Union / Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-0 New England Revolution

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Union

A nice goal at a sharp angle from Sergio Santos meant the Philadelphia Union knocked out the New England Revolution late on Saturday night, possibly even Sunday morning. This hard fought win in the round of 16, means the Union advance to the quarterfinals match on Thursday night.

Starting a lineup many would expect, most notably, El Brujo made his return to the starting XI.

Neither team had any strong opportunities, but the Union’s defense looked strong from the beginning and the Revs allowed Kai Wagner and Ray Gaddis to move balls up the wings. Meanwhile, New England was content to let the Union have possession and create counterattacks as a result of long balls from Jack Elliott and Mark McKenzie.

Both teams created some exciting counterattacks, but everything would fall apart in the attacking third. As Taylor Twellman frequently said, too many bad passes or sloppy touches would come after a great pass or run.

Andre Blake had a strong save in the 35th minute, coming out and making himself large to block Tajon Buchanan’s shot, after noting Wagner was out of position. Sergio Santos had the Union’s best chance on goal in the second minute of stoppage time in the first half, moivng the ball through the box and shooting a bending ball just outside of the far post and a diving Matt Turner. Both Blake and Turner looked strong all match, although neither was seriously tested in the first half, which ended 0-0.

The second half started much the same, with a bit more pace as the urgency to score really set in. New England had the upper hand, having that extra bit of energy over Philly, enough that they controlled possession in Union territory. In the 56th minute Gustavo Bou took a free kick that resulted in a easy, but beautiful save from Blake. They maintained that control through the hour mark, but the Union struck anyways.

A pass from Wagner to Monteiro, who hit a ball that Santos ran onto, settled down using his thigh and hit the top shelf of the net to put the Union in the lead. He was then replaced by Ilsinho. The Revolution became more desperate, but still couldn’t finish, and so the game stretched out and Philly focused more on creating the counterattack that will lead to the nail in the coffin, goal number two. Nothing would come and the match ended 1-0. Bruce Arena was shown a red card for abusive language towards an official following the match, the true highlight of the evening.

Philadelphia moves on to the quarterfinals in the MLS is Back Tournament to face the winner of Sporting KC and Vancouver on Thursday at 8pm on ESPN.

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake; Kai Wagner, Mark McKenzie, Jack Elliott, Ray Gaddis; Jose Martinez, Jamiro Monteiro, Alejandro Bedoya (c), Brendan Aaronson (Warren Creavalle 83′); Sergio Santos (Ilsinho 64′), Kacper Przyblko (Andrew Wooten 88′)

Unused substitutes: Joe Bendik, Jakub Glesnes, Aurelien Collin, Matt Real, Olivier Mbaizo, Anthony Fontana, Jack De Vries, Matej Oravec, Michee Ngalina

New England Revolution

Matt Turner; Andrew Farrell, Antonio Delamea, Alexander Büttner, Brandon Bye; Tajon Buchanan (Teal Bunbury 67′), Kelyn Rowe, Wilifred Zahibo (DeJuan Jones 83′), Gustavo Bou (c), Cristian Penilla; Adam Buksa

Unused substitutes: Jeff Caldewell, Brad Knighton, Isaac Angking, Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez, Henry Kessler, Michael Mancienne, Justin Rennicks, Damian Rivera, Seth Sinovic

Scoring Summary

PHI – 63′ – Sergio Santos (Jamiro Monteiro)

Disciplinary Summary

NE – 90’+4′ – Bruce Arena – Red (abusive language towards officials)


  1. What did Arena say? Embarrassing for an icon of US soccer to be coaching the Revs. And to get a red card at the end of an elimination game. Not too classy.

    • Sara Griswold says:

      Not sure. It couldn’t be heard live and they obviously didn’t repeat it on the broadcast.
      It wasn’t even shown on the broadcast, but they mentioned him “voicing his frustrations” which can be taken in a lot of different ways. Definitely not a good look though.

  2. Wracked Opinion says:

    BLAKE: again!

    Love the intensity and energy Martinez brings.

    Bedoya looked rather heavy-legged and a step slow all night.

    Hopefully Kacs is ok and fit for Thursday.

    Would like to see consistently better spacing, finishing runs and less defensive breakdowns.

    Clearly part of the defensive issues are the Mids struggling to cover when Gaddis and Wagner push forward.

    No risk: no reward though, perhaps?

    Going to be interesting to see how far this unit can accomplish.

    • I agree. I hated Bedoya’s game. He was slow and killed the flow with some bad touches/passes. I’m thinking of one square pass in the first half, near the top of the 18.

    • It was clear that Ale had heavy legs this game.
      He is the heart and soul of this team though, so they need to find a way to rest him in this tournament and compressed season without too much of a reduction in quality or urgency.
      Might be nice to have Fontana get the start Thursday and have Ale come in at half with fresh legs.

  3. whatever and by whatever, I mean by any-means-necessary-whatever it-takes for Bruce Arena to taste defeat is a worthwhile cause in my book.
    otherwise. advancing against a team that outplayed them. as a buddy said, Union won that game in text book fashion. force a turnover, two passes later goal. it is assuredly not my cup of matcha but it worked tonight.

    • Wracked Opinion says:

      I hear and feel both your “whatever”, plus your “not my cup of match”… LOL!

      It’s another — and huge– win, but their style too seems often unsustainable for them to progress, or continue to sustain.

      After following this team, I’m resolved that they will win GRITTY and not often pretty.

      So, I try to just pray from match to match and take it how it comes: each one.

      I will say that the secondary enjoyable bonus from tonight was the Arena end game meltdown… 😀

  4. Gritty win. Santos takes his chance. Bedoya as said above was beat. He did not play all that well and needed to be subbed by the 60th if not sooner. Blake once again putting on a showcase. Arena crying is always a pleasure to see.

  5. Andy Muenz says:

    Another fantastic showing by Blake.
    Monteiro played his best game of the tournament. Not only did he have the assist on the goal he had another great pass to put Aaronson past the last defender.
    Good to see Wooten healthy enough to play again.
    As long as they last in the tournament (including last night), the Union will have at least one additional day’s rest over each of their opponents.

    • In Tanner We Trust says:

      Funny, that sorta thing always seems to go against us, and Philly teams in general. We wouldn’t necessarily need it as much if Jim does some rotating. We’ll see.

    • Monteiro was the best player on the pitch for the Union last night. Blake was excellent, as was the whole back line.

  6. John Powers says:

    Aaronson’s motor just doesn’t have an off switch. He’s the catalyst.

  7. Chris Gibbons says:

    I thought last night was an enormous step forward in match day progress from the group stage. It was absolutely still a step and a touch off, but man there were glimmering moments.

    • In Tanner We Trust says:

      Agreed, much smoother

    • On defense, surely. The offense is still most definitely a work in progress.

    • El Brujo is a fantastic addition as long as he stays under control. He is a destroyer at holding mid and someone the back line can trust to shield them. It is not a big surprise that their worst defensive game came without him on the field.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: