Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution | MLS Match Preview
PHILADELPHIA UNION vs NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
PPL PARK, Chester, Pa.
March 15, 2014 (WEEK 2, MLS Game #10)
4 p.m. ET (CSN-Phi; CSN-NE)
A key early-season Eastern Conference clash is ahead when Philadelphia Union play host to the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. It’s the home opener for Union, who began the new campaign with a 1-1 draw at the Portland Timbers last weekend. The Revolution kicked off their new slate with a 4-0 loss at the Houston Dynamo.
REFEREE: Kevin Morrison. SAR (bench): Randy Cook; JAR (opposite): Jose da Silva; 4th: Bruno Mozzo
MLS Career: First game.
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Union 5 wins, 15 goals … Revolution 2 wins, 14 goals … Ties 3
AT PHILADELPHIA (5 meetings): Union 3 wins, 9 goals … Revolution 0 wins, 6 goals … Ties 2
RETURN MATCHES: 5/17: Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution, 7 p.m. ET; 6/28: New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. ET
LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/16: PHI 1, NE 0 (McInerney 76)
4/27: NE 2, PHI 0 (Fagundez 61; Nguyen 71)
8/25: NE 5, PHI 1 (Rowe 26, 65; Agudelo 58, 73; Fagundez 71 – Cruz (50)
- The Revolution won two of three meetings between the teams a year ago, including the last two, both at Gillette Stadium.
- Union have never lost to the Revolution at PPL Park. Philadelphia is 3-0-2 on its home ground vs. New England, with victories in each of the last three encounters, over the last two seasons.
- Coaches record: John Hackworth vs. POR: P6 W3 L2 T1 … Jay Heaps vs. PHI: P6 W2 L3 T1
Philadelphia Union opened their 2014 with a point from a major road test, gaining a draw with the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Providence Park. Union are in third place in the Eastern Conference with 1 point from 1 game.
- After having a shot cleared off the line in the first half by Timbers defender Norberto Paparatto, Union finally broke through in the 64th minute. From a corner kick, Maurice Edu flicked a header across the goalmouth that Jack McInerney headed home for the opener.
- But the home side dramatically equalized four minutes into second-half stoppage time. Will Johnson took a quick corner kick from the right that took a deflection before falling to Gaston Fernandez for a header and the point-saving tally.
- Union manager John Hackworth installed newcomers Maurice Edu and Vincent Nogueira in his midfield, and started Cristian Maidana wide of the left of his 4-3-3 scheme to open the new campaign.
- PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-1-2-3): Zac MacMath - Raymon Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Austin Berry, Fabinho - Maurice Edu - Brian Carroll, Vincent Nogueira - Sebastien Le Toux (Danny Cruz 70), Jack McInerney (Aaron Wheeler 87), Cristian Maidana (Antoine Hoppenot 80).
- While it was not a victory, the draw in Portland did snap a two-game losing streak in season openers for Union. Philadelphia has won the first game of the season just once in five MLS seasons.
- “It feels more like a loss than it does a win. I guess that's a good thing because the players know that we gave away two points there, but we did enough to get three,” said Union manager John Hackworth. “We have to clean up some game management issues and handle that, learn how to close out a little bit, but good overall performance."
- While Union conceded just 9 goals after the 76th minute, including stoppage time, in 2013 (the seventh-fewest in MLS), they did suffer a loss and two draws when they allowed the deciding goal in stoppage time.
- “We did a lot of that last year where we gave up late goals that cost us points,” Union striker Jack McInerney said. “It’s something that’s going to have to change if we want to make the playoffs.”
- After netting a season-high 12 goals last season – just two after the start of the June –McInerney started off his 2014 campaign with a goal.
- Nominally lining out on the left side of the Union three-pronged attack, Designated Player Cristian Maidana popped up all over the park, getting his first MLS assist on the Union goal.
- Vincent Nogueira played a more forward role in the center of the park in the Union midfield in his MLS debut, with Brian Carroll and Maurice Edu – making his first league appearance in six years – playing deeper.
- "I would say that you see a lot of the creativity that (Maidana) brings to the team and the quality touches and the service is important to us, but then I also think there are guys like Vincent Nogueira had a really good game in the same regard and [Maurice] Edu and Brian Carroll did a tremendous job blocking holes and playing out of tough spaces in the middle,” Hackworth said.
- “We came in playing a different formation and obviously a bunch of new players and I think, obviously, we held our own,” McInerney said. “… (Maidana is) a very technical player. He likes to come in underneath and once he gets the ball, I like to make the runs in behind because he looks for me. He’s a deadly player and I think it’s going to be fun playing with him throughout the year.”
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution saw their new season get off to a rough start, the Houston Dynamo strolling to a 4-0 victory on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Revolution have 0 points from 1 game.
- The Dynamo were in the lead just 64 seconds into the game. Kofi Sarkodie sent the ball back for Will Bruin on the right, and he was left alone to settle and strike a half volley across goal for the opener.
- Just 12 minutes later Bruin struck again. Corey Ashe picked off a pass then sent a cross to the back post for Bruin, who was wide open again to finish with a sliding effort.
- It was 3-0 before the break. This time Bruin played provider, shrugging off two Revs defenders to set up Boniek Garcia in the box, and he made no mistake with his finish.
- The rout was complete in stoppage time as Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth could do nothing when Ricardo Clark’s arching shot from the top of the box deflected off Omar Cummings' head and into the goal.
- Revolution head coach Jay Heaps installed Teal Bunbury as the spearhead of the attack gave newcomer Daigo Kobayashi and rookie Patrick Mullins starts in the midfield in the first game of the season.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Kevin Alston (Darrius Barnes 20), A.J. Soares, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney - Scott Caldwell - Patrick Mullins (Jerry Bengtson 46), Daigo Kobayashi (Saer Sene 74), Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez - Teal Bunbury.
- The loss was the heaviest defeat in a season opener in the Revolution’s 19-year history. They have been shut out in four of their last eight season openers.
- “It’s a poor start. We gave away three goals before 30 minutes, it just was not good enough on all fronts,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “We have to gut it. There’s going to be moments when we have to respond and be ready. We were ready to go, had a great gameplan and were well-prepared but the start was just flat.”
- Rookie Patrick Mullins made his full professional debut, starting wide of the right side of midfield and playing the first half. Mullins was the 11th overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
- There was an injury forced substitution on the back line after just 20 minutes with Kevin Alston suffered a hamstring injury and had to come off in favor of Darrius Barnes.
- “We had flashes of good stuff that we can build on going forward – some good play going forward, some good defending, but overall just not a good enough team effort,” said defender A.J. Soares. “We weren’t on the same page and it’s something we can look on the film and improve, so that’s the positive we take from it.”
- Saer Sene saw his first action since October 12, 2013, after he suffered a dislocated left ankle and broken left fibula in a game at Montreal. Sene came on in the 74th minute as a second-half substitute for Daigo Kobayashi, who made his Revolution debut.
- “I was very happy, because I worked really hard during the offseason,” said Sene. “I didn’t expect to come back that early, but I worked very hard with help from the coaches and everybody. I really enjoyed the minutes on Saturday and I’m very happy to get back on the field.”
- 2013 MLS Defender of the Year Jose Goncalves returned to the Revolution back four, partnering Soares in central defense.
- “We know who are as a team, we know our style of play and we’re going to stick to that. We’re not going to change, it’s not like we need any big overhauls or anything,” said Soares. “Just get back to the way we play and commit to the game, everybody play both sides of the ball as hard as we can. We do that, we’ll be fine.”