Union match reports

Match report: Revolution 5-1 Union

After nearly completing a second half comeback, the Union conceded four goals to a rampant New England Revolution side and slumped to a demoralizing 5-1 defeat.

Danny Cruz looked to have put the Union back on the front foot in the 50th minute when he canceled out Kelyn Rowe’s first half goal, but the visitors could not see out the result.

Conor Casey should have put the Union in front only five minutes after Cruz’s equalizer, but referee Allen Chapman incorrectly ruled the goal back. Given a reprieve, the Revolution found their attacking form in a 15-minute span, during which they found the back of the net four times.

First half

With Jack McInerney struggling through the mire of a goal-scoring slump, John Hackworth elected to give his misfiring striker the night off, with Michael Farfan representing the only change for the Union.

Farfan joined Brian Carroll and Keon Daniel in the center of the pitch in an attempt to maintain possession and win the midfield.

The plan did not work.

While both teams exchanged sloppy play in the early going, New England looked the more composed side, with Rowe and Lee Nguyen orchestrating play in front of Scott Caldwell.

The hosts had the first chance of the match when Sheanon Williams lost his footing, allowing Juan Agudelo to race onto his left foot. But Jeff Parke was quick slide in, blocking the dangerous shot.

At the other end, Casey was the catalyst, but when he combined well with first Farfan and then Sebastien Le Toux, the Union had no additional bodies in the box.

Despite having three central midfielders, Rowe had little trouble finding space for himself in the center of the box when he ran away from Daniel. Facing up to the Union goal, Rowe had time and space to walk into his low drive, planting it in the side netting to Zac MacMath’s right.

Daniel limped off after the goal to be replaced by the Michael Lahoud. But the insertion of another defensive midfielder had little effect on the match, and Rowe nearly doubled the Revs’ advantage in the 34th minute after Diego Fagundez was left to run free through the midfield.

The Union substitute was then forced to haul down Agudelo for the match’s first yellow card before nearly gifting New England another goal just before halftime. Looking back towards his own goal in first half stoppage time, Lahoud’s pass missed Okugo badly, allowing Fagundez to slice into the box where he cut back for Agudelo. With only the simplest of touches required, the US international scuffed his shot wide of the back post.

Second half

Eager to prevent the Union from getting a foothold in the match, the Revs pushed forward after the break. In the 48th minute, Rowe nearly beat MacMath to the near post after Fagundez brushed off Cruz before sending a perfect ball forward.

Moments later though, the Union found their equalizer, against the run of play.

Casey was again the provider. When Cruz’s line took him inside of Chris Tierney, Casey found him in stride. Settling confidently, Cruz pulled the ball past Matt Reis at the top of the box before burying his left-footed shot inside the back post.

New England was stunned, and the Union nearly made them pay with a second goal a minute later.

Driving forward from his fullback spot, Williams smashed a low drive passed Reis, directly onto the post. When the ball caromed back for Le Toux to bundle home, the goal was called back. The striker had strayed into an offside position.

Undaunted, the Union continued to ride their momentum and should have taken the lead in the 55th minute.

It was Williams again who began the play, sending Reis scrambling with a low driven cross. As the New England keeper attempted to gather the ball, retreating defender AJ Soares collided with him, sending the ball bouncing free. It was just then that Casey arrived to poke in the ball from under one of Reis’ legs. The goal should have stood, but referee Chapman ruled that Reis had possession, whistling Casey for the foul.

After two dangerous runs nearly resulted in goals, Williams was caught in possession in the 58th minute as he looked to burst up field yet again. Fagundez was quickest to the loose ball and played in Agudelo. With MacMath sliding to his left, Agudelo rolled a weak shot back towards the far post where the Union were unlucky to see the recovering Amobi Okugo deflect it into his own net.

It was the lift New England needed and while John Hackworth held his substitutes back, the Revs took over the match.

