New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union | MLS Match Preview

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs PHILADELPHIA UNION
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
June 28, 2014 (WEEK 16, MLS Game #142) 7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; TCN-Phi)

A key match in the Eastern Conference is ahead on Saturday evening as the New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union meet for the second time this season at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution return to league play following back-to-back MLS losses, last a 2-0 home defeat by the New York Red Bulls. The Jim Curtin era begins for Union after he was named interim manager of the club following the last league match, a 3-3 home draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

REFEREE: Alan Kelly. SAR (bench): Peter Manikowski; JAR (opposite): Claudio Badea; 4th: Jorge Gonzalez
Kelly MLS Career: 5 games; FC/gm: 29.2; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 4; pens: 3

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Andy Dorman
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: A.J. Soares … PHI: Maurice Edu, Fabinho, Raymon Gaddis
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: NE: Jerry Bengtson (HON)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (12 meetings): Revolution 3 wins, 19 goals … Union 6 wins, 19 goals … Ties 3
AT NEW ENGLAND (5 meetings): Revolution 2 wins, 8 goals … Union 2 wins, 6 goals …Ties 1

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. The Revolution claimed a wild 5-3 victory May 17 at PPL Park as five different New England players scored goals; Sebastien Le Toux scored the game’s only goal for a Union win March 15 in Chester.
  • The victory in the last meeting was the first ever for the Revolution at PPL Park in seven visits all-time.
  • The Revs are undefeated in their last three home games vs. Philadelphia, including victories last year in both meetings at Gillette Stadium.
  • The teams will now also meet in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match, set for July 8 at PPL Park.
  • Coaches record: Jim Curtin vs. NE: first game … Jay Heaps vs. PHI: P8 W3 L4 T1

LAST MEETING (MLS)
5/17: PHI 3, NE 5 (Nogueira 36; Williams 76; Le Toux 92+ -- Soares 13; Fagundez 26; Nguyen 49; Tierney 57; Mullins
67)

  • The Revolution opened up the scoring in the 13th minute when defender A.J. Soares headed in a low, whipped free kick near the corner flag from Chris Tierney. It was 2-0 just another 13 minutes later when Diego Fagundez got in behind the Union’s defense on a through-ball from Teal Bunbury and slotted home.
  • Union pulled a goal in the 36th minute when Vincent Nogueira hit an absolute rocket on a bouncing ball from Danny Cruz, driving it into the top of the net.
  • Just four minutes after the halftime break, it was 3-1 to New England when Lee Nguyen slicing through the Union defense in the box and beat goalkeeper Zac MacMath to the near post. Then it was 4-1 in the 57th minute when Tierney blasted home a free kick from just outside of the box after a foul from Austin Berry.
  • Rookie Patrick Mullins then made 5-1 for the Revolution, finishing off a pretty one-two with Fagundez at the top of the area.
  • Union cut the deficit again in the 76th minute when Sheanon Williams pounced on a loose ball from a cleared corner kick and made it 5-2. Then after going down a man when Cristian Maidana was sent off in the 82nd minute, the Union made it 5-3 in stoppage time when Sebastien Le Toux converted a penalty kick.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath - Raymon Gaddis, Aaron Wheeler (Antoine Hoppenot 52), Austin Berry, Sheanon Williams - Amobi Okugo, Vincent Nogueira - Danny Cruz (Sebastien Le Toux 61), Leo Fernandes (Zach Pfeffer 73), Cristian Maidana (ejected 82) - Andrew Wenger.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Brad Knighton - Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Chris Tierney - Andy Dorman (Steve Neumann 75) - Teal Bunbury, Daigo Kobayashi (Scott Caldwell 59), Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez (Kelyn Rowe 69) - Patrick Mullins.

