Saturday night, the New England Revolution romped over the Philadelphia Union 5-3 at PPL Park in Chester, PA, for a crowd of 18,812. The definitive win extended the team's unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1), including four straight wins, and the victory was the Revolution’s first-ever at PPL Park.
New England (6-3-2, 20 pts.) now stand atop the Eastern Conference and third overall in MLS. Philadelphia (2-6-5, 11 pts.) fell to eighth in the East and 13th overall.
Five different Revolution players scored goals, while three players – Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen and Chris Tierney – each scored one goal and added one assist. Rookie Patrick Mullins added his third goal in three consecutive games and A.J. Soares scored the go-ahead goal.
"A lot of guys stepped up tonight, a lot of guys took their chances and we’re going to win a lot of game if people take their chances like that,” said goalkeeper Brad Knighton.
Knighton made his first start of the season after Bobby Shuttleworth suffered a concussion in training on Thursday. The victory was Knighton’s first MLS since July 14, 2013 and he is now 14-11-9 in his MLS career. Shalrie Joseph (calf), Kevin Alston (hamstring) and Jose Goncalves (quadriceps) were also unavailable due to injury.
Soares started the scoring in the 13th minute with a header off Tierney’s free kick and 19 year-old Fagundez soon made it 2-0 with an assist from Teal Bunbury. In the 36th minute, Philadelphia fought back with a goal from Vincent Nogueira and left the score 2-1 at the break. Four minutes into the second half, Nguyen scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season, assisted by Daigo Kobayashi, and 10 minutes later Tierney scored a spectacular free kick goal, his seventh career goal and the game winner, to put the game out of reach at 4-1. Rookie Mullins then scored in his third goal in three consecutives games by combining with Fagundez.
The Union came back with a goal from Sheanon Williams, but suffered another blow in the 82nd minute when Cristian Maidana was ejected for a tackle on Steve Neumann. Still, Philadelphia battled on and Sebastien Le Toux brought the final score to 5-3 in stoppage by converting a penalty kick after Andrew Farrell fouled Antoine Hoppenot in the penalty area.
"I think there were some moments of some really good stuff that we did and the last fifteen minutes we didn’t really love," said coach Jay Heaps. "But, I thought we did some good things."
The Revolution will next host D.C. United on Saturday, May 24, at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet
NE – A.J. Soares (Chris Tierney) 13
NE – Diego Fagundez (Teal Bunbury, Lee Nguyen) 26
PHI – Vincent Nogueira (Danny Cruz) 36
NE – Lee Nguyen (Daigo Kobayashi) 49
NE – Chris Tierney (unassisted) 57
NE – Patrick Mullins (Diego Fagundez) 67
PHI – Sheanon Williams (Austin Berry, Sebastien LeToux) 76
PHI – Sebastien LeToux (penalty kick) 92+’
New England Revolution: Brad Knighton, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Darrius Barnes, Diego Fagundez (Kelyn Rowe 69), Lee Nguyen, Andy Dorman © (Steve Neumann 75), Daigo Kobayashi (Scott Caldwell 60), Teal Bunbury, Patrick Mullins
Substitutes Not Used: Larry Jackson, Charlie Davies, Stephen McCarthy, O’Brian Woodbine
STATS: Shots 16, Shots on target 10, Saves 4, Corner kicks 2, Offsides 1, Fouls 10, Possession 44.7%, Passes 294 (71.4%)
Philadelphia Union: Zac MacMath, Sheanon Williams, Austin Berry, Aaron Wheeler (Antoine Hoppenot 52), Raymon Gaddis, Danny Cruz (Sebastien LeToux 61), Leo Fernandes (Zach Pfeffer 73), Amobi Okugo ©, Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana, Andrew Wenger
Substitutes Not Used: Andre Blake, Conor Casey, Fred, Ethan White
STATS: Shots 20, Shots on target 7, Saves 5, Corner kicks 9, Offsides 3, Fouls 12, Possession 55.3%, Passes 362 (76.0%)
PHI – Austin Berry (caution) 67
PHI – Amobi Okugo (caution) 78
PHI – Cristian Maidana (ejection) 82
NE – Lee Nguyen (caution) 88
Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Corey Parker (AR1), Craig Lowry (AR2)
Fourth Official: Hilario Grajeda