Union roll past Revs, take sole possession of first place in Eastern Conference

Carlos Ruiz (Getty)

By IAN HOLLIDAY

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution supporters groups organized a walkout in the 17th minute of Sunday night's game against the Philadelphia Union at Gillette Stadium in protest of the so-called "Fortgate" incident. Aside from a red card to Benny Feilhaber, they didn't miss much in the remaining 73 minutes.

The visitors got goals from Carlos Ruiz and Carlos Valdez in the 11th and 24th minutes, respectively, and never looked back, cruising to a 3-0 win and sole possession of first place in the MLS