A listless Philadelphia Union fell to the New England Revolution 3-0 at Gillette Stadium on two goals by Kei Kamara and one by Juan Agudelo.
Union first XI: McCarthy, Wijnaldum, Onyewu, Elliott, Gaddis; Medunjanin, Bedoya; Epps (Picault 60’), Alberg (Ilsinho 60’), Pontius (Simpson 84’); Sapong
New England first XI: Cropper; Caldwell, Milnar Delamea, Angoua, Farrell; Koffie, Fagundez (Watson 83’), Rowe, Nguyen (Hollinger-Janzen 90’); Bunbury (Agudelo 67’), Kamara.
Chris Pontius was back in the starting lineup after getting to hoist the CONCACAF Gold Cup as part of the US Men’s National Team. The other Union player in that Gold Cup match, Andre Blake, was not, as he suffered a hand injury in that game, and will miss at least a couple of matches.
Head coach Jim Curtin went with pretty much the same lineup that beat Columbus 3-0 on Wednesday, the only change being Pontius taking the right wing spot in place of Ilsinho.
There was a little bit of excitement early, when in the 4th minute, Teal Bunbury ran past the Union back line and only had John McCarthy to beat, but somehow, at almost point blank range, he missed the target.
The next 30 minutes was a display of uninspired, boring soccer. But in the 38th minute, Kamara brought some life into the game when he scored his first goal. A cross from Andrew Farrell found Scott Caldwell at the top of the penalty arc. Roland Alberg was there too, but was unable to clear the ball, and Caldwell passed to it his left where it found Kelyn Rowe, who lobbed it into the center of the 18-yard box. Kamara made a dangerous leap with McCarthy coming out to challenge him. He managed to get his foot on the ball and deflected it in for the first goal.
Early in the second half, the Revs almost got an insurance goal. Bunbury and Diego Fegundez got past the Union defense. As McCarthy came out to challenge Bunbury, the ball was passed to Fegundez who found himself with the ball at the edge of the 6-yard box and no one in between him and the goal. Fegundez hesitated a split second to take the shot, which gave Jack Elliott just enough time to run back and slide in to block the shot.
The Union were still only down by one, and tried to put pressure on the New England defense, but were too often unable to maintain possession. Finally, Kamara put the game away in the 85th minute when he was on the receiving end of an Andrew Farrell cross, and nicely finished it.
Four minutes later, Juan Agudelo added insult to injury when he headed in a cross from Caldwell to make the final score 3-0.
The Union looked like a totally different team from the one which we saw beat Columbus Wednesday night. Pontius was invisible, neither Haris Medujanin nor Alejandro Bedoya were sharp, and the subs were ineffective. This might have been Giliano Wijnaldum’s worst performance in a Union kit, as he consistently gave the ball away and got drawn out of position.
With the three points earned, New England is now even with the Union in points at 28 each, good for 8th place in the Eastern Conference. The boys in blue are still in the playoff hunt, but they need to start playing better on the road if want to get over that red line.
The Union now return to the friendly confines of Talen Energy Stadium, but their next match won’t be cakewalk as they this take on the Western Conference’s second place team, FC Dallas.