Photo Cred: Philadelphia Union
These last four weeks have been a bit underwhelming for the Union, considering their home draws and blown leads. With that said, Curtin's squad had a bounce back performance at Portland when they played a strong match in a 2-0 victory. Tonight, the Union hoped to end this difficult month with a road victory over the Revolution.
Harriel, Glesnes, Elliott, Wagner
Bedoya, Martinez, Flach, Gazdag
Bye, Farrell, Gonzalez, Jones
McNamara, Kaptoum, Gil
First Half Summary
We saw a change in today's lineup, as Paxten Aaronson earned his first start of the year. Uhre was on the bench, but he is still not ready to be in the starting lineup. Also, Carranza was suspended after he received a yellow card in Portland.
The first ten minutes were fairly quiet, although the Union did well to create some chances in the Rev's half. Regardless, neither keeper was tested early on.
One of the more dangerous moments for the Revolution came in the 15th minute. The Rev's earned a corner kick, and ultimately Bou found the ball at the top of the box. He was able to get a good strike on the ball, but thankfully it went to the right of Blake's net.
The pressure from New England continued over the next several minutes, and Philly could not keep the Revs out of their half. We saw an array of corner kicks and chances at net. Although Blake did not need to make any heroic saves, it was beginning to be clear that Philly could not get possession long enough to give the defense a break. This is where you missed Carranza being so dangerous for Philly. With Uhre on the bench, we hoped that the second half brought some more possession in New England's box.
Another missed opportunity from the Revs came in the 39th minute. New England moved down the right side of the field and sent a cross into the box. Bou was basically alone just feet from the net, but his header somehow went wide right of the post. The Union should have been down a goal, but were continuing to dodge bullets. The chaos continued for the next six minutes, but fortunately for the Boys in Blue, the ref awarded no stoppage time. The whistle blew and Philly looked to solve their issues in the locker room.
Second Half Summary
The second half had a much better start for Philly. They did well to link up some passes and keep possession for longer stretches in the attacking half. Overall, the Union had made a clear adjustment and seemed more settled into the match.
We know that Santos was dealing with an injury over the week, and today we had an earlier sub than usual for Jim. He made his first replacement by bringing in Cory Burke for Santos in the 56th minute. Have to wonder if that is to keep Sergio's legs intact, especially on a turf. For many Philly fans, this was not the move we wanted to see. Mikael Uhre was expected to play limited time, and bringing in Burke removed the pace that makes Santos so dangerous.
The Revs began to settle into the half and finally luck would go their way in the 75th minute. They were moving the ball into the box and tried to send a cross. Unfortunately for Philly, Jack Elliott's left arm made contact with the ball. The ref said it was not a handball, but after some review, VAR was needed. Sure enough, the Revs were awarded the penalty kick and Bou was able to squeak his shot passed Andre's outstretched arm. From watching the replay, I'm not quite sure what Elliott could have done to avoid contact with the ball. His body was turned, and his arm was a bit outstretched, but it ultimately appeared to be the right call.
With the Union now down a goal, Jim went to his bench and brought in Uhre and McGlynn. In the Press Conference, Curtin mentioned that he may have kept Mikael on the bench if the Revs did not score, but he thought the time was right. Well, the time was indeed right for Philly. Gonzalez had the ball in the New England box and was feeling pressure from Cory. This press caused a bad turnover, which found the foot of Mikael Uhre. He sent a strong one-timer at net and Turner couldn't keep it out. What an amazing turn of events for Philly. In the press conference, Mikael praised Burke for causing the pressure to lead to the gift of a goal. Considering Uhre has been absent for most of May, it was a nice welcome to the field for the Union's newest striker.
The match continued over the next 15 minutes, but ultimately neither team was able to get that second goal to secure the win. From watching the match, this does appear to be one that the Revs let slip away. They were the better team in the first half, and of course blew the lead within moments of earning it. Ultimately, the whistle blew and the Union stole a road point to end the month of May. The Boys in Blue now enter the international break with time to rest and prepare for Cincy.
- Mike Barrera (mbarrera1323)