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution suffered their second loss in as many matches, dropping an historic 2-0 decision to the New York Red Bulls on June 8 at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 23 points from 14 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Red Bulls took the lead in the 17th minute. Lloyd Sam drove in a long free kick from the left wing toward the back post, and New York midfielder Eric Alexander was able to redirect an open header past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth for the opener.
  • The second goal came in the 76th minute when a ball was headed down at the top of the box and Peguy Luyindula hit it on the volley into the lower right corner of the net, giving the Red Bulls their first win at New England since 2002.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made one change to the team that fell 2-0 to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Daigo Kobayashi came back into the midfield for Kelyn Rowe.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney - Andy Dorman (Saer Sene 81) - Teal Bunbury, Daigo Kobayashi (Steve Neumann 71), Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez - Patrick Mullins (Kelyn Rowe 46).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Revolution have lost back-to-back games for the first time since dropping the opening two matches of the season.
  • “We had chances to score goals, and we didn’t,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “I think it was a little bit about the final ball, the class inside the area. We had two or three balls go across, we had shooting go right at their goalkeeper. We weren’t good enough, and we’ve got to get better.”
  • The Revolution have also been shut out in back-to-back games, their first consecutive blankings since being shut out in the first three league games of the season.
  • “I think we’ve been streaky. Let’s be honest, we’ve won games and we’ve lost and we’ve got to find a way to balance that out a little bit better,” said Heaps.
  • The loss at Gillette Stadium ended an eight-game home undefeated streak, dating back to last Sept. 13, the Revolution’s longest home unbeaten run since the end of the 2006 season and start of 2007.
  • Saer Sene made his first appearance in a league game since April 19, coming on as a late substitute after missing the last six matches.
  • “I thought (Saer Sene) did a good job. He went in there and he’s returning back to training, he had some personal issues that he was dealing with and came back in and has been working hard to get back in,” said Heaps. “I thought he had a great week of training the last couple of weeks and I thought he handled it well.”
  • After being kept out of the starting lineup for the first time since March 22, Daigo Kobayashi returned to the Revolution midfield in place of Kelyn Rowe.
  • “Last week’s decision was different than this week’s decision. Last week I felt Daigo, he was limited in training all week, so I thought going on the road would be a good game to get Kelyn into,” said Heaps. [The New York game] was getting back to really trying to see where we were at best. I thought Daigo and Kelyn both did a nice job, Kelyn coming in a little different position, I thought he was good out there.”
  • Since the league match, the Revolution reached the quarterfinal stage of the U.S. Open Cup after a 2-1 win against USL PRO side Rochester Rhinos at Brown University. Saer Sene and Kelyn Rowe scored first-half goals to send the Revs on their way.
  • Here’s the New England team: Brad Knighton, Donnie Smith, Jose Goncalves ©, Stephen McCarthy, Darrius Barnes, Steve Neumann, Lee Nguyen (Daigo Kobayashi 45), Scott Caldwell, Alec Sundly, Kelyn Rowe (Charlie Davies 60), Saer Sene (Patrick Mullins 79)
  • The Revolution advanced following a 3-2 win fourth-round victory at USL PRO side Richmond Kickers. Stephen McCarthy(8), Steve Neumann (35) and Patrick Mullins (39) sent the Revs on their way with first-half goals.
  • Here’s the Revolution side: Brad Knighton, Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves ©, Stephen McCarthy (Andrew Farrell 77), Darrius Barnes, Donnie Smith, Lee Nguyen (Charlie Davies 61), Scott Caldwell, Steve Neumann, Diego Fagundez, Patrick Mullins (Daigo Kobayashi 67)

PHILADELPHIA UNION
Philadelphia Union couldn’t hold out for a second consecutive win, Vancouver Whitecaps FC coming back with a late equalizer to leave the teams in a 3-3 draw June 7 at PPL Park. Union are in a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 15 points from 16 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Whitecaps FC opened the scoring in the 18th minute against the run of play. Nigel Reo Coker was sprung free with a great through ball from Russell Teibert and lofted in a cross from which Erik Hurtado buried a head. Then the lead was doubled in the 42nd minute when Hurtado broke free on the counter, skipped past a defender in the box then played an easy ball across the face of goal to Nicolas Mezquida, who had no trouble finishing the tap-in.
  • But Union started their fightback in the 63rd minute when Cristian Maidana put in a cross that Conor Casey met with a diving header that pinged off the near post and settled into the back of the net. Five minutes later, Sebastian Le Toux tied the game just two minutes after coming on as a substitute, finishing off a crisp pass across the face of goal by Vincent Nogueira on a quick counter.
  • Three minutes later, the home side took the lead when Casey completed his brace with a low, driven shot into the corner of the net from just outside the penalty area.
  • Yet Whitecaps FC had one final answer. Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath was called by referee Jose Carlos Rivero for taking down Darren Mattocks in the box, and Pedro Morales converted the penalty kick in the 81st minute for the equalizer.
  • Union manager John Hackworth made one change to the team that rolled to a 3-0 win against Chivas USA at StubHub Center. Zach Pfeffer came into the midfield in place of Fred.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath - Raymon Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams, Fabinho - Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira - Danny Cruz (Sebastien Le Toux 66), Zach Pfeffer (Michael Lahoud 46), Cristian Maidana (Leo Fernandes 88) - Conor Casey.

TEAM NEWS

  • The game will be the first in charge for Union interim team manager Jim Curtin, who takes over the bench coaching duties after John Hackworth was released following the draw with Vancouver.
  • “You’ve got to win.... I go back to our fans. They don’t deserve ties at home; they deserve victories. They don’t deserve being near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. They deserve a team that’s going to be near the top,” said Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz.
  • While Union scored three goals for a third time in the last four games in the draw with Vancouver, they also allowed three or more goals for a third time in the same span – having allowed 12 goals over the last four games. Union’s 1.69 goals against average is 14th in MLS.
  • “Good teams win 1-0 games in this league,” Curtin said . “The teams that do that at the end of the year are the teams that are toward the top of the table – the Kansas Citys, the Salt Lakes. They grind out 1-0 results and they’re good in both boxes.”
  • Conor Casey has scored two goals in each of the last two matches, his first four goals this season. Union have scored a season-high three goals in both of those games.
  • “I’ve been able to play and get minutes and that’s always what you want. As a player you always want to be on the field. I’m happy I was given a chance and help the team out with those goals,” said Casey.
  • Cristian Maidana assisted on all three Union goals and now has six assists in his first MLS season. He has four assists in the last two games, his first assists since April 12.
  • “He’s got a great eye and gives a good ball. He’s found me time and time again. He found me a couple times today and sometimes I couldn’t put them away, but he kept looking and I was able to in the second half,” said Casey.
  • Following the league draw, Union reached the quarterfinal stage of the U.S. Open Cup. In the fifth round on June 24, Union defeated the NASL’s New York Cosmos 2-1 in extra time behind a pair of goals from Sebastien Le Toux, the game-winner coming on a 114th-minute penalty kick.
  • Here’s the Union team: Blake, Fabinho, Williams, Edu, Gaddis, Carroll, Okugo, Maidana (Lahoud 116’), Cruz (Fernandes 69’), Le Toux, Wenger (Hoppenot 81’).
  • In the fourth round, Union defeated USL PRO affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders 3-1 in extra time. Andrew Wenger scored in the 110th and 117th minute to give Philadelphia the win; Maurice Edu scored a dramatic equalizer in the 89th minute to send the match into extra time.
  • Here’s the Union team: Blake, Fabinho, Williams, Edu, Gaddis, Carroll (Fernandes 69’), Nogueira (Hoppenot 81’), Maidana, Cruz (Le Toux 57’), Wenger.
  • Edu played in central defense in both Open Cup matches – something that could continue in league play.
  • “It was a hard talk, but at the same time, I thought it was best for the team that he play center back,” Curtin said. “ … Mo’s a soccer player. You could put Mo at forward. You could put Mo wide in the midfield. He can play any position. And to his credit, he came in and did a good job at center back.”