FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution advanced into the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs with a 2-0 win against the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park on Tuesday night. New England eliminated the top-seeded Philadelphia side behind first-half goals from Adam Buksa and Tajon Buchanan in the 26th and 30th minutes, respectively – both assisted by Carles Gil. The Revolution will visit fourth-seeded Orlando City SC in the Eastern Conference Semifinal at Exploria Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 3:00 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN Deportes, 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2).
The win sends the Revs into the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the first time since 2014, and for the 13th time in club history. New England entered tonight’s match with a 0-4-1 record against Philadelphia across all competitions during the 2020 season; however, the Revolution – owners of Major League Soccer’s best away record during the regular season – handed the Union their first home loss of the year. Philadelphia was 9-0-0 at Subaru Park heading into tonight’s Round One matchup.
Both Buksa and Buchanan registered their first career MLS Cup Playoff goals in this evening’s contest. Buksa got on the end of a free kick from Gil, heading the cross back inside of the near post. Four minutes later, Buchanan got behind Union left back Kai Wagner and beat Andre Blake from close range with his right foot. Buksa’s goal was his seventh across all competitions in his debut MLS season, while Buchanan – starting at right back for the second consecutive match and second time in his professional career – scored for the third time this season. Gil, who scored in the Revs’ Play-In Round win against Montreal on Friday, collected his two career postseason assists on those goals.
Goalkeeper Matt Turner, who finished second in MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting to Philadelphia’s Andre Blake, made four saves in his second career postseason win. Turner and the Revolution back line submitted the club’s first postseason clean sheet since Oct. 20, 2008 vs. Chicago, and its first away postseason clean sheet since Oct. 27, 2007 against a New York Red Bulls team coached by Sporting Director & Head Coach Bruce Arena.
Arena registered his 34th career MLS Cup Playoff win, which is 19 more than any active head coach. His career postseason record improves to 34-12-6.
New England Revolution 2, Philadelphia Union 0
November 24, 2020 – Subaru Park (Chester, Penn.)
Revolution Union in Round One at Subaru Park
- The New England Revolution defeated the Philadelphia Union, 2-0, in Round One of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night at Subaru Park behind goals from Adam Buksa and Tajon Buchanan.
- The victory marks the third time in franchise history in which New England, seeded eighth in the Eastern Conference, has eliminated the top overall seed in the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Revolution last defeated the No. 1 seed on Nov. 5, 2006, topping D.C. United, 1-0, in the Eastern Conference Finals.
- New England’s win was the club’s first over Philadelphia in six games across all competitions in 2020. It was also marked Philadelphia’s first loss at Subaru Park in 2020.
- With tonight’s victory, New England advances to the Eastern Conference Semifinals against fourth-place Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 3 p.m. ET.
- Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena, the all-time MLS leader in MLS Cup Playoffs wins (34) and playoff games coached, improved his postseason record to 34-12-6, including a 2-1-0 mark with the Revolution.
Adam Buksa, Tajon Buchanan Open Postseason Accounts With First-Half Goals
- Adam Buksa and Tajon Buchanan, who both registered their second postseason appearances, opened their MLS Cup Playoffs accounts in tonight’s victory. Both goals were assisted by Carles Gil.
- Buksa’s header from the center of the box in the 26th minute gave New England a 1-0 lead. The Designated Player logged three shots, one on target, 39 touches and three possessions gained over 89 minutes.
- Buchanan’s right-footed shot in the 30th minute doubled the Revolution’s lead. Buchanan finished tonight’s contest with 59 touches, seven possessions gained, two interceptions, one clearance and one tackle in his second consecutive start in New England’s defense.
- Tonight’s victory marked the second consecutive game in which two Revolution players opened their postseason accounts, after Gil and Gustavo Bou scored their first playoff goals in last Friday’s 2-1 win over Montreal in the Play-In Round.
Carles Gil Registers Two Assists in Third MLS Cup Playoffs Appearance
- Midfielder Carles Gil, who wore the captain’s armband, recorded his first MLS Cup Playoffs assists in the victory.
- Gil’s 89-minute shift was his eighth appearance across all competitions in 2020 and his sixth selection to New England’s Starting XI. The 2019 MLS Newcomer of the Year finished with 79 touches, 11 possessions gained, two assists and one shot while completing 48 of 59 pass attempts.
- Gil now owns one goal and two assists in three postseason appearances.
Matt Turner Records First Win over Philadelphia, First Postseason Shutout
- Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner logged his first career win over Philadelphia. Turner entered tonight’s match with a 0-6-1 career mark in seven regular season games against the Union.
- Turner made four saves in his first postseason clean sheet. The shutout was Turner’s first since a one-save effort against Nashville SC on Oct. 3 at Gillette Stadium.
- Turner, who finished second in 2020 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting, tallied career highs in wins (8) and clean sheets (6) during the regular season.
- Turner and New England’s defense submitted the club’s first postseason shutout since Oct. 20, 2008 vs. Chicago, and its first away postseason shutout since Oct. 27, 2007 against the New York Red Bulls.
Revolution Make One Change to Starting Lineup
- The Revolution featured one change to the Starting XI from the most last Friday’s Play-In Round win over Montreal, with Scott Caldwell starting in place of Tommy McNamara.
- Caldwell completed 28 of 30 pass attempts in his eighth MLS Cup Playoffs start.
- Kelyn Rowe registered his 10th postseason appearance tonight. Rowe played 24 minutes off the bench and completed seven of eight pass attempts with one clearance.
- Defenders Henry Kessler and Andrew Farrell, who also made his 10th postseason appearance, have started all seven of New England’s clean sheets in 2020. Kessler posted team highs in interceptions (4) and blocks (3), while Farrell logged a team-best seven clearances.
- Homegrown Player Justin Rennicks made his second playoff appearance tonight. Rennicks is the third Homegrown Product in club history to appear in a postseason match.
Referee: Joe Dickerson
Assistant Referee: Kathryn Nesbitt (AR1), Adam Wienckowski (AR2)
Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos
Video Assistant Referee: Dave Gantar
Weather: 44 degrees and cloudy
NE- Adam Buksa (Carles Gil) 26’
NE- Tajon Buchanan (Carles Gil) 30’
PHI- Kacper Przybylko (Yellow Card- Unsporting Behavior) 36’
PHI- Kai Wagner (Yellow Card- Unsporting Behavior) 73’
NE- Matt Polster (Yellow Card- Unsporting Behavior) 88’
New England Revolution: Matt Turner; DeJuan Jones, Henry Kessler, Andrew Farrell, Tajon Buchanan; Matt Polster, Scott Caldwell; Teal Bunbury (Kelyn Rowe 66’), Carles Gil © (Michael Mancienne 89’), Gustavo Bou (Tommy McNamara 78’), Adam Buksa (Justin Rennicks 89’)
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Antonio Delamea, Seth Sinovic, Lee Nguyen, Kekuta Manneh
Philadelphia: Andre Blake; Mark McKenzie, Jakob Glesnes, Kai Wagner, Raymon Gaddis (Anthony Fontana 76’); Jose Martinez (Ilsinho HT), Jamiro Monteiro, Alejandro Bedoya ©, Brenden Aaronson (Jack Elliot 62’); Sergio Santos (Cory Burke 62’), Kacper Przybylko
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Freese, Warren Creavalle, Andrew Wooten, Matthew Real, Aurelien Collin