CHESTER, Penn. – New England Revolution II (5-3-1; 17 pts.) defeated Philadelphia Union II (2-5-2; 10 pts.), 4-3, on Sunday afternoon at Subaru Park in the team’s second come-from-behind victory in as many weeks. Homegrown midfielder Esmir Bajraktarević tallied the first hat trick in team history as Marcos Dias scored the equalizing goal late in the second half.
“I thought that it was going be a difficult match. We know that they're a very direct team and prey on mistakes. I thought in the first half, we were a little careless in how we defended, especially in transition. I didn't think we took care of the ball very well when we advanced into to the final third, leading to good transition moments for them," Head Coach Clint Peay said postgame. "I thought in the second half, we were much better in both areas. We gave up a soft goal early but obviously stayed resilient. We just knew that it was a matter of time before we at least got a goal and then hopefully that could continue. Fortunately, the guys kept belief and kept pushing and we were able to get the result.”
New England found the scoresheet first after Bajraktarević was fouled just outside the box, earning a free kick opportunity. The Homegrown midfielder sent it straight to goal as the ball deflected in behind Philadelphia’s Holden Trent. Philadelphia answered in the 17th minute with Chris Donovan’s tally and later added on with a goal from Christopher Olney in the 24th minute.
Union II found their third with Donovan scoring in the 51st minute, but from there, the rest of the match was all New England. Bajraktarević began the comeback as he put his team within one with a strike in the 75th minute. Dias found the equalizer in the 82nd minute and Philadelphia’s Maike Villero committed a foul in the 86th minute to earn his second yellow card and ejection from the match. Revolution II completed the game up a man as Bajraktarević tallied his third of the day in second half stoppage with his fifth goal of the season to secure New England’s fifth win of the year.
“It's great. It's a really good opportunity to stay sharp because you're coming down from the first team," Bajratarević said of making an impact at the MLS NEXT Pro level. "It’s just a good opportunity to stay sharp and I was glad I can help the team.”
Revolution II also saw the return of goalkeeper Jacob Jackson for the first time this season following his recovery from an ACL injury last year. The 2022 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick made four saves in the match.
New England returns to action on Thursday, May 25 to take on Columbus Crew 2 at Gillette Stadium. The 7 p.m. match will stream live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
New England Revolution II 4, Philadelphia Union II 3
May 21, 2023 – Subaru Park (Chester, Penn.)
- Revolution II secured their fifth win of the season and now lead the league with 24 goals scored.
- In his third appearance of the season with Revs II, Homegrown midfielder Esmir Bajraktarević tallied the first hat trick in team history in the match, tying him for the team-lead in goals (5) with Marcos Dias and Damian Rivera.
- Revolution goalkeeper Jacob Jackson made four saves in his first start since July 10, 2022 after recovering from an ACL injury.
- Midfielder Jake Rozhansky recorded his 50th career start with Revolution II.
- Dias notched the equalizer in the 75th minute for his fifth goal of the season.
- With his 24-minute substitute appearance, defender Colby Quiñones surpassed 3,000 minutes played with Revolution II to date.
Referee: Jonathan Bilinski
Assistant Referees: Patrick Casey, Zeno Cho
Fourth Official: Stephen Foster
Weather: 74 degrees and sunny
NE– Esmir Bajraktarević 10’
PHI- Chris Donovan 17’
PHI- Christopher Onley 23’
PHI – Chris Donovan 51’
NE– Esmir Bajraktarević 75’
NE – Marcos Dias 82’
NE– Esmir Bajraktarević 92’
PHI – Maike Villero (Yellow Card) 40’
PHI – Francis Westfield (Yellow Card) 43’
PHI – Maike Villero (Second Yellow Card) 86’
New England Revolution II: Jacob Jackson; Peyton Miller (Colby Quiñones 66’), Victor Souza, Pierre Cayet, Santiago Suarez (Jacob Akanyirige 66’); Jake Rozhansky; Damian Rivera, Joshua Bolma (Malcolm Fry 45’), Esmir Bajraktarević, Marcos Dias (Ben Awashie 94’); Jordan Adebayo-Smith (Weverton 80’)
Substitutes Not Used: Nico Campuzano, Nakye Greenidge-Duncan, Brrandonn Bueno, Ítalo
Philadelphia Union II: Holden Trent; Juan Castillo (Anton Sorenson 66’), Hugo Le Guennec (Carlos Rojas 66’), Daniel Krueger, Francis Westfield; CJ Olney (Stefan Stojanovic 66’), Maike Villero, Boubacar Diallo, Jeremy Rafanello; Jose Riasco (Nelson Pierre 80’), Chris Donovan
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Rick, Luke Martelli, Noe Uwimana, Anthony Ramírez, Luciano Sanchez