CHESTER, Pa. – The New England Revolution suffered a 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. Sebastien Le Toux scored the game-winning goal for the Union in the 31st minute as Philly held on for the win.
New England (0-2-0, 0 pts.) saw its modest two-game winning streak against Philadelphia (1-0-1, 4 pts.) snapped after the Revs won the last two meetings in 2013. After playing its first two matches away from home, the Revolution will next open their 2014 home slate next Saturday, when the team hosts Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Gillette Stadium.
Today’s match saw the season debuts for a pair of Revs players who missed the first match. Andrew Farrell came back into the lineup at center back – his first time playing that position professionally – while Lee Nguyen was re-inserted into the central midfield. Both players missed last Saturday’s match in Houston with injuries.
Philadelphia broke through in the 31st minute after a free kick just over the midfield line. The ball was sprayed out to the left wing, where Fabinho played Leonardo Fernandes ahead. Fernandes turned around the downed Farrell and sent a low cross in for Le Toux, who tapped it in from close range for the 1-0 lead.
The Revolution had a chance to equalize in the 38th minute off a restart. Donnie Smith flicked Bobby Shuttleworth’s goal kick right into the path of Teal Bunbury coming down the left flank, in behind the Union’s defense. With Diego Fagundez making a run down the right center channel, Bunbury fed the ball across the face of goal for Fagundez, but his first-timed shot was saved by Zac MacMath. The rebound fell directly to the still-charging Fagundez, but it rebounded off his shin, over the crossbar and out of play.
After trailing in the possession battle in the first half – Philly had 72 percent of the ball in the first 45 minutes – the Revs gained the edge in the second half. Fagundez again had a chance in the 59th minute, but MacMath saved his effort.
Despite the edge in possession, the Revs struggled to break through the Union defense and get more shots on, totaling five for the match.
The Revolution returns to action next Saturday, March 22, when the team hosts Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Gillette Stadium in the team’s 2014 home opener. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m., with the game set to be televised by Comcast SportsNet and carried on the radio by 98.5 The Sports Hub. Tickets are available for the match by calling 1-877-GET-REVS, or through all Ticketmaster outlets.
New England Revolution at Philadelphia Union
March 15, 2014 – PPL Park (Chester, Pa.)
Philadelphia Union 1, New England Revolution 0
PHI – Sebastien Le Toux (Leonardo Fernandes) 31
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney © (Saer Sene 78), A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Darrius Barnes, Donnie Smith (Jerry Bengtson 46), Andy Dorman (Daigo Kobayashi 71), Scott Caldwell, Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez, Teal Bunbury
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Kelyn Rowe, Stephen McCarthy, O’Brian Woodbine
Philadelphia Union: Zac MacMath, Raymon Gaddis, Austin Berry (Aaron Wheeler 54), Amobi Okugo ©, Fabinho, Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana (Danny Cruz 87), Maurice Edu, Sebastien Le Toux, Jack McInerney (AntoineHoppenot 82), Leonardo Fernandes
Substitutes Not Used: Andre Blake, Zach Pfeffer, Corben Bone, Ethan White
PHI – Jack McInerney (caution) 10
PHI – Austin Berry (caution) 48
NE – A.J. Soares (caution) 70
Referee: Kevin Morrison
Assistant Referees: Randy Cook, Jose de Silva
Fourth Official: Bruno Mozzo
Weather: Sunny, 63 degrees
New England Revolution: 0-2-0, 0 pts.
Philadelphia Union: 1-0-1, 4 pts.
- With the loss, the Revolution is now 2-6-3 overall against Philadelphia, including an 0-4-2 record at PPL Park
- The team’s last four losses to Philly have all been one-goal defeats at PPL Park … the last three games played at PPL Park all ended with 1-0 score lines
- The Revs had won the last two meetings coming in to today’s match – both at Gillette Stadium last year (2-0 on April 27 and 5-1 on Aug. 25)
- New England is now 0-2-0 to start the season for the first time since 2012 when the team lost 1-0 at San Jose and 3-0 at Kansas City in the first two matches of the year
- There were five changes to today’s lineup from last week’s starting 11 at Houston … because of injury, Darrius Barnes came in at right back for Kevin Alston (hamstring) and Andy Dorman came in for Kelyn Rowe (hamstring tightness) in the central midfield … the other changes included Andrew Farrell for Jose Goncalves at center back, Donnie Smith at left midfield for Patrick Mullins and Lee Nguyen for Daigo Kobayashi at central midfield … Farrell and Nguyen missed last week’s season opener because of injury.
- Chris Tierney served as the team’s captain today … the last time he was the team’s captain was on April 27, 2013 – also against the Philadelphia Union in a match at Gillette Stadium
- Andrew Farrell and Lee Nguyen both made their 2014 debuts today … Farrell missed the season opener last week with a tibial stress reaction in his leg, and Nguyen was recovering from a groin strain
- Donnie Smith made his second career appearance today, and his second start … his last MLS action came in the 2013 season opener at Chicago on March 9, 2013 – a 1-0 win
- Darrius Barnes made his first start at right back since Sept. 29, 2012 – a 2-0 loss at the Houston Dynamo … since then, he had started at center back and left back when called on
- Jerry Bengtson made his second-straight halftime substitute appearance … he also came on for Patrick Mullins last week at Houston in the season opener