarthy. “It felt like I’d been lost for the past week just hanging around doing nothing. So I’m really happy.”
• In the previous five matches, Shalrie Joseph had made just one start (and two substitute appearances) after being hampered by a string of injuries. But he returned to the center of midfield and played the full 90 minutes.
• “My luck hasn’t been going my way for the last two weeks; I had back injuries, woke up bad and then just [had] knocks and bruises,” said Joseph. “But it felt good [Saturday night] coming out there and putting in 90 minutes with the team.”
• Returning between the posts for a second consecutive game after two games out of the team, Matt Reis finished out the match despite suffering a knock to the head.
• “We have two guys with stitches so the doctor doesn’t know who to look at first,” Heaps said. “But Matt was gallant. He came out big and we asked him to be big on crosses, and I think that he had a really great game.”