Union match reports

Match Report: New England Revolution 2-0 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

A disorganized Philadelphia Union fell 2-0 on the road in New England on Saturday night.

Second half goals from Diego Fagundez and Lee Nguyen saw off a poor Philadelphia side and ended their three-game unbeaten streak.

Fagundez opened the scoring in the 61st minute when he was left wide open to side foot home from 8 yards. Nguyen secured the points 10 minutes later tapping in the rebound from a Saer Sene shot.

There were plenty of chances for both sides in a sloppy match. Michael Farfan and Danny Cruz both had good opportunities in the first half, and Antoine Hoppenot and Jack McInerney got chances in the second.

“That was not reflective of the type of game we’re capable of playing at all,” Union manager John Hackworth said after the match. “Probably our worst performance of the year by far.”

First half

Hackworth named an unchanged side from the team that beat DC United last weekend. Keon Daniel centered the midfield with Danny Cruz out on the right and Michael Farfan on the left, while the strike partnership of Conor Casey and Jack McInerney was given more time to gel.

The first chance of the game fell to Cruz in the 4th minute after McInerney played a great ball behind the Revolution defense on the left side. But New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was quick off his line to stifle the opportunity.

New England would create their first opportunity in the 9th minute when the ever dangerous Lee Nguyen found space behind Ray Gadds and squared a ball for Kelyn Rowe. But the unmarked midfielder somehow managed to sky his shot over the bar from six yards.

Zac MacMath was forced into action in the 22nd minute when Gaddis muffed a clearance and Diego Fagundez ran behind the Union backline. The Union goalkeeper was able to get down low to deflect the young midfielder’s shot wide for a New England corner.

Cruz was excellently picked out by a Casey through ball in the 38th minute, but again Shuttleworth was alert to the danger and smothered the chance.

The Union’s best chance of the half would fall to Michael Farfan in the 40th minute. Cruz was played into space down the right side and his cross was fanned by McInerney only to fall to the feet of Farfan. The midfielder took an excellent controlling touch to open up a shooting chance, but his shot was too close to Shuttleworth and the goalkeeper tipped the ball over the bar.

Cruz would get one more chance to give the Union the lead just before the halftime whistle. This time Marfan was the provider and Cruz was in alone against Shuttleworth, but his shot was straight into the gut of the onrushing keeper.

Second half

Neither team made any changes at halftime.

MacMath would be called upon early in the half when Daniel was adjudged to have fouled Nguyen just outside the Philadelphia box. Nguyen took the kick himself, and the Union keeper made a good save to his right and then smothered the rebound.

In the 54th minute, Sheanon Williams whipped in a cross toward Casey and McInerney queuing up at the back post. The ball would richochet around the Revolution box to be headed down by Farfan to Daniel, who had his shot from 12 yards blocked.

The scoreless deadlock would finally be broken in the 61st minute. Kelyn Rowe was able to find plenty of room behind Gaddis and square a pass that Fagundez hit first time into the far corner of MacMath’s net. The pass and finish were quality but the Union’s defense was out of sorts on the play with both Rowe and Fagundez afforded yards of space inside the Union box.

Sebastien Le Toux and and Antonie Hoppenot would replace Casey and Cruz to join the fray, and the two strikers would almost immediately set up a Union equalizer. After a midfield turnover just inside the Union half, Le Toux was able to play Hoppenot into space down the right side. Hoppenot centered for an open McInerney, who looked certain to test Shuttleworth, but a last second block saw the chance go begging.

The Revolution would make Philadelphia pay for the miss by doubling their lead in the 71st minute. Nguyen was able to drive straight at the Union back line from 35 yards out, with Williams backing off the dynamic midfielder. Nguyen played a perfectly weighted pass for Sene, whose attempt was well saved by an onrushing MacMath from 8 yards. But the rebound fell straight to Nguyen, who had continued his run, and the midfielder made no mistake tapping in from 5 yards. The Union’s defensive organization was questionable throughout the play, with Williams backing off Nguyen initially and Jeff Parke not tracking the midfielder when he continued his run.

Kleberson was brought on soon after for the ineffective Daniel. The Brazilian failed to make much of an impact in just less than 20 minutes on the pitch though, and the Revolution were able to see out the 2-0 victory.

With New England sitting dead last in the Eastern Conference and struggling to score goals, the Union will look back at the match as a missed chance to grab another road victory. They’ll have a chance to rebound at home next Saturday when they take on Seattle.

