The Union have seven players away for international duty, and Jack Elliott was suspended for tonight's match. Philly was forced to play the kids tonight, as they welcomed New England into Chester.
Wagner, Findlay, Glesnes, Harriel
Flach, Aaronson, Sullivan
Jones, Kessler, Farrell, Bye
Traustason, Polster, Kaptoum, McNamara
First Half Summary
It was quiet in the opening minutes for both teams, which was perfectly fine for the Union after the drama in DC. The kids began to get settled into the match, and the first 15 minutes had some offensive promise. Even with a bunch of teenagers, the Union looked confident, aggressive, and prepared for their first place foes.
The Union's best scoring chance of the first half hour came in the 30th minute. Paxten calmly found Sullivan, who then fed a surging Leon Flach. He pushed the ball into the box, but his strong left-footed strike was gathered by Knighton. What was most impressive was how well the two teenagers did there to push the ball up the pitch. Unfortunate that Leon is still lacking in the offensive end of the field.
The Union looked like the more dangerous of the two teams, but sometimes the ball doesn't go your way. Harriel was given a yellow card in the 33rd minute after he brought down Jones from behind. It wasn't a hard foul, but Harriel clipped his heels. A free kick then soared into the box, but Flach was beaten by Polster. The Revolution midfielder put it into the back of the net, and the Revolution found themselves up 1-0. Gut wrenching moment for Philly, who had done so well in possession prior to this moment.
The Revs laid some hard fouls on several Union players as the half came to a close, but the whistle consistently remained silent. Philly was able to earn a corner to end the first half, but ultimately the teams went into the locker room with a 1-0 score on the board.
Second Half Summary
New England had a scoring opportunity in the 49th minute. Bye sent a nice cross into the box, and a leaping Kizza was able to connect with his head. Fortunately for Philly, the ball sailed over the crossbar.
Union also took a chance at net early on. Sullivan found Bedoya by the top of the Revs box, and the Captain took a weak shot from about 20 yards out. Too easy for the keeper there, especially with Bedoya's left foot.
Philly began to knock on the door before the 60th minute. Speaking of knocks, Curtin mentioned that Bedoya had hurt his left ankle during practice, and the Captain was brought down hard in the 55th minute. Traustason was shown the yellow, and fans can only hope that Bedoya's ankle is holding up this late in the season.
Traustason was put into the book again in the 59th minute. Harriel did a nice job to dispossess him, and the Revs midfielder held onto the Philly homegrown's jersey. An easy yellow card for the ref to call, and Philly finally found some fortune. Union would play the final thirty minutes up a man.
Paxten wanted to take matters into his own hands. The Medford NJ product sent an absolute screamer at net from the top of the box, but it was just barely sent out for a corner. This led to another set piece, as Kai was brought down hard along the side of the box. That said, the Revs were able to clear it away, and they began to bring on subs to help park the bus in front of the Boys in Blue.
Kacper has been eaten alive by the fans over the last several matches, but he had a chance to shut his doubters up in the 70th minute. A ball found the top of the forward's head, who sent a strong shot from the top of the box. It was far too direct though to threaten Knighton, who was able to calmly secure it.
The Union had a counter attack led by Quinn Sullivan, but a turnover resulted in a Revs push toward net. Bedoya then had a risky dive, which ended up catching a New England player. He was shown a yellow card. Coach Curtin then made the move everyone was waiting for. Davo was brought into the match, as was Anthony Fontana. Harriel and McGlynn came off the pitch, and Philly adjusted to three in the back.
Even with a man down, the Revolution almost made it 2-0 in the 75th minute. Caldwell found the ball inside the box, but his one timer shot went well over the net. He would have easily beaten Bendik with a better touch, and I'm not sure how he missed that one.
Another booking for Philly. Quinn Sullivan was shown a yellow after he had a tackle on McNamara. Not too hard of a foul, but the ref still thought it deserved a booking.
Fontana tried getting Davo involved early. Anthony gave the Union's newest player the ball by the top of the box, and he quickly turned and took a chance at goal. His right-footed shot forced the keeper to make a save, but it wasn't a very strong shot.
Fontana's name was called again just seconds later, but this time it was from the ref. Anthony brought down a Revs player by the heel, in an almost identical fashion as Harriel had done earlier. Easy yellow for the official to give.
It didn't seem like Philly was up a man during the final 20 minutes. Although they had a couple of set pieces and crosses, there wasn't that final moment that truly tested the Revs defense. That seems to summarize the Union this year. They can bring the ball into the final third, but there just isn't enough connection to become a high-scoring club.
Tension grew between the two squads during the final ten minutes. Several players had been bickering throughout the match, but the real eye-opening moment came right before the final whistle. The Union earned a throw-in, and Kessler not only kicked one ball into the stands, but he threw the replacement ball into the stands too. Bedoya, who had been reaching for the throw, was obviously livid. Players from both sides joined in the verbal war, including Cole Turner who had come into the match in the 84th minute. Glesnes was also seen giving Kessler a gentle shove, and the New England defender dramatically fell to the ground. This only added more fuel to the already growing fire. The final whistle was heard after four minutes of stoppage time, but the arguing continued. Kacper and Kai were caught on camera chirping at the Revs as they returned into the locker room, and unfortunately this tension added salt into the wound of a 1-0 loss.
Hard to be upset at the effort given from the young players. Considering Philly was missing eight players, a loss was expected. The more frustrating thing is how ineffective this team continues to look when trying to score. This was highlighted when Bedoya was six yards away from the net, with a clear shot at goal, but he elected to send a pass into the crowded box. This left Union fans screaming, as it was the wide open chance at goal that Philly was searching for the entire half.
Philly now has 12 days to regroup and prepare to host Club America on September 15th. You'd hope that Philly would have some positive momentum entering this match, but the Boys in Blue have now lost 3 straight games.
- Mike Barrera (mbarrera1323)