Soon after the go-ahead goal, substitute Dimitry Imbongo easily bumped off Brian Carroll before setting off down the left touch line. Delaying too long, Imbongo just missed the run of Agudelo and an easy tap-in went begging.

In the 65th minute, Rowe gave New England a two-goal cushion. Despite the Union’s two defensive midfielders, Rowe found ample space outside of the Union box before turning and drilling a highlight reel shot into the top corner of MacMath’s net.

Six minutes later, it was Fabinho’s turn to gift New England an easy goal. With his entire team pushed forward, the Brazilian was easily dispossessed, and Scott Caldwell launched the ball forward for Fagundez. Racing in behind Williams, Fagundez slotted his shot inside of MacMath’s near post before Okugo could close him down.

Agudelo completed the drubbing in the 73rd minute with a classy top shelf finish. Given plenty of time by Lahoud to measure his pass, Imbongo slotted in to a wide open Agudelo, who ran away from Parke before flicking his first time shot into the top of the net.

As if matters couldn’t get worse, Okugo went into the referee’s notebook minutes later when he blocked off a charging run from Fagundez. That caution rules him out for Saturday’s critical showdown with Montreal Impact due to yellow card accumulation. In the end, the Union will be forced to deal with Okugo’s absence for 2 matches, as the defender was issued his marching orders one minute into stoppage time when his studs came down on the foot of Imbongo.

The Union will look to regroup before next Saturday’s home game against the Montreal Impact, who dispatched Houston on Saturday with a 5-0 win to move to the top of the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Amobi Okugo, Jeff Parke, Fabinho; Michael Farfan (Antoine Hoppenot ’80), Keon Daniel (Michael Lahoud ’27), Brian Carroll, Danny Cruz (Jack McInerney ’75); Sebastien Le Toux, Conor Casey
Unused substitutes: Oka Nikolov, Matt Kassel, Kleberson, Aaron Wheeler.

New England Revolution
Matt Reis; Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves, AJ Soares, Andrew Farrell; Scott Caldwell; Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen (Andy Dorman ’74), Kelyn Rowe, Chad Barrett (Dimitry Imbongo ’56); Juan Agudelo (Charlie Davies ’81)
Unused substitutes: Bobby Shuttleworth, Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston, Ryan Guy

Scoring Summary
26 – NER: Rowe (Chad Barrett)
50 – PHI: Cruz (Casey)
58 – PHI: Okugo (own goal)
65 – NER: Rowe (Imbongo)
71 – NER : Fagundez (Caldwell)
73 – NER: Agudelo (Imbongo, Fagundez)

Discipline Summary
37 – PHI: Lahoud (caution)
75 – PHI: Okugo (caution)
78 – PHI: Williams (caution)
81 – PHI: Casey (caution)
91 – PHI: Okugo (caution + ejection)

Referee” Allen Chapman
Attendance: 12531

New England Revolution Philadelphia Union
11 Attempts on Goal 10
5 Shots on Target 3
3 Shots off Target 6
3 Blocked Shots 1
4 Corner Kicks 7
10 Fouls 19
7 Open Play Crosses 14
2 Offsides 2
0 First Yellow Cards 3
0 Second Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 1
52 Duels Won 48
52% Duels Won % 48%
402 Total Pass 333
78% Passing Accuracy % 78%
53.9% Possession 46.1%


  1. This game shall forever stand as a monument against sobriety….


    We Suck So Much!!!!!

    • This organization is corrupt from top to bottom. Any organization that has John Hackworth as a head coach is not serious about winning. The game preparations are crap and the lineups are a joke. NYRB plays down to the Union’s level. When they don’t they win. Yesterday was worse then I thought it could be. I’m saying it again. John Hackworth and Sakiewicz both need to go. I feel sorry for all of the apologists, but this organization does not care about the fans or the regional. They talk about the long term plans which mean make a feeble attempt to get into the playoffs and hope that you’re one and done. There is no plan to compete and bring titles to this region. NY opened the door and the Union locked themselves out. What a freaking dog and pony show!