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath, Raymon Gaddis, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams, Brian Carroll, Michale Farfan, KEon Daniel (Kleberson 72′), Danny Cruz (Antoine Hoppenot 65′), Conor Casey (Sebastien Le Toux 59′), Jack McInerney.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Konopka, Gabriel Farfan, Micahel Lahoud, Roger Torres

New England Revolution
Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney ©, Jose Goncalves, Stephen McCarthy, Andrew Farrell, Ryan Guy (Saer Sene, 61’), Lee Nguyen (Scott Caldwell 89’), Kalifa Cisse, Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe, Jerry Bengtson (Dimity Imbongo 74’)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, Andy Dorman, Sainey Nyassi

NE Fagundez (Rowe, Nguyen) 61′
NE Nguyen 71′

PHI Jose Kleberson (caution) 82′

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: CJ Morgante (AR1), Brian Dunn (AR2)
Fourth Official: Matthieu Bourdeau
Weather: Clear and 56 Degrees
Attendance: 18,383

Match Statistics

New England Revolution Philadelphia Union
19 Attempts on Goal 11
7 Shots on Target 4
9 Shots off Target 3
3 Blocked Shots 4
3 Corner Kicks 6
9 Fouls 14
12 Open Play Crosses 20
1 Offsides 0
0 First Yellow Cards 1
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
52 Duels Won 53
49% Duels Won % 50%
343 Total Pass 379
72% Passing Accuracy % 75%
46.9% Possession 53.1%



  1. Overall horrible game. Poor marking on defense, and some questionable substitutions. The only good thing I’ve seen Hackworth do is start Jack.
    Also the defense gave up two goals to pretty poor offensive teams in the last two games. Both only had two coming in, and matched it in games against us. Is this a result of poor defending, or more from the fact our midfield can’t keep possesion/turning the ball over?

    • The Black Hand says:

      A lot of both. The backline is no longer bailing out our midfield.

      • Ok, this is what i thought. I mean having a poor midfield definitely doesn’t help. But a lot of the chances came from poor marking. NE was getting behind the defense way to easily. Just seemed like we gave them to much time on the ball in our own third.

    • Both.
      But it was pretty obvious that NE’s strategy was run at Gaddis, causing Park to have to try and bail him out and then the entire back line is out of wack. Add onto that the deficiencies in the midfield… and there you go.

      • frankswild says:

        Our backline made mistakes but the only reason they were put under so much pressure was our garbage midfield. It was like playing down a man or two considering how often they would lose possession in really simple situations

      • That was part of it no doubt, but they spent the entire game running down Gaddis’ throat. He was completely out of his depth, and when people are running right at you your speed can’t make up for any mistakes because you are already there… making a mistake.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Gaddis was bad. Okugo was almost as bad. Parke was stretched too thin. Williams was a midfielder. This game was awful.

  2. frankswild says:

    I had a dream Cruz had to retire because of a concussion, no joke

  3. Jeremy Lane says:

    So much about that game made me angry.

    • The Black Hand says:

      It was bad…in every way

      • Section 114 says:

        To be fair, MacMath had a strong game. Oh, wait, that would be bad in your opinion.

      • The Black Hand says:

        He made a couple of stops and cleared the ball from his box, I’ll give you that. Defense did, absolutely, nothing to help out their keeper.

      • More importantly, MacMath stood up! I didn’t see his fall-backwards-to-get-out-of-the-way move once the whole game. On an otherwise bleak night, that was an encouraging sign.

  4. I’ve decided I’m not going to complain about the team after that game ( so much went wrong it will take to much energy to get into it) and instead will try and start a campaign to get Bimbo and PPL to make a new commercial.

    • what commercial are you talking about. The really bad CGI commercial or the ones with the players playing in the house.

      Both could go.

      • Both, they have been around for so long, like I said I’m going to complain about something we have a shot at changing.

      • I think we are stuck with the PPL one just because we still have all the players in that commercial. And that is kind of amazing.

      • Yeah, but we’ve had the PPL one I think since the first year and the Bimbo one for 2 years I believe, the add agency is like Hack, they have there favorites and don’t bother to make any new ones

      • You’re not intimating that the Union are making personnel decisions based on who shows up in the Bimbo commercial, are you?

      • This theory is as good as any.

