FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Philadelphia returned to the top of the Eastern Conference with a comfortable 3-0 victory over New England at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.
Carlos Ruiz opened the scoring with a flying finish inside the goal area before Carlos Valdés collected his first MLS goal in similar fashion to stake the Union to a two-goal lead after 24 minutes. New England attempted to improve after the break, but Benny Feilhaber's 66th-minute dismissal for a second yellow card all but condemned the Revs to a ninth match without a victory. Sheanon Williams capped off the rout with a stoppage-time goal.
New England coach Steve Nicol made three changes to the side that drew 3-3 at Real Salt Lake on July 4. Franco Coria and Stephen McCarthy both earned recalls to the starting XI with Ryan Cochrane and Shalrie Joseph suspended, while Kenny Mansally came in for Darrius Barnes and pushed Chris Tierney into a left fullback role.
Ruiz returned for Philadelphia as one of two switches made by Peter Nowak after last Saturday's 0-0 draw at San Jose. Ruiz replaced Danny Mwanga up front after missing out entirely against the Earthquakes. Valdes also reclaimed his spot in central defense with makeshift center back Stefani Miglioranzi dropping to the bench.
Philadelphia stamped their will on the match from the outset and transferred their dominance into a tangible advantage after 12 minutes.
Ruiz started and finished a sweeping move to notch his team-leading sixth goal of the campaign. Ruiz's flick set Justin Mapp free down the right wing. Mapp carved out a bit of space and crossed to Keon Daniel at the back stick. Daniel headed back across the face of goal for Ruiz to acrobatically volley home from close range.
Valdés doubled the advantage after 24 minutes to complete another tidy piece of play. Kyle Nakazawa's free kick from the middle third located Sébastien Le Toux outside the near post. Le Toux nodded the ball across the face of goal for Valdés to bundle home his first MLS goal.
New England attempted to conjure up a response, but the Union held out comfortably to coast into halftime with a two-goal lead.
Revolution coach Steve Nicol made two changes at halftime and switched to a 3-5-2 in an attempt to spark his side to life. Tierney's drive off the upper joint of the woodwork four minutes after play resumed signaled at least a modest revival for the home side.
All ideas about a comeback frittered away, though, when Feilhaber procured his second yellow card for a tackle on Ruiz.
Williams concluded a fine night for the Union, who now sit two points clear of New York atop the Eastern Conference, by racing clear and slotting home in second-half stoppage time.
PHI -- Carlos Ruiz 6 (Keon Daniel 1, Justin Mapp 2) 12
PHI -- Carlos Valdes 1 (Sebastien Le Toux 7, Kyle Nakazawa 3) 24
PHI -- Sheanon Williams 1 (Danny Mwanga 3) 93+
NE -- Benny Feilhaber (caution; Reckless Foul) 49
NE -- Benny Feilhaber (caution; Reckless Foul) 66
NE -- Benny Feilhaber (ejection; Second Caution) 66
PHI -- Keon Daniel (caution; Dissent) 72
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Franco Coria (Darrius Barnes 46), A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney, Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs 46), Pat Phelan, Benny Feilhaber, Stephen McCarthy, Kenny Mansally (Zack Schilawski 79), Rajko Lekic.
Philadelphia Union -- Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan, Justin Mapp (Danny Mwanga 63), Brian Carroll, Kyle Nakazawa, Keon Daniel (Stefani Miglioranzi 79), Sebastien Le Toux, Carlos Ruiz (Michael Farfan 74).
Referee: Chris Penso
Referee's Assistants: Hector Vergara; Eric Boria
4th Official: Mark Geiger
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear and 85 degrees