MLS Regular Season | Match #5
New England Revolution at Philadelphia Union
Wednesday, May 12 | 7:30 p.m. ET
Subaru Park | Chester, Pa.
Watch: TV38, myRITV (Rhode Island)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2 (English), WBIX 1260 Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
Revolution Pregame Live (6:45 p.m. ET)
- Facebook, YouTube, revolutionsoccer.net
New England Revolution
2nd in Eastern Conference (2-1-1, 7 pts.)
Last Result | 2-0 loss at Nashville SC
A slow start stymied the Revs this past weekend at Nissan Stadium, where they fell behind early en route to their first loss of the season, 2-0 to Nashville SC. Adam Buksa was heavily involved in an improved second-half performance – the Polish striker had a goal negated by a narrow offside decision, hit the post with a header, and appeared to win a penalty in the late stages only to be denied by Video Review – but ultimately the visitors couldn’t break through.
The loss prevented the Revs from matching their best four-game start in club history, but they remain tied atop the Eastern Conference standings with New York City FC as they prepare to face the defending Supporters’ Shield champion Philadelphia Union and defending MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew SC in a five-day span.
10th in Eastern Conference (1-2-1, 4 pts.)
Last Result | 2-0 win at Chicago Fire FC
Philadelphia secured their first league win of 2021 this past weekend, claiming a 2-0 road victory over Chicago Fire FC courtesy of second-half goals from Cory Burke and Jakob Glesnes. The Union took just one point from their first three regular-season games as they’ve been focusing heavily on Concacaf Champions League, advancing to the competition’s semifinal round with two-leg victories over Saprissa and Atlanta United FC.
Jim Curtin’s side has a slightly different look in 2021, as 2020 MLS Best XI selections Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie have departed for Red Bull Salzburg and Genk, respectively. But the Union do still feature several pieces from the squad that lifted the Supporters’ Shield trophy last season, including captain Alejandro Bedoya and forward Kacper Przybylko, who has racked up 23 goals and 10 assists the past two years.
Revolution midfielder Carles Gil
Back to full health, Carles Gil has immediately re-established himself as one of Major League Soccer’s top playmakers in 2021. New England’s captain enters Week 5 ranked first league-wide in chances created (17) and chances created from set plays (11), while he’s tied for first in key passes (15) and tied for second in big chances created (4), according to Opta.
New England faced Philadelphia six times last season, going 0-4-1 in their first five meetings – mostly without Gil – before the Revolution maestro provided the assists on both goals in the Revs’ 2-0 win over the Union in Round One of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Union midfielder Jamiro Monteiro
Curtin has rotated the Union lineup in the early stages as they’ve balanced league play with the Concacaf Champions League, but central midfielder Jamiro Monteiro is one of three field players to have played every minute of Philadelphia’s first four regular season games.
Monteiro was a key piece of last year’s Supporters’ Shield winning side, and already this year the dynamic DP leads the Union with one goal, one assist, 10 key passes, and 85 percent passing accuracy.
Luis Caicedo is the only player officially listed as out for Wednesday’s trip to Philadelphia, but the trio of Emmanuel Boateng, Christian Mafla, and Collin Verfurth are all questionable with lower body injuries. None of those four dressed for this past weekend’s loss to Nashville.
With the Revs in the midst of their first three-game week of the season, Bruce Arena has said there will be some roster rotation for the midweek clash with the Union, a potential first real test of New England’s depth.
“I think over this three-game span we’re going to make some changes each game just to have a few fresh legs on the field,” said Arena. “We came through the (Nashville) game fine.”
José Martínez started the Union’s first three games this season, but the central midfielder will be unavailable on Wednesday night as he serves the second game of a three-game suspension for violent conduct.
Veteran super sub Ilsinho is also out with a groin injury, as is Homegrown midfielder Jack de Vries (concussion protocol). Center back Stuart Findlay, who has yet to appear for the Union after arriving from Kilmarnock in February, is listed as questionable with a quad strain.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena
“I hope it’s a good game. They’re a team that’s certainly had a lot of success against us. We were fortunate to win one game against them last year out of six, and it was obviously a big game that we won. Philadelphia has had our number in the past year, so this will be a real challenging game and I’m sure they have a little bit of motivation to get back at us for having the nerve to actually win one of those six games. It’ll be challenging.”
New England Revolution defender Brandon Bye
“I think whenever we go into an opposing team’s field, ready to play, I think they’re always going to be coming out firing just like we are at home. It’s always something we have to be ready for. Will there be a little extra energy? Maybe. I’m not really sure what’s going on inside their locker room, so we’ll see. But I think we’ll be ready to go.”
Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin
“Really, the most important thing was to get back on track in the league and put together a good performance. I thought the players did that and they deserve a ton of credit for just dealing with the busy schedule, the minutes that they’re logging, the intensity of the games. I was really proud of them to come away with a big 2-0 win in Chicago.”
Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake
“For us, it’s a clean slate. We know them very well, and there’s still a bitter taste in our mouth from what happened last year. But we respect them a lot. They’re a very good team. It’s going to be a good game, but we’re at home, and we’re going to go out there and do everything we can to win the game.”