  2. what a miserable fucking game that was. went a long way to make me feel like our season is doomed with the okugo suspension

  3. No offense to Lahoud, but down a goal in the midst of a vital game, who subs in a guy who hasn’t played a game in some 2+ months?

  4. i dont like it one bit. it does not receive a single unit of bit

  5. Buckle up!

  6. credit to casey for not sucking like the rest of the team.

  7. Marco diVaio next week and no Okugo! This is one to look past but that is really scary. Reminded me of the England-Germany game from the last World Cup. Team gets screwed on a bad call and they quit for the next 5 minutes then can’t mount any type of comeback so they try to throw everyone forward and it gives way for youth and quick counter attacks. Lahoud was awful, but I guess everyone else was also except for Casey who was screwed beyond compare. It’s amazing he gets screwed by MLS refs so often. I wonder if Letoux kicked that ball would the ref have counted it?!?!

  8. In a way this was almost refreshing, because it completely cut down those people who amazingly thought Hack has these master plans. What do you do when your midfield has been the worst thing all year? Bring on another one to start the game! Wow he really is just not a good manager.

  9. I guess we now understand why Daniel always played so deep, he just doesn’t have the work rate or lungs to play box-to-box. In the times that he’s pushed up into the offensive third, he totally shirks his defensive duties (i.e. – today, 2nd half vs Galaxy…) and we get torched.

    The said thing is that the perfect player to remedy this problem is Okugo. He’s a classic box-to-box player, but unfortunately now, he’s become an irreplaceable center back.

    So our options to replace Okugo for two very important matches are a 5’9″ right back (Williams), Albright (never played center back in a MLS regular season match), a converted college midfielder (Jordan) and a back-up target forward (Wheeler). I don’t know whether this type of roster mismanagement is due to budgetary restrictions or pure incompetence, but in any event, it’s ridiculous.

    Can we activate Jim Curtin?

    • “I don’t know whether this type of roster mismanagement is due to budgetary restrictions or pure incompetence…”
      Unfortunately, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. “Both” is a valid answer.

    • Great point, re: Daniel. The same thought occurred to me, and now I have to reconsider some views.

      Better point, re: Curtin and center back. Gaddis is still hurt. There’s no other center back on the roster with Okugo suspended.

      • Gaddis stinks as well tell me one other MLS team that he would start on….Williams can not play a center midfield because he likes to go forward( and 50procent of time gets caught up) and he also commits way to many free kicks. Curtin is the best choice on that bench for a head coach..

      • New York, Columbus, Toronto, DC, and Chicago come to mind immediately. That’s half the Eastern Conference. Then there’s Chivas and probably 1-3 other Western Conference teams. Gaddis may not be a good left back, but he is a good right back.

      • For the love of God do give out suggestions on how we can make Chicago’s defense any better.

  10. I’ll say it now – I’m not sure Nowak is that much worse. The gloves are coming off against Hack. Whatever good he has done has finally be erased from my memory.
    Nowak was crazy, in that he changed every week, was volatile and borderline shady. But you know what, Hack is just the extreme on the other end of the spectrum.
    Doesn’t tinker with lineups near often enough – despite massively out of form players, possible better players sitting on the bench he won’t even give a run out, and giving players a rest when they need it. He toes the company line to the point of madness, is a dead fish on the sidelines and doesn’t seem to realize you are allowed tactical subs before the 80th minute.

  11. Andy Muenz says:

    The last 3 cards made me think that Chapman has an axe to grind, especially Casey’s.

    On a separate note, Eli, are you sure Okugo is out for two games? I had thought that when a player gets two yellow cards in a game, they don’t count towards a players accumulation (since he gets suspended for a game due to the red).

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      I am not certain of this. I’m sure we’ll find out today

    • Casey’s card was BS but the other ones were deserved.

