CHESTER, Penn. (October 28, 2023) – The New England Revolution (No. 5) opened the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs with a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union (No. 4) on Saturday night at Subaru Park in Game 1 of the best-of-three Round One series. Gustavo Bou tallied his fourth career postseason goal in the 68th minute of a match that saw seven Revolution players make their MLS Cup Playoffs debut, but three first-half goals from the Union proved to be the difference to hand Game 1 to the hosts.
New England opened the game on the front foot, controlling the possession and threatening the Philadelphia goal as Homegrown Player Noel Buck rattled a shot off the crossbar in the ninth minute. Buck went on to complete 100 percent of his passes in his playoff debut. Philadelphia turned the tables with their first goal of the match in the 19th minute.
After a video review confirmed that Revolution goalkeeper Jacob Jackson brought down a Union player in the penalty area, Philadelphia’s Dániel Gazdag converted from the spot to put the hosts ahead, 1-0. Mikael Uhre and Nathan Harriel added goals in the 26th and 37th minutes, respectively, to extend Philadelphia’s lead to three before the intermission.
Carles Gil, New England’s regular season leader in goals (11) and assists (15), was fouled multiple times in the early action, ultimately being forced to leave in the 23rd minute with a right leg injury following a late challenge. Forward Bobby Wood entered the match for Gil, his first playoff action with the Revolution, and recorded two shots.
The Revolution got on the board in the 68th minute with Giacomo Vrioni and Bou combining for the Argentinian’s third goal against Philadelphia in the last two weeks. Vrioni fought through a Union defender to slide the ball to the top of the box where Bou collected and muscled his way through multiple Union defenders to create a tight-angled shot, which he roofed past Andre Blake at the near post. Wood nearly added a second goal for the Revolution in the 75th minute, redirecting a cross from Emmanuel Boateng on target that was parried off the woodwork by Union goalkeeper Andre Blake.
The best-of-three Round One series resumes on Wednesday, Nov. 8 when Philadelphia visits New England at Gillette Stadium for Game 2. Tickets are on sale now at Revolutionsoccer.net/tickets. The 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff and every match of the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs is available to watch on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV in English and Spanish. Game 2 will also be televised nationally on FS1 and FOX Deportes. Listen to the Revolution’s radio call on ROCK 92.9 FM and 1260 AM Nossa Radio.
- Gustavo Bou scored the first goal of the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs for New England. Bou’s fourth career postseason tally ties Charlie Davies for third most in club history.
- Bou, who has contributed to a goal in his last three matches (3g, 1a), notched a team-high five shots with three on target.
- Giacomo Vrioni, appearing in his first MLS Cup Playoffs match, was credited with an assist on Bou’s strike.
- Along with Vrioni, six other Revolution players made their MLS Cup Playoffs debut in Saturday’s match – Noel Buck, Tomás Chancalay, Nacho Gil, Jacob Jackson, Christian Makoun, and Ryan Spaulding.
- Buck completed all 44 of his passes in his first postseason appearance, while also recording team highs in fouls won (3) and chances created (2).
- Chancalay also registered a pair of chances created and attempted four shots.
- Carles Gil was forced off due to a right leg injury just 23 minutes into his seventh career postseason start.
- Bobby Wood was subbed on for Carles Gil, his first appearance since October 4 and fourth career MLS Cup Playoffs appearance, recording two shots on target and a team-high six duels won.
New England Revolution 1, Philadelphia Union 3
October 28, 2023 – Subaru Park (Chester, Penn.)
Referee: Pierre-Luc Lauziere
Assistant Referees: Nick Uranga (AR1), Oscar Mitcheell-Carvalho (AR2)
Fourth Official: Marcos DeOliveira
Video Assistant Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Fabio Tovar
Weather: 80 degrees and partly cloudy.
PHI – Dániel Gazdag 1 (Penalty Kick) 19’
PHI – Mikael Uhre 1 (Unassisted) 26’
PHI – Nathan Harriel 1 (Kai Wagner 1) 37’
NE – Gustavo Bou 1 (Giacomo Vrioni 1) 68’
NE – Bobby Wood (Yellow Card – Hard Foul) 29’
NE – Andrew Farrell (Yellow Card – Tactical Foul) 35’
NE – Tomás Chancalay (Yellow Card – Tactical Foul) 37’
PHI – José Martínez (Yellow Card – Unsporting Behavior) 87’
NE – Giacomo Vrioni (Yellow Card – Hard Foul) 87’
New England Revolution: Jacob Jackson; Ryan Spaulding (Christian Makoun 83’), Dave Romney, Andrew Farrell, DeJuan Jones; Noel Buck (Emmanuel Boateng 75’), Matt Polster, Mark-Anthony Kaye (Giacomo Vrioni 46’); Carles Gil © (Bobby Wood 23’), Tomás Chancalay (Nacho Gil 75’); Gustavo Bou.
Substitutes Not Used: Earl Edwards Jr., Omar Gonzalez, Henry Kessler, Tommy McNamara.
Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake; Kai Wagner, Jack Elliot, Damion Lowe, Nathan Harriel; José Martínez; Jack McGlynn (Leon Flach 77’), Alejandro Bedoya ©; Dániel Gazdag; Mikael Uhre (Chris Donovan 77’), Julián Carranza (Quinn Sullivan 62’).
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Bendik, Jesus Bueno, Olivier Mbazio ,Jeremy Rafanello, Matt Real, Joaquin Torres.
Full statistics available HERE.