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Eastern Conference Championship

Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution | MLS Match Preview

PHILADELPHIA UNION vs NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
PPL PARK, Chester, Pa.
May 17, 2014 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #95)
7 p.m. ET (TCN-Phi; CSN-NE)

A key match for placing in the Eastern Conference is ahead on Saturday evening when Philadelphia Union entertain the New England Revolution at PPL Park. Union snapped their club-record nine-game winless skein at midweek, winning 2-1 at Sporting Kansas City. The Revolution have now won three games in a row and are undefeated in their last five, following a dominant 5-0 home win against Seattle Sounders FC last weekend.

DOWNLOAD GAME GUIDE (PDF)

REFEREE: Ted Unkel. AR1 (bench): Corey Parker; AR2 (opposite): Craig Lowry; 4th: Hilario Grajeda
MLS Career: 4 games; FC/gm: 22.0; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 0; pens: 0

SUSPENDED: PHI: Fabinho (caution accumulation; through May 18); Corben Bone (through May 18)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Andy Dorman
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: PHI: Maurice Edu NE: A.J. Soares
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: PHI: Maurice Edu (USA) ... NE: Jerry Bengtson (HON)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (11 meetings): Union 6 wins, 16 goals Revolution 2 wins, 14 goals Ties 3
AT PHILADELPHIA (6 meetings): Union 4 wins, 10 goals Revolution 0 wins, 6 goals Ties 2
FUTURE MATCH: 6/28: New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Sebastien Le Toux scored the game's only goal in the 31st minute for a Union win March 15 at PPL Park.
  • Union have never lost to the Revolution at PPL Park. Philadelphia is 4-0-2 on its home ground vs. New England, with victories in each of the last four encounters.
  • The Revolution won two of three meetings between the teams a year ago, including the last two, both at Gillette Stadium.
  • Coaches record: John Hackworth vs. POR: P7 W4 L2 T1 - Jay Heaps vs. PHI: P7 W2 L4 T1

LAST MEETING (MLS)
3/15: PHI 1, NE 0 (Le Toux 31)

  • The game's lone goal came in the 31st minute. Leo Fernandes made a quick turn to avoid a defender on the left, then ran in alone into the box before playing a ball across the face of goal for Sebastien Le Toux to tap in.
  • Zac MacMath recorded three saves in keeping the clean sheet for Union.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath - Raymon Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Austin Berry (Aaron Wheeler 54), Fabinho - Vincent Nogueira, Maurice Edu - Cristian Maidana (Danny Cruz 87), Leo Fernandes, Sebastien Le Toux - Jack McInerney (Antoine Hoppenot 82).
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Chris Tierney (Saer Sene 78) - Scott Caldwell, Andy Dorman (Daigo Kobayashi 70) - Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen, Donnie Smith (Jerry Bengtson 46) - Teal Bunbury.

PHILADELPHIA UNION
Philadelphia Union put an end to their club-record nine-game winless streak, coming back for a 2-1 win against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday evening at Sporting Park. Union are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points from 12 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Union took the lead four minutes after the break. Cristian Maidana skipped past a defender on the left and unleashed a shot that KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg could only parry in front of goal. Danny Cruz was quickest to the rebound and poked it into the back of the net.
  • Sporting drew even with 10 minutes to play. Dom Dwyer, who had come on as a 71st-minute substitute, played a one-two with Paulo Nagamura, firing the return pass into the top center of the goal from right on the edge of the area.
  • But barely a minute later, Union were back on top. After Andrew Wenger was able to control a loose ball in the SKC box, he played it square to Maidana, who turned home a shot while completely unmarked in the heart of the area for the eventual match-winner.
  • Union had to play shorthanded through second-half stoppage time, after late substitute Corben Bone drew a straight red card from referee Ricardo Salazar for a serious foul on Jacob Peterson just seconds after entering the match.
  • Union manager John Hackworth made three changes to the team that fell 1-0 to D.C. United at PPL Park. Sheanon Williams, Danny Cruz and Leo Fernandes came into the team, in place of Maurice Edu, Brian Carroll and Conor Casey.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath - Raymon Gaddis, Sheanon Williams, Austin Berry, Fabinho - Vincent Nogueira (Corben Bone 89; ejected 90), Amobi Okugo - Danny Cruz (Sebastien Le Toux 83), Leo Fernandes, Cristian Maidana (Aaron Wheeler 92+) - Andrew Wenger.