  5. If we have to lose a game, I’ll take on the road vs. New England in the wake of the Marathon bombing.

    BUT, that’s no excuse for the way Daniel, Cruz and Carroll continue to be complete non-entities in the midfield. The reason our defense is getting picked apart is because our midfield neither possesses the ball under pressure, nor puts the other team under pressure. All season long our opponents have had way too much time to pick their heads up and make passes into our end.

    • I think the emotions in Boston affected the Union. This team needs to get in people’s faces, make them mad, and cause mistakes. They looked afraid to do that last night.

      • Paul Goings says:

        Yeah, it seemed that way to me as well. We were afraid to play as ourselves in that atmosphere, and so naturally we paid the price. If it’s a one-off I’m not bothered.

  6. Hackworth hates D.P.s!!!!!

  7. A few things: Hackworth, Danny Cruz,Keon Daniels, Brian Carroll, and the total lack of marking in the defensive 3rd. How you call yourself a manager and not address this consistent issue is rediculous! Sit Cruz and start Le Toux out wide. I don’t care if he doesn’t like it. If he wants to start then he’ll have to get over it! Start Kleberson. Michael Farfan had better find is shot again. A game the Union should have won that Hackworth coached not to loose! He needs to go!

    • Southside Johnny says:

      The lack of marking is baffling and inexcusable at this level. Some of the chaos starts with midfield breakdowns, but that’s not all of it. Sometimes I think it’s lack of trust in each other like they try to watch their guy and somebody else’s and other times it is just the lack of anybody taking charge in the back.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        And marking has been a problem this entire season. that athleticism and luck have minimized to some degree.

      • I like Okugo a lot but his inexperience is showing. We’dbe a lot better with Okugo @ CDMand so mare in atCB.

    • What has LeToux ever done to make you think he would be better than Cruz out wide?

  8. As a counterattacking team, the Union relies on an organized, solid defense and clinical ruthless finishing. Both were missing yesterday.
    The defense specifically Carroll and Gaddis were MIA and our offense did not take its chances. We have to take our chances.
    On the positive side of things, MacMath had a solid performance and M. Farfan show glimpses of his potential…

  9. Only thing remotely close to a positive last night is that MacMath looked good for the first time this season.
    If anything else, the fact that our defense got shredded again means we can’t ignore it anymore or place the blame solely on MacMath. We NEED to do something. We need to fix the midfield and the defense.
    Of course … so much of this is Hackworths fault. Gaddis is a joke at LB … and I hear Cohraine is doing well at LA. Imagine Soumare in the back and Okugo being able to help this defense. Hell, take a look at this lineup we could have had if Hackworth wasnt an idiot:
    Williams – Soumare – Parke – Cohraine
    Marfan – Kleberson – Okugo – Garfan
    Jack – Casey

    I’d take that lineup over anything we can put out now ALL week long.

    • Philly Cheese says:

      Greg Cochrane started and went 90 minutes for Galaxy….great defense and pinpoint crosses from left side….but let’s not spend too much time dreaming. A Garfan start would be nice.
      Until Hackworth wakes up and quits running out an ineffective and disjointed midfield, things will be sketchy. Carroll was not worst of bunch, but unless Bakary is injured, Okugo needs to be in midfield and Carroll needs to be coaching from the bench.

    • Makes so much common sense it’ll be over Hackworth’s head. Great line up for the Union. Has Hackworth ever actually played the game at a pro or semi-pro level. He has no feel for the pro game what so ever!

    • Cochrane played for Reading United, so having him here shouldn’t be such a far fetched idea. In fact, I’m not entirely sure why we don’t have him.

  10. Southside Johnny says:

    Well, last week I complained about our negative game report posts…I take it back. I can’t imagine how frustrated the forwards and backs are with the midfield. Casey , Mac and Gaddis got worked, as my grandfather would say, like a team of rented mules. Appalling turnovers. Ugliness carried to new extremes yet not so much more so than our easier to live with ugly wins and ties. Same line up and same kind of play just a different outcome. If Hackworth doesn’t figure it out soon, we are doomed.

  11. The Black Hand says:

    So…Okugo is relenting at CB and Carroll is faltering in his defensive mid. Should we…? Nah

    • It’s frustrating cause its not surprising. Okugo was having a honeymoon at CB – why would anyone think otherwise? He is a talented kid but had no major experience at CB and we had a small sample size of him being challenged at CB.
      Now, well… we see maybe Hack shouldn’t have been so quick to give Carrol Captain and throw Soumare away. The fact that Hack did, after seeing Okugo at CB for what, half a season?, means it was clearly a terrible move by him.

      • And for all the talk about how they enjoy practice with Hack over Nowak. I’m starting to think he has horrible man management skills. The Adu situation and the Soumare situation just shouldn’t happen the way they did.

    • And on the same topic, the Gaddis experiemnt is pathetic. Its literally rec league stuff. LB was a major hole, we had a draft that was loaded with LBs, and THIS is what we end up with?
      Its a terrible sign of Hacks soccer intelligence… since we ALL know that Gaddis 1st 2nd and 3rd strength is his speed. He was decent at spelling Williams, but NOTHING about him said “Hey guys I can learn to be a great LB for you!” He is a 23 year old college kid. I have no idea why people lined up to marry him last season, he was a good find and was on his way at being a good backup at RB and an emergency LB for us.
      The fact HAck took that and decided this kid can be our LB is a joke.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I don’t dislike Gaddis at LB. that said, he had a horrible match. The whole back line did. Gaddis is toast if Carroll is going to stand and watch. Nguyen had too much time and picked Raymon apart. As for Okugo, if you watched closely, he was very poor. He still has a D mid mentality. He gives way too much space in the area. Hack needs to try his hand at managing!

    • It’s become clear some people overrated Okugo’s progress based on early returns. I’m on that list. I think I used the word “great.” That was silly. (And I realized it right after I wrote that post.) The proper word would have been “good,” because he is doing what good CBs do — being imperfect at times.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Yes! But, it is the fact that Okugo is a VERY good player, that allowed him to adjust his game to be a good CB. Hack needs to try and swap he and Carroll. A little ass-kissing for Soumare could make him feel OK with being the Union CB. This is getting to the point of a MUST DO! It would make the club better, as a whole.

      • Soumare is as good as gone. Keep an eye out.

      • The Black Hand says:

        True, but that doesn’t make it the right choice. Have you heard something?

      • Jeez, I can’t wait to see the bounty we get for him. A 2nd rounder and a 5th striker? Can’t wait to see Hackworth get a terrible return for him.

  12. OneManWolfpack says:

    Cruz just flat out sucks. He can’t finish… he can’t take a guy on 1v1… the only thing he is, is fast. Carroll just kicks the ball to the other team… all the time. The Gaddis experiment has to be over. get a real LB. And PLEASE stop paying a Brazilian midfielder $600K to play 10 minutes a night (if that). Find a better lineup.

  13. It should be interesting to see what BS Worthlesshack comes up with during this weeks presser. It will most likely be the same tried and true talking points and crap we get every week. The one thing that I was afraid would happen has acutually happened. Inspite of being the 2nd largest sports market on the east coast and the 4th or 5th in the country we have been sattled with a 2nd rate pro soccer organinzation and team. Both ownership and management have created their on reality which has nothing to do with the facts. It’s like watching Fox news, pure schlock and psuedo events made up to represent the truth!

    • Well the Hack quote “That was not reflective of the kind of game we are capable of playing. And it was probably our worst performance on the year so far. In a lot of ways, it’s frustrating because we’ve been playing consistent and in the way we tried to plan tonight – it just wasn’t the same.” goes a long way into spelling out his mindset.

      He is wrong of course… This team, this game has been with us since day one. If Jack Mac, Cruz, Marfan covert their chances and there is a different tone and a different conversation. But underneath the tasty Casey/Jack Mac frosting this is the hot mess of a 2013 Philadelphia Union cake that we are forced to eat. And it looks like we will be eating this for a while.

      • Personally I think the D.C. game wasn’t much better. Apart from some good plays by Jack and Casey it was the same exact thing we saw tonight. The fact he used the same lineup and expected anything better is upsetting.

      • The Black Hand says:

        It’s been the story all year. Casey and Parke have been the horses. Jack has been finishing. Aside from that, the club has been poor. It all comes back to Hackworth’s inabilities.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Hack can shove his final whistle straight up his holiest-of- holy holes!

      • I would agree with your sentiment. I blame it all on Hack. Our weaknesses shined through in spades last night. The problem is we have a manager that will not take the appropriate measures to right the ship. Week after week we talk about the problems in midfield and nothing changes. What else can be said that hasn’t been said already for the lat month?

      • The Black Hand says:

        I agree, we have a manager that can’t right the ship. My bigger concern is; maybe we have an ownership group that is even more inept than John Hackworth. I haven’t loved the whole, “yeah…our product on the field sucks, so we are going to raise prices by 40%.” It’s kind of like, ‘F**k You, Pay me!’ Huge slap in the faces of the supporters and polarizes their disassociation. Makes some (Me) less accepting of my clubs shitty play.

  14. How in the world Danny Cruz is still starting is one of those unfathomable questions that defies human understanding. Children and housepets can see that the guy is not fit to start for an MLS team. And yet, week in and week out, there he is. Maddening.

    • The REAL answer to that question isn’t that Hackworth is blind to how bad a player he is – its worse than that! It’s that Hackworth LITERALLY values the “hustle and grit” Cruz brings waaaay to much. Hack is the worst kind of American soccer coach, the kind that will play Cruz 90 minutes a game over players like Kleberson, Garfan or Torres, then talk about how valauable Cruz is to the team.
      Thank god we are on our way out of treating players like Cruz like gold. It’ll still take a while to revamp our attitudes towards soccer however, and its a shame we seem to have a holdout of Bob Bradleys coaching school leading our team.

    • As one fan recently put it..”Ya Cruz, Ya Lose”. LOL

  15. That SOB BigT says:

    It’s obvious to this fan that Soumare doesn’t get on well with management, because he’s healthy enough to start. Which begins the whole chain of events that have this team floundering right now. Okugo is a CDM and a nice CB to have in a pinch, but he’s now a starter in this role he isn’t ideally suited for (he’s no John Heitinga). This also means Keon is still out of position and Carroll continues to start in spite of the fact that he’s looked bad all year. Kleberson was brought in as a designated player… he should be starting and that’s that. Even if he only gives you between 50 and 70 mins it’s better then the sloppy possession and poor decision making you’re getting from Carroll. After an hour of controlling the ball and wearing down the opposition by all means change your shape, sub him out for a Cruz or Hoppenot and start making runs at those tired defenders. On another note, Ray Gaddis is the anti Daniel Day Lewis cause he has no left foot… I just wonder what happened between Hack and Garfan that makes Gaddis the choice over him. Neither is the best option but personally I’ll take Gabe all day.

    • Ah, ANOTHER depressing reality for a Union fan! Cruz could be a pretty effective player in that role! He is basically the Hop of wingers. Play a better midfield (Garfan – Okugo – Klebs – Marfan) ping the ball around, make the other team chase all game, and if we need a goal – put in Cruz! He’s run past all those tired legs! It’s a great plan and something that would make sense given his skillset.
      But I guess Hack doesnt see it that way.

      • Bleed Blue and Gold sopped up with Bimbo Bread says:

        Except Cruz can’t finish, pass, cross, shoot, or maintain a controlled touch with any consistency. He has 1 skill and 1 skill only, he’s fast. In hockey he’d be on the 4th line to give the team energy and stir the pot a little. 4th lines get minimal minutes = he shouldn’t get more than minimal minutes.

      • The only fault with your argument is that you’re assuming that Cruz can actually finish a chance 😉

    • The Black Hand says:

      That’s where I see Danny Cruz fitting in this puzzle.

  16. Check out the Union website and look at the story that’s entitled “Steady and Slow,Union looking to rise above speed bump in Boston.” It’s a joke. There it is in print. This mythical world known as Unionville. I was particulary struck by the comments coming from Brian Carroll. It’s truly a classic case of denial at its most woeful stage.

    • To be fair, the Union website has always been propaganda for the team. To expect much more from that site is asking a lot. But I agree there is a lot of denial going around from the Union.

  17. Bleed Blue and Gold sopped up with Bimbo Bread says:

    I honestly don’t dislike Brian Carroll, but it’s time to tell him he’s old and hurting the team. He’s nothing more than a center back in the midfield and brings nothing but positional awareness on defense. The optimal line up should be a 4231. MacMath (GK), Williams (RB), Soumare (CB), Parke (CB), Gaddis (LB), Okugo (CDM), Klebersons (CDM), Le Toux (LW), Casey (CF), Marfan (RW), McInerney (ST). Those are the best players we have and the best positions to get them all on the field. The one caveat is that Le Toux needs to understand his role and not play as another striker. If he can’t accept that then put in Keon.

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