Match previews / Union

Match preview: New England Revolution vs Philadelphia Union

Photo: Stephen Speer

Who: New England Revolution vs Philadelphia Union

What: MLS Regular Season

Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

When: Saturday, May 28, 2022, 7:30 p.m.

Watch: PHL17, ESPN+,

Whistle: Not available at publication

The reigning MLS Supporters’ Shield winners will meet the 2020 winners for the first time this season in Foxborough Saturday night, as New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union battle.

Both sides seem to be returning to that shield-winning form, as New England enters the matchup on a four-game unbeaten streak, and Philadelphia enters on a six-game unbeaten run. New England will be boosted by their form against Philadelphia in recent matchups, winning three and drawing one in their last four games with the Union.

Scouting Report: New England Revolution 

In recent months, New England has seen a turn in form, spanning an unbeaten run of five straight matches in all competitions since the end of the April, with that streak coming to an end Wednesday night with a defeat to NYCFC in the US Open Cup.

Spurring the Revs return to form has been striker Adam Buska, who has scored four goals in his last three MLS matches. Newcomer Sebastian Lletget also has seen a turn in form for New England, notching a goal and an assist in his last three matches. New England was also boosted by the return of USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner from injury, who made his return against Miami in late April, although Turner has failed to record a clean sheet.

New England’s biggest star, Carles Gil, has also been hot. The reigning MLS MVP has notched three goals and seven assists in his 12 games so far this year, linking the New England attack and midfield together. Joining Gil in the midfield are Lletget and Tommy McNamara who has also returned to goal -coring form in recent weeks. Matt Polster will play the more defensive role in the middle, shielding the New England backline.

In the back for New England is the pairing of Andrew Farrell and Henry Kessler is the middle, who have provided an aerial threat and good defensive recovery. On the right is Brandon Bye, who likes to join the attack and send crosses into the box to pick up assists. DeJuan Jones is taking up the left side, replacing Tajon Buchanan, who left for Europe in the offseason.

Injury Report: Questionable: Gustavo Bou, Jozy Altidore

Suspension Report:  None

Scouting report: Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia got back to winning ways last weekend with a late Sunday night road win in Portland, ending a run of five straight draws in the league. The Union will be searching for some goal scoring from their strikers again, as Julian Carranza will be suspended for yellow card accumulation and Mikael Uhre has been missing time with an injury as of late. Luckily, Sergio Santos scored his first goal of the MLS season against Portland, and will likely start.

Philadelphia under Jim Curtin rarely rotate their famous midfield diamond featuring leading goal scorer Daniel Gazdag at the tip leading and linking the attack. Behind him will be the ageless Alejandro Bedoya, and his partner on the left Leon Flach will be running the sides of the diamond. Providing the defense responsibility will be Jose Martinez, who returned from yellow card suspension with a strong outing against Portland.

Jacob Glesnes and Jack Elliott are the stalwart pairing in the back after coming off a clean sheet performance in Portland last weekend, with a little help from VAR. Nathan Harriel will be looking to keep his spot as right back as Olivier Mbaizo has seen action recently and will be hungry to claim a spot on Cameroon’s World Cup roster. Kai Wagner will take up his usual spot on the left, after a good outing in Portland grabbing an assist on Sergio Santos’ goal.

As always Andre Blake will be in net for Philadelphia looking to grab another clean sheet on the season after picking up his sixth clean sheet of the season.

Injury Report: Questionable: Mikael Uhre

Suspension Report:  Julian Carranza

Key Matchup Counter-attacking

New England is a side who likes to hold the ball and run the field quickly by building possession up field. Philadelphia on the other hand will look for New England to keep the ball and try to hit on the counter with Sergio Santos and Daniel Gazdag in counter attacking scenarios.

Player to Watch: Sergio Santos

Sergio Santos can be a threat on the counter with his speed and he has finally returned to goal scoring form. Santos will also be looking to stake a claim in the strikers’ room with Uhre injured.

Prediction:  Philadelphia 1-1 New England

Philadelphia keeps a hot team at bay at home but New England gets an equalizer to split the points.

Philadelphia = +255
New England = +110
Draw = +255


  1. I see a starting X not XI, who else do we think is getting ready to do some striking? Sullivan?

  2. Bring in Aaronson, let him have his breakout game..

  3. Deez Nuggs says:

    I was happy to see that New England ended up playing 120 minutes on Wednesday. They’ll be home, but they’ll be tired. If Bruce Arena subs for fresh legs, we have an advantage. If he doesn’t, we have an advantage.
    I suspect Burke and Santos up top. If I recall correctly, Sergio has had some success against NE in the past, and their backline isn’t the fastest.
    Looking back at last season, we had a draw and 2 very close games. AND that was during NE’s historic campaign and with the U playing rotated sides with the kids. Paxten got his first against NE.
    We’re better this year, and NE is not as good. So… feel free to hope.

  4. Tim Jones says:

    Here are the officials copied from PRO referees website.
    REF: Jon Freemon
    AR1: Jason White
    AR2: CJ Morgante
    4TH: Joshua Encarnacion
    VAR: Geoff Gamble
    AVAR: Fabio Tovar

  5. Why no mention about BA being sold to Leeds? No love for the old fellas?

  6. FCdelcioboyz says:

    Let’s s go union

  7. FCdelcioboyz2012s says:

    Looks like I’ve been banned because the mods are a bunch of woke puffs but can anyone shed some light on the BA move to Leeds…? How will it help the Union?

    • Andy Muenz says:

      According to the MLS website, “The Union will receive $5 million in their sell-on clause from the original deal that saw Aaronson join Salzburg in the winter of 2021. That brings the total package of that original deal to $14 million.”
      How the Union choose to invest that $5 million is another question.

    • Thanks for reading and for commenting. This is the match preview where we focus on the team’s next match. We publish a daily news round up that includes content you’re looking for, as well as columns throughout the week based on topics related to the Union. Comments aren’t fully posted until 5 minutes after the post, so that commenters have a chance to edit what they said before it goes live. But, we don’t have any time in this space for disrespect – please keep it cordial next time

  8. Andy Muenz says:

    Hard to really judge New England’s recent run of form against the Union since the Union were EXTREMELY shorthanded in the last two games due to CCL and international duty.

  9. Andy Muenz says:

    Just saw an article on the MLS website about the best XI so far in each conference. 4 Union players get the nod with several others getting mentioned. The most surprising was the one who ranked the following at his position:
    Tackles: 1st
    Interceptions: 1st
    Clearances: 1st
    Duels: 1st
    Aerials: 2nd
    Recoveries: 4th
    Blocked crosses: 1st
    Believe it or not, that’s Nathian Harriel!

    • Love it!! The kid is really good! Tack up another tally for Union development.
      Now we just need some depth behind him. Mbazio tries hard and I feel for the guy on a personal level, but he turns off at the wrong times and is a goal-allowed waiting to happen.

    • Deez Nuggs says:

      No surprise they had so many U. But those stats on Nathan … whoo.

    • I have no trouble believing any of that, and if he were first in aerials I would believe it too, he’s an absolute beast in the air.

    • Tim Jones says:

      Taking nothing away from Harriel, nothing, because he has amswered all the challenges to date in a way no previous Union right back has, he may also rank first in chances to acquire all those statistics because he has been attacked the most.
      if you are the opposing coach and you look at the Union’s back five where are you going to focus your attack? Blake? Not so much. Elliott? Nah. Glesnes? Only if you want Viking broadax in your skull. Wagner? Why was Julius Caesar’s cavalry bodyguard made up of Teutones?
      So who’s left. A 21-year-old-rookie? You betcha.
      The numbers say he’s met the challenge

  10. Andy Muenz says:

    Great shirts the team wore in pregame. End Gun Violence.

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