TEAM NEWS

  • Union won for the first time since March 15 - their first meeting with New England - in putting an end to their club-record nine-game winless slide.
  • "That was an incredibly gutsy performance against probably the best team in the MLS. ... For large parts of the game they put us in a difficult spot. But again, credit to our guys, they fought," said Union manager John Hackworth. "We didn't play our best soccer, but we got the goals when it mattered. The response after the Sporting Kansas City goal was fantastic, and we held on to the end."
  • Danny Cruz's goal early in the second half was the first actually scored by a Union player since April 16, and the first scored from open play since April 12. The two goals in between had come on a penalty kick and an own goal.
  • "Everyone feels pretty confident in the offense when we are scoring two goals. It's been a while since we scored two goals and to get two goals in the run of play is really good for the confidence of the offense," said goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
  • Following chanting from supporters that came after the 1-0 home loss to D.C. United the week before, the entire Union side went to celebrate with manager Hackworth after the opening goal.
  • "It was definitely something we talked about before," Cruz said. "We're behind him. He knows we're behind him. We tried to make that clear to the media, to the fans. Tonight was big for everybody, including him. I think you could see the fight in everybody for that reason."
  • Said Hackworth: I think that is a pretty special moment between players and a coach. I had no idea they planned that. But I think it's symbolic of what this locker room is all about. We keep talking about the fact that we believe in each other, we trust the work we do and we trust each other. And it's a pretty good feeling to have guys believe in what you're doing."
  • Cristian Maidana contributed his first MLS goal, hitting for the game-winner barely a minute after SKC's equalizer.
  • Union were without Maurice Edu for the first time this season, unavailable with what was listed as concussion symptoms, and were also without midfield Brian Carroll. I think you saw a little bit of a different team tonight," Cruz said. "You saw a team willing to fight for each other. It reminded me a lot of last year."
  • Union return home having gone their last four matches at PPL Park without a victory, one game short of the club record.
  • "We walked into the locker room and said we are focused on Saturday now. This game is over. It's a quick turnaround," said Cruz. "We are playing a team that just beat arguably the best team in the league, Seattle, 5-0 last week, and they are going to be good. Our home form has not been good and it needs to turn around. This is certainly a result we can build off of and I think you will see the same fight next weekend."

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution extended their undefeated streak to five matches in emphatic fashion, storming to a 5-0 win against Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 10 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Revolution took the lead in the 14th minute when Patrick Mullins tapped in from on the doorstep from a saved shot bouncing almost on the goal line. Then it was 2-0 in the 29th minute when Diego Fagundez buried a lead pass from Chris Tierney from left side of the box.
  • It was 3-0 to the home side in the 36th minute when Teal Bunbury was sent through by Lee Nguyen, only to see his shot blocked by goalkeeper Stefan Frei. But he followed up his initial shot, rifling the ball into the back of the net from a tough angle on the left.
  • Fagundez added his second in the 41st minute to make it 4-0, bringing down a beautiful ball from Teal Bunbury racing down the left before firing it perfectly just inside of the far post.
  • The rout was complete early in the second half when a driven cross from Bunbury on the right glanced off Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall into his own goal.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made one change to the team that came back for a late 2-1 victory against Toronto FC at BMO Field. Chris Tierney came back in at left back for Kevin Alston.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Chris Tierney - Andy Dorman (Kelyn Rowe 70) - Teal Bunbury, Daigo Kobayashi (Steve Neumann 78), Lee Nguyen (Scott Caldwell 63), Diego Fagundez - Patrick Mullins.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Revolution extended their current undefeated streak to four games and are unbeaten in their last seven games at Gillette Stadium.
  • "If you look at our game today, I wouldn't say it was our best game all around, but we finished well. So I think when we put together all those facets, we'll be pretty good just like a couple of other teams are going to be pretty good," Revolution head coach Jay Heaps.
  • The Revs have recorded four consecutive shutouts at Gillette Stadium, and have not allowed a goal in a home game in 379 minutes.
  • Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth recorded his fourth shutout of the season, and has 13 shutouts in his last 33 games dating back to the start of last season. The MLS record for shutouts in a single season in 16, set by Tony Meola in 2000.
  • "That's what you ask your goalkeeper to do, to keep you in the game," Heaps said. "Bobby has made timely saves going on three, four weeks now. Each game he's made one or two big saves. That allows our team to gain that confidence. ... Bobby continues to progress every week; that's important. Whether it's distribution, whether it's game management, whether it's big saves, he continues to get comfortable."
  • Diego Fagundez became the youngest player in Revolution club history to score two goals in a game when he netted twice against Seattle. They were his first goals of the season, last scoring in a league match on Oct. 19, 2013.
  • "It's a relief for me," Fagundez said. "I've been waiting for this one a while. Hopefully now I can start banging some in because I've been looking for this for a while.
  • Said Heaps: "It was nice. Diego has been working really hard. He trains extremely hard and so I see those finishes quite a bit. They just hadn't come in a big game yet."
  • Patrick Mullins scored his second goal in as many games in making his third career start, his second in a row.
  • "I think that's one thing, when we're really playing well, we have someone that can at least get us an outlet ball, a vertical ball. And [Mullins] holds it up well and it allows guys like Lee (Nguyen), Daigo (Kobayashi), Diego (Fagundez) and Teal (Bunbury) to read off of that," said Heaps.
  • Said Mullins: "Obviously with Diego (Fagundez) and Teal (Bunbury) getting some great goals around the outside, and as a center forward with the one up top, and you got two big guys up there you got to make sure you hold your own and battle for everything and I thought I did my best to do that."
  • Kelyn Rowe came off the substitutes' bench for the final 20 minutes, his first appearance since March 22 after missing the last six games with a hamstring injury.
  • "It's great having Kelyn," Fagundez said. "Every day, he comes up to the field to train and does everything he can to show off and try and make the team. That's what we're looking for."
  • Chris Tierney came back in at left back in place of Kevin Alston, who missed out with a left hamstring strain.