      • I was going to ask what Casey’s card was for. Sure looked to me like he got plowed into on a 50 / 50 ball. The only thought I had is that he got carded for constantly complaining to the ref – granted, all the gripes were legit, but…

      • I don’t think either Williams’ card or Okugo’s second were deserved.

      • Okugo’s second baffled me too, but given the description above – cleats into the player’s foot – I can understand it.

      • Okugo’s second was absolutely deserved he stepped over the ball with no intent on playing iut and straight up hip checked dude to the ground. Right in front of the ref. Dangerous? no. but reckless, stupid and brazen. More than enough for a yellow card.

      • I don’t think any YC can really be complained about. Casey was lucky not to get YC earlier for swearing at the ref. Most would have at least given him a YC. He was also told that his next foul, he was getting booked no matter what. That was his next foul (although whether you can call it a foul or not is a different matter). Okugo was young and naive getting both his yellows. Both deserved. We may be hearing that Sheanon is in trouble too – his YC was for hands to the face off the ball. MLS may turn that to red.

  12. I’ve been a Hack supporter, but Great One, you are right, just can’t do it after this game. Let’s not kid ourselves, Hack put out a 4-5-1 against NE! Doomed from the beginning with that choice. I understand sitting Jack (sort of), but Casey has to have someone running behind the defense to stretch them and give him some space to hold up the ball. Somehow, putting 3 men in the center of the midfield gave each the comfort to feel like they didn’t have to follow their runners. Farfan, Daniel, Lahoud, AND Carroll deserve tremendous blame for leaving their back four exposed with so much space for Rowe to roam. Williams and Fabinho each had bad turnovers in the middle of the pitch that lead to goals. Hopefully they can erase this game from their minds and move forward. Hopefully, I can too!

    • Southside Johnny says:

      Here’s how I “understand sitting Jack”. This chickenshit coach bowed to the idiot fans who have been ripping him since he got back just he did when like when they brought back Le2. You don’t sit good strikers who slump who otherwise are playing well. But this distracts fans from the midfield disaster. PR crap decisions.

      • The Chopper says:

        Might be PR, but also might be attitude. One thing about Hackworth is that he will stick with his guys to a fault and forgive them if he is happy with their attitude and effort. But get a little pouty, behave a little self centered and he will teach you a lesson. It’s a bit high school, but he is a youth coach dealing with just out of youth players.

        Besides if he was doing PR lineups, you would think Torres would have gotten a run by now..

  13. Yikes.

    I would love to see some stats on this game. This team has a number of BIG issues:

    1. Passing. The completion rate had to be near 50%. It was shockingly bad.
    2. Running. Is this team fit? New Eng. was running wild and, importantly, running off the ball creating space for themselves. The Union were stagnant. On that crap field, you needed to run.
    3. Overall skill level. It’s just not there. This team need to be blown up.

    Casey is the so much better than everyone on this team.

    – Casey, Okogu, Fabinho, Parke, Mac, Wheeler,

    – EVERYONE ELSE. They are either midgets with no athletic talent or possess some skill with no athletic talent.

    – GET a coach who understands his/her roster

    – If I was ownership I would be having a fit. How can you keep signing big salaried players to sit them.
    – We need talent evaluators who will find players who live up to their price tags.

    What a train wreck. I am now feeling horrible for Casey. He has to sprint back to his own 18 to get the ball and do anything with it.


    • Clearly, I was worked up as the passing rate is right above, even at 78%..baffling.

      Also, I meant players are either skilled/non athlete or athlete/non-skilled.


    • Wow… The team does not need to be blown up. Hell it has been blown up every year since we came into existence.
      also Fabinho had a pretty bad game.

      • I think it would be a good site post. Should we blow up this team or not?

        I still think we should. The Union are not competitive against the better teams.

