FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (October 1, 2023) – No. 2 New England Revolution II earned a 3-2 victory over No. 7 Philadelphia Union II at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night to advance to the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference Semifinals, marking the program’s first postseason victory in its four-year history. Homegrown midfielder Esmir Bajraktarević notched a brace while forward Marcos Dias converted on a penalty kick to account for the scoring.
Midway through the first half, a ball over the top from defender Pierre Cayet was too much for Philadelphia as Revolution midfielder Joshua Bolma took it under control and was brought down in the box. Dias converted from the spot to give New England the 1-0 lead in the 26th minute. The forward leads the team with five penalties converted across all competitions this season.
Bajraktarević doubled New England’s lead in the 55th minute curling a left-footed shot into the top corner. Bajraktarević sealed his brace in the 64th minute, converting a free kick just outside the 18-yard box into the bottom right corner. Philadelphia Union II earned two goals back through Juan Castillo and Boubacar Diallo late in the second half, however New England kept its lead through the final minutes.
New England Revolution II will host the Eastern Conference Semifinal match on a date to be announced this week. The second round of the postseason will see the continuation of MLS NEXT Pro’s new “pick-your-opponent” playoff format with first-place Crown Legacy FC owning first pick of either No. 3 Columbus Crew 2 or No. 4 New York Red Bulls II. Revolution II will host the unchosen team. All MLS NEXT Pro Playoff matches will stream live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
No. 2 New England Revolution II 3, No. 7 Philadelphia Union II 2
October 1, 2023 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
- With the win, Revolution II earn their first postseason victory in program history, securing a spot in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs.
- New England improves to a 9-1-5 record a Gillette Stadium in 2023 and has registered results in 13 of its last 14 games.
- Homegrown midfielder Esmir Bajraktarević led the attack with a two-goal performance. Including the regular season, the Wisconsin native owns eight goals in 2023.
- Forward Jordan Adebayo-Smith tallied one assist tonight, and now owns 18 goal contributions including regular season.
- Forward Marcos Dias scored the program’s first-ever postseason goal in the 26th minute and has now converted on five out of his six penalty kick opportunities in 2023.
- Goalkeeper Jacob Jackson made his first start for New England since August 13, collecting three saves.
- First team midfielder Maciel made his second appearance with Revolution II this season, entering the game as a substitute in the 75th minute.
Referee: Gerald Flores
Assistant Referees: Michael Nickerson, Artyom Arustamyan
Fourth Official: Danielle Chesky
Weather: 61 and clear
NE – Marcos Dias (PK) 26’
NE – Esmir Bajraktarević 1 (Jordan Adebayo-Smith 1) 55’
NE – Esmir Bajraktarević 2 (Unassisted) 64’
PHI – Juan Castillo 1 (Unassisted) 78’
PHI – Boubacar Diallo (PK) 82’
PHI – Juan Castillo (Yellow Card – Foul) 90’+4
New England Revolution II: Jacob Jackson; Peyton Miller, Victor Souza, Pierre Cayet, Colby Quiñones; Jake Rozhansky (Maciel 75’); Joshua Bolma (Tiago Suarez 90’), Jack Panayotou, Marcos Dias (Patrick Leal 75’), Esmir Bajraktarević (Malcolm Fry 67’); Jordan Adebayo-Smith (Olger Escobar 90’).
Substitutes Not Used: Nico Campuzano, Ítalo, Noble Okello, Jacob Akanyirige.
Philadelphia Union II: Andrew Rick; Anton Sorenson, Olwethu Makhanya, Neil Pierre, Francis Westfield; Christopher Olney (Kyle Tucker 79’), Carlos Rojas, Hugo Le Guennec (Boubacar Diallo 67’), David Vazquez (Juan Castillo 67’); Jeremy Rafanello (Nelson Pierre 79’), Chris Donovan (Stefan Stojanovic 61’).
Substitutes Not Used: Daniel Kreuger, Jonathan Evans, Sal Olivas, Alex Perez.