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Match Report: Union 1-0 Revolution

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Jack McInerney scored in his third consecutive match, firing the Union to a 1-0 victory over New England on Saturday night at PPL Park, their third win in the last four matches.

After a first half in which the Union flooded the Revolution box but failed to score, Jerry Bengtson nearly grabbed the opener but, after beating Zac MacMath on the dribble, hit the post.

With the Union controlling the match, but struggling to turn possession into goal-scoring opportunities, McInerney finally broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute, heading home a Keon Daniel free kick for his second match-winner against the Revolution in 2012.

First Half

With his side looking much improved over the last three matches, John Hackworth made only the two changes he was required through injury and suspension. Gabriel Farfan replaced Sheanon Williams at left back, with the makeshift left back missing out due to a one game suspension for yellow card accumulation. In the midfield, Gabriel Gomez got the start for Danny Cruz, whose injured toe kept him out of the lineup.

Looking to continue their strong run of form, the Union were quickly out of the gate, with McInerney pressing high. After Ray Gaddis beat Alec Purdie to the end line, Darrius Barnes beat McInerney to the low cross by the slimmest of margins. Minutes later Michael Farfan picked out McInerney’s near post run, but the forward could not keep his shot on target.

In the 11th minute, McInerney finally got clean in behind and should have opened the scoring, after Keon Daniel dummied Brian Carroll’s pass into his path. With Bobby Shuttleworth advancing off his line, McInerney dragged his shot agonizingly wide of the far post.

Undeterred, McInerney maintained the search for the opener, and his pressure forced Shuttleworth to mishandle at the top of his box, though New England was able to clear the danger.

Immediately following, the Revs raced up field, where Honduran international Jerry Bengtson went close before a sliding tackle from Carlos Valdes halted the forward’s progress.

It was end to end stuff with Michael Farfan racing back into the offensive half, springing Daniel. Beating his man at the endline, Daniel took an extra touch, giving the New England defense a chance to recover, with two men pressuring McInerney when he tried to turn home Daniel’s squared pass.

With Clyde Simms and Benny Feilhaber struggling to keep up in midfield, the Union continued their assault. Michael Farfan was the next to seek out McInerney, but Shuttleworth was quick off his line, claiming courageously in front of the onrushing striker.

Despite their attacking dominance, after the 28th minute the Union had still failed to muster a shot on target and a defensive breakdown should have seen Bengtson grab the opener against the run of play. After a messy series of attempted tackles by the Union defense, the ball squirted into the box where Bengtson reacted first, gathering before blowing past MacMath. With the empty net at his mercy, Bengtson failed to find the target, banging his tap-in off the near post, where it caromed back into MacMath’s grateful arms.

Lucky to still be on level terms, the Union regathered their advantage in possession, knocking the ball around confidently, but still failing to make inroads.

Second Half

Coming out of the tunnel for the second half, the Union were quickly back on the front foot, knowing they would have to create more chances to claim all three points. When Benny Feilhaber bowled over Gabriel Gomez, the Union had the opportunity to bring bodies forward for the set piece. Shaking free of his mark, Gomez himself had the chance for a free header off Daniel’s delivery but missed his chance, watching the ball skip cleanly in on Shuttleworth.

Jay Heaps’ mediocre Revolution side was chasing shadows, and the Union nearly found their reward after quick interplay between Michael Farfan, McInerney and Gomez. Whipping the ball into the box, Barnes made enough contact to deflect the ball behind.

Hackworth, eager to play for the win, brought on Antoine Hoppenot for Michael Lahoud, giving the Union a second target up front. Heaps countered with an offensive change of his own, bringing on Fernando Cardenas for the injured A.J. Soares, pushing Ryan Guy to center back, perhaps to deal with the threat posed by Hoppenot.

Fresh off his goal-scoring performance in Chicago, Hoppenot quickly proved a handful. Clyde Simms could only pull him back when he threatened to break away in the 66th minute, earning the match’s first yellow card.

The Union were again on the all out attack with Michael Farfan, Hoppenot and Carroll figuring in a fluid build that resulted in Purdie barely holding off McInerney’s driving run. Daniel found Gomez streaming forward but with McInerney racing in behind, the Panamanian got his pass wrong.

But, just as in the first half, the Union gifted the Revolution a chance to punish the home side for their lack of sharpness. Cardenas pounced on a poor touch from Gaddis, going in alone on MacMath. The keeper showed quick feet however, cutting off Cardenas’ run, keeping the Revs attacker in front of him. With his shooting option gone, Cardenas squared for Bengtson, but Gabriel Farfan was on the scene to block his shot.