        I keep Fabinho only because he raises the skill level, which is sorely lacking. Ideally, the DPs should fix that but the Union’s history with DPs is just dreadful.

      • We have players but most aren’t playing in their natural position. Do we get rid of Gaddis? of Williams? of Hoppenot? Macmath when it looks like he has turned the corner? lose the steadying presence of Carrol but accept he has a diminished role as he gets older? LeToux has no place or role on this team?
        We have holes to fill on this team. And we should acquire players to improve us. And there are areas where we need improvement and to improve established players must go. But I think many of our problems is more philosophical and financial and a revolving door of players won’t help.
        At times we suck, we suck so, so much. But take a breath throwing the baby out with the bathwater won’t help.

      • I appreciate the suggestion, but I won’t be writing that post. The team has some flaws, and they just got spanked, but there is plenty of talent on this team. Sieve is spot-on right: Many of the most talented players (Gaddis/Williams, Le Toux/McInerney, Okugo/Carroll, maybe even Casey/Wheeler) play the same position and therefore get nudged out of their comfort zones. I mean, any Keep list that doesn’t include Williams or Gaddis is going overboard.

    • If we’re going to get rid of Williams, we need to give Gaddis a shot on the right side. I don’t think anyone is saving any of the first 3 goals, especially the third, so I wouldn’t throw MacMath out either.

  14. I had to have an emergency root canal yesterday morning. I sat down to watch the game in the evening with a codine tylenol and a beer. Safe to say that the root canal sucked less than than my evening. I simply cannot understand how, assuming he is healthy, Kleberson is not playing. Can’t.

  15. That was unimaginably bad, or at least it was unimaginable before the game. Now that I have seen it, I am searching for descriptive terms. With Okugo, whom I generally like, two cards and the potential for an OG- that was almost as bad as Casper Wells the night before for the Phils. The weirdness started early, with Lahoud’s jersey drag within a minute and a half of getting into the game. I understand professional fouls and so on, but that was impressive. He was dragged five yards on the jersey. Later, it got to the point that I thought that the boys simply decided to pack it in and thug it up.

    Watching Rowe, I wonder if the book on MacMath is to fire from distance if you have a slight or moving screen of vision in front. Zach seemed to react slowly on both of those shots, and I wonder if he was having some difficulty with seeing them. Both were really cracked, but from that distance I thought that he would be closer to the shot on each.

    I wonder what reason was reported for Casey’s yellow card; if Casey said something to the ref, it could be justified, but that play was strange to watch and see the decision.

    Normally, I try to catch the replay of the game later in the week. I think that I would rather not this time. Ouch.

    • On your Rowe/MacMath point, I think the book he was following instead was the “if you have 30 years of free space in front of you, take a shot lad!”

    • No the book on MacMath is to get him rattled, something he has been getting less and less of.
      No dudes had an open look from space and the means to pull it off. If Macmath makes any of those saves it is a save of the year candidate.

    • i’m with tim, in that i feel macmath should have been closer to making those saves. i don’t know if he makes them but the space they ended up having made it seem he was out of position or slow to react.

  16. I got drunk, so until I checked the twitternet this morning, wasn’t completely sure that game wasn’t just a craft beer-fueled bad dream.

    Just like them, I finally stop beating the drum that their midfield is an albatross and this boring crap could take them towards a Cup final berth in a winnable East, and they just lay down.

    They knew before the match started that RBNY and SKC left the door open to grab a share of first, now we teeter on being outside the top 5. NER has a midweek match against TFC and could be above us by Thursday morning. And we get Marco Di Vaio with a patchwork back 4.

    Nice work team.

  17. Southside Johnny says:

    So this time the back line gets raped while the midfield watches just like the forwards who have fight for crap balls over the top with no support. The backs made it worse for themselves by trying to compensate and play midfield just like JackMac and Casey have been doing. With a minimally competent midfield and coach this team could go places. As it is, we are doomed to play the ugliest matches in the sport. I feel so bad for all the players and will continue to support them because even when they suck they play hard.

    • It’s utterly ridiculous that for the past few games CONOR CASEY has been our best midfielder!!!! Hackworth is watching the same games as us, and the fact he doesnt realize this and try to remedy the situation by playing torres or kleb is a joke

      • I think this is a little unfair. Hackworth *did* do something about the midfield yesterday – inserting Mike Farfan. It’s not the solution you want, but it was an attempted solution. You can argue – convincingly, I think – that Kleberson or Torres would’ve been better options, especially Kleberson once Daniel got hurt (but see my point below, too). But I don’t think you can say Hack did nothing. What he did turned out to be a colossal failure, but he did try something.

      • I dont count Marfan as a solution (or, atleast its a amateur level joke of a solution) as Farfan has been in and out of the lineup all year. He is ANOTHER player who has shown very little and we all know what he can (and cant do).
        So really, switching to the 4-5-1, and putting in a known underachiever like Farfan doesnt really give Hack anymore credit.

      • I’m not saying Hackworth deserves credit; I’m just saying Hackworth did exactly what you’re ripping him for not doing – he changed up the midfield. I’m all for ripping Farfan for playing terrible. I’m all for ripping Lahoud for playing terrible. I’m all for ripping Hackworth over the decision to put those two in.
        All I’m saying is you can’t honestly say Hackworth made no adjustments in the midfield, because he did. They just sucked.

      • Adding Marfan doesn’t count as changing up the midfield. He has been an interchangable part for the Union offense. (If you are having a problem with player x replace player X with Marfan)

  18. I thought Keon Daniel was actually playing decent – not great, just decent – before he got hurt. Rowe was his mark on the first goal, and Daniel came off right after it. So my assumption is that an unhurt Daniel does *something* on that play. But to me he seemed more active and more involved. granted, it was a pretty small sample size of 25 or so minutes…
    The midfield Mikes – Lahoud and Farfan – had terrible matches. I’m not even sure who had the worst match.
    LeToux has done a great job all year on corners and free kicks. Not last night. He had the one free kick that forced Reis to make a save, but his corners were terrible. That said, shouldn’t he have a secondary assist on Stone Foot’s goal? He passed to Casey, who passed to Stone Foot without any loss of possession in between.
    Finally, I think we all need to forget about Kleberson. He’s just the albatross we’re stuck with in order to get rid of Adu. The fact that he makes the 18 every week just doesn’t matter – it’s sort of like Roger Torres making the 18 at the start of the year. We all know he’s there, but we should also know that he’s not getting on the field. He’s just simply not going to play.

  19. Actually LeToux does a good job on corners and free kicks every other game, as in you can almost count on a good game bad game from him.

  20. Jaaaap Stam says:

    Why bring Lahoud into the game when you are down a goal? He has not played in monthes. Makes absolutely NO SENSE at all. Up a goal? Sure. I get it. But not down a goal. Dumb!

  21. An interesting twist to this match is that Allen Chapman was the ref when MacMath got bumped and spilled the ball which allowed Dallas to get a draw at PPL. Then last night, he makes that questionable call when Reis had no control of the ball.

    Not inferring that he hates the Union…I just found it interesting.

    • Chapman also did a game earlier this year at PPL Park that a lot of the commentariat on here said was the best-called match in a long time. I think the guy had some early success (from real assessors, not from us, of course) and it’s gone to his head, a la Geiger. He had some game-changing calls last week, too.
      If they guy was against the Union, why did he disallow that perfectly good goal vs. Dallas, right before the ‘MacMath got bumped’ incident?

      • I agree with you. As I said, I wasn’t trying to imply that Chapman was against the Union, I just found it to be an interesting contrast on a similar type of call. That’s all.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        I was really impressed with some of Chapman’s early season performances. Seemed very even-handed in his decision making and kept a level head. So much for that.

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