Preview: Short rest, sour results ahead of Revs-Union clash

NE vs. PHI, 8-31-12

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NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs PHILADELPHIA UNION
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
September 1, 2012 (WEEK 26, MLS Game #249)
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; CSN-Phi)

The New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union must put aside disappointing midweek results and gain a victory if either are to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot when the clubs meet Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in ninth place, 15 points out of a playoff spot, after seeing Chivas USA come back from a three-goal deficit for a 3-3 draw in Foxborough on Wednesday. Union are a point ahead of New England, hitting the road after the Columbus Crew scored a stoppage-time winner for a 2-1 midweek result at PPL Park.

REFEREE: Drew Fischer. AR1 (bench): Daniel Belleau; AR2 (opposite): Philippe Briere; 4th: Geoff Gamble
MLS Career: 3 games; FC/gm: 27.0; Y/gm: 2.3; R: 0; pens: 0

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INJURY REPORT

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: MF Sainey Nyassi (R adductor strain); GK Bobby Shuttleworth (L knee sprain); DOUBTFUL: MF Blair Gavin (L hamstring tightness); PROBABLE: MF Lee Nguyen (L ankle sprain); FW Alec Purdie (L ankle sprain) … PHILADELPHIA UNION – OUT: FW Krystian Witkowski (concussion symptoms); QUESTIONABLE: DF Chris Albright (L groin strain); DF Bakary Soumare (R knee inflammation)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: PHI: Gabriel Gomez, Gabriel Farfan, Michael Farfan
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Kevin Alston, Benny Feilhaber, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares … PHI: Brian Carroll, Michael Lahoud, Carlos Valdes, Jack McInerney

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Revolution 0 wins, 7 goals … Union 3 wins, 12 goals … Ties 2
  • AT NEW ENGLAND (2 meetings): Revolution 0 wins, 1 goal … Union 2 wins, 5 goals … Ties 0
  • FUTURE MATCH: 10/6: Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution, 7 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the second time. Jack McInerney’s goal in the 90th minute, after Philadelphia’s Freddy Adu and New England’s Saer Sene traded goals, gave Union a 2-1 win at PPL Park.
  • Union have never lost to the Revolution, with three wins (and two draws) in five meetings all-time. The win in the first meeting was Union’s first vs. New England at PPL Park.
  • Philadelphia has won both meetings at Gillette Stadium.
  • Coaches record: Jay Heaps vs. PHI: P1 W0 L1 T0 … John Hackworth vs. NE: P1 W1 L0 T0

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • 7/29: PHI 2, NE 1 (Adu 59; McInerney 90 – Sene 12)
  • The Revolution opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Saer Sène collected the ball in midfield fired a blast from distance that knuckled past confused Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
  • But Union pulled level in the 59th minute when Freddy Adu banged home a penalty kick, after New England’s Kevin Alston was whistled for a foul for taking down Jack McInerney right at the edge of the 18-yard box.
  • McInerney then completed the Union comeback in the 90th minute, waiting at the back post to head home a cross from Sheanon Williams that sailed over New England goalkeeper Matt Reis for the match-winner.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Amobi Okugo, Gabriel Farfan - Gabriel Gomez (Michael Lahoud 59), Brian Carroll - Antoine Hoppenot (Lionard Pajoy 78), Michael Farfan, Freddy Adu (Josue Martinez 82) - Jack McInerney.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares (Darrius Barnes 71), Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Benny Feilhaber, Clyde Simms (Shalrie Joseph 60) - Kelyn Rowe (Dimitry Imbongo 69), Lee Nguyen, Ryan Guy - Saer Sene.

 
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution saw their winless streak stretched to nine games in cruel fashion once again, Chivas USA coming back from a three-goal deficit before the teams ended in a 3-3 draw Wednesday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 24 points from 26 games.

LAST MATCH

WATCH: Full Match Highlights

  • Saer Sène put the Revolution ahead after just four minutes. Revolution defender Chris Tierney thumped a long diagonal from back to front, and Sène lashed home inside the far post after defender Rauwshan McKenzie failed to clear.
  • McKenzie doubled the Revolution lead in unfortunate fashion seven minutes later. Kelyn Rowe reached the byeline and slotted his cross into a dangerous area, where the Chivas defender diverted the ball on the way through and watched as it found its way past a helpless Dan Kennedy in goal.
  • The deficit increased 10 minutes later as Sène nabbed his second goal of the game. He picked Shalrie Joseph’s pocket on the edge of the penalty area and uncorked a swerving shot to make it 3-0.
  • But Chivas USA responded quickly and ultimately pegged the Revs back. Joseph started the comeback two minutes after the third goal. Nick LaBrocca provided an inviting service from a corner kick and Joseph rose highest to nod home.
  • The former Revolution captain sliced the deficit further in first half stoppage time with a stunning finish from 24 yards, collecting a neat little pass outside the area then curling his effort inside the far post.
  • Miller Bolaños completed the comeback two minutes after play resumed. Juan Agudelo latched onto James Riley's throw-in and served a ball toward the far post. Casey Townsend nodded the cross down at the far post for Bolaños to thump home the eventual tying goal.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made one change to the team that went down to a late 4-3 loss to the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Lee Nguyen came into the team for Benny Feilhaber.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Kelyn Rowe (Fernando Cardenas 83), Clyde Simms (Diego Fagundez 68), Ryan Guy, Lee Nguyen - Jerry Bengtson, Saer Sene (Benny Feilhaber 65).

TEAM NEWS

  • The nine-game winless streak ties the club record set four times previously, including a nine-game run without a win last year from May 21-July 17.
  • “I don’t know exactly what to say when it comes to the tale of where to start the game and then some just textbook errors that we made – the timing of them,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “ … I’m a little disappointed in the timing of the goals. Their set-piece goal, then two minutes before halftime and two minutes after halftime. Those are just critical times in a game – times we stress, times we work on.”It was the second draw for the Revolution in the nine-game winless run that began July 14.
  • The Revs have scored six goals in the last two games – and have one point to show for it.
  • “This game is such a mental game at times,” said Revolution midfielder Ryan Guy. “I think right away whether we liked it or not memories of our last game crept into our minds. As much as we didn’t want it to I think it happened and again those little let-ups led up to exactly what we didn’t want to happen.”
  • Saer Sène had gone four games without a goal before his two-goal night. It was his second two-goal game since coming to Major League Soccer (also: May 19 vs, Houston).
  • “I don’t really pay attention to things like (my goal total) every time. I play, I’m a striker, I’m here to score goals for the team and that’s what I try to do every game,” Sène said. “(Jerry Bengtson and I) work well. We don’t speak the same language but we try to communicate. It’s soccer and wherever you go soccer stays the same. I think we did a good job and we have to keep going and score a lot of goals, if it’s four, five or six whatever to take the three points.”
  • But there was a significant injury concern when Sène was forced off after 65 minutes with a knee injury.
  • “He’s a special player for us and someone that when we score goals, he seems to be around it. He’s creative and he’s dangerous and he’s unique – and I like that about him,” said Heaps. “But I’d like to see him score more goals. That’s the thing for me – and he himself feels like he’s left five, eight goals out of the next, goals that he wants. So we want to make sure he’s all right and ready for Saturday.”
  • The Revs have conceded multiple goals in the last three games, their longest such stretch this season. They have allowed 10 goals from set pieces, tied for second-most this season in MLS (Toronto FC have allowed 11).
  • “It felt like they pulled one back on a set piece – one that we wish we could have back,” said Heaps. “You give a team life. Credit their team, they fought hard. In the end, we have to be better on the set piece and we have to be better in game management, two minutes in the half and two minutes to start the half.”
  • After scoring from the penalty spot in the Columbus game, his first substitute appearance since May 2, Lee Nguyen returned to the starting lineup and played the full 90 minutes.

 
PHILADELPHIA UNION
Philadelphia Union went down to defeat in difficult circumstances, allowing the winning goal in stoppage time up a man in a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew on Wednesday evening at PPL Park. Union are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 25 points from 24 games.

LAST MATCH

WATCH: Full Match Highlights

  • Union took the lead in the 29th minute. After Michael Farfan was taken down to draw a free kick from about 30 yards out, Carlos Valdés stepped up and hit a low shot that deflected off the wall and into the right corner of the net.
  • Columbus struck back in the 41st minute with a goal of their own from a defender, as Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath had no chance on a perfect header from Josh Williams from a free kick struck by Federico Higuaín.
  • The Crew went a man down in the 68th minute when Williams was shown a straight red card by referee Yder Reyes after getting into an off-the-ball scuffle with Union substitute Antoine Hoppenot.
  • With Union pushing forward deep into stoppage time, the Crew hit for a stunning winner. Higuaín raced forward on the counter, sliding the ball to Justin Meram on the left. He carried into the area and laid a ball across the face of goal where Eddie Gaven had the simplest of tap-ins.
  • Union interim manager John Hackworth made one change to the team that reached a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake at PPL Park. Sheanon Williams returned from suspension, in place of Raymon Gaddis.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes (Raymon Gaddis 55), Amobi Okugo, Gabriel Farfan - Brian Carroll, Michael Lahoud - Danny Cruz (Antoine Hoppenot 61), Michael Farfan, Gabriel Gomez - Jack McInerney (Freddy Adu 77).

TEAM NEWS

  • The last-minute loss left Union 14 points adrift of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 10 games still to play. Six of those games will be away from PPL Park, where Philadelphia is 2-7-2 this season.
  • “I’m the eternal optimist, but I’ll say I’m not stupid, either, and unless we go on some amazing run, tonight was a game we had to get three points in, and really have a six-point swing, so I don’t think [the playoffs are] possibility anymore,” said Union team manager John Hackworth. “I think we should stop talking about it, personally, I think we should concentrate on playing good soccer the rest of the way and see how many points we can get and see what position we can put ourselves in and improve and look towards the future.”
  • Carlos Valdés scored his second goal of the season, hammering home a free kick that took a pair of deflections. The last three goals scored by Union – over the last five games – have been scored by a holding midfielder, a center back and come on an own goal.
  • “I don’t think now is the time for me to talk about what we’re doing going forward. I’m happy with the way we’re playing, I’m happy with the kind of soccer we’re playing, we’re obviously not executing in front of both boxes and that is our Achilles heel right now,” Hackworth said. “I’ll tell you that I think we’re going to continue to push and play the same style of soccer, give it everything we have, and I think it’s going to fall sometime soon.”
  • Valdés was forced off the field early in the second half with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
  • “He tweaked his hamstring pretty high, late in the first half. He thought he could go, he wanted to try, obviously we tried to see, I told him no, it was clear it wasn’t working very well in the second half, so, unfortunately that’s a big one,” said Hackworth.
  • Freddy Adu was a substitute for a second consecutive match, coming on for the final 13 minutes in place of Jack McInerney.
  • “You needed a couple of those guys [substitutes] to do a good job, defensively. Lahoud was having a fantastic game, doing tons of work. Valdes was finding really good spots,” said Hackworth. “Bringing on Freddy [Adu] to open up the game at that point, we’ll go back and evaluate as a staff, but I don’t think it would have changed anything. We created the chances; we just didn’t finish them.”
  • With the departure of Valdés, Sheanon Williams moved into central defense and Raymon Gaddis returned to right back.
  • “Anytime you get this far down the mountain and you got a lot of ground to catch up, it’s very difficult. But we’ve have to keep fighting [and] keep playing till the end in order to have confidence in ourselves, in each other, as a group for the rest of this year and for next year,” said midfielder Brian Carroll.