Finally, in the 73rd minute, the Union found the much sought after opener. After Michael Farfan was fouled by Cardenas, Daniel waved off Roger Torres to take the free kick. He whipped the ball over the outstretched hands of Shuttleworth, and McInerney arrived at the back post to head the ball into the back of the net, sending the Union into a deserved lead.

Forced to play catchup, the Revolution mounted a concerted attack for the first time on the night. When Bengtson was fouled outside the Union box, nerves were high around PPL Park, but MacMath saved the day and his own clean sheet, diving low to smother Ryan Guy’s free header.

Rather than continue to fight for the draw, frustration took over as the Revolution lost their cool with both Guy and Feilhaber earning a place in referee Jorge Gonzalez’s book, Guy for pulling back Hoppenot and Feilhaber for dissent.

Minutes later, Feilhaber was sent to the locker for an early shower. Spotting Hoppenot racing across the pitch, the Feilhaber threw his body into the Union striker, felling him in the process. Gonzalez did not hesitate in showing a second yellow and subsequent red card to the belligerent Feilhaber, ending both his night and his side’s chances of a comeback.

With 9 points from the last possible 12, the Union take their two match winning streak into the international break, with two weeks to think about their final stretch of matches against Houston, Kansas City and New York, the first coming at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday, October 20.






Attempts on goal



Shots on target



Shots off target















Total passes



Passing accuracy



Yellow cards



Red cards


Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath; Raymon Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan; Michael Farfan, Brian Carroll, Gabriel Gomez (Roger Torres ’71), Michael Lahoud (Antoine Hoppenot ’61), Keon Daniel; Jack McInerney (Chris Albright ’81)
Unused substitutes: Chris Konopka, Zach Pfeffer, Freddy Adu, Chandler Hoffman

New England Revolution
Bobby Shuttleworth; Alec Purdie, A.J. Soares (Fernando Cardenas ’61), Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alson; Kelyn Rowe (Dimitriy Imbongo ’77), Benny Feilhaber, Clyde Simms, Ryan Guy; Jerry Bengtson, Diego Fagundez (Juan Toja ’64)
Unused substitutes: Matt Reis, Blair Gavin, Blake Brettschneider, Sainey Nyassi

Scoring Summary
73 – PHI: McInerney (Daniel)

Discipline Summary
66 – NER: Simms (caution)
86 – NER: Guy (caution)
86 – NER: Feilhaber (caution)
87 – PHI: G. Farfan (caution)
88 – NER: Feilhaber (caution)
88 – NER: Feilhaber (ejection)

Jorge Gonzalez


  1. Feilhaiber always gets reds against us doesn’t he?

  2. Philly Cheese says:

    Assist by Daniel was well struck. Like Gomez goal against Chicago, flash of quality needs to be consistently repeated or return for 2013 should be carefully evaluated. Adu, Daniel, Gomez only seem to show knowledge of system, good touches, and finishing ability sporadically. How do we build for next year with that kind of random effort?

  3. Is Adu’s contract up? I hope so. That kind of money needs to be allocated to a player who is consistently dangerous.

  4. For a small guy, Jack sure seems to make a lot of plays with his head.

  5. JediLos117 says:

    Excellent team win, nobody should rate under 6. Good game men!

  6. I couldn’t make the game yesterday because of stupid work. But now I have to give credit to the Union TV broadcast team. The last couple of games I have seen on TV they seemed to have improved a bit.

    … and by improved a bit I mean I haven’t felt the urge to punch Bob Rigby through my television screen.

  7. The stadium looked somewhat empty. At least 60% full.
    It was the battle of the bottom dwellers. I can’t say they were playing well, New England was just playing worse. They appeared to be slow. They moved the ball slowly. Transitioned from defense to attack slowly. Took too many touches.
    It seemed like they were learning a complicated dance. 1..2..3…4, hey you you’re out of step…. all over again…. 1..2..3…4 etc… In other words, their movement appeared to be rehearsed and not natural. After a full season one would think they would gel.
    Finally, I don’t see how they expect to score on crossess into the box if they only have one or two person in the box. If they are going to try to cross balls into the box they need to get people into the box to convert.
    In short, for real change to take place they need to get some real soccer players and maybe a new manager. Watching their progress, or the lack of progress that is, sine Hackworth took over is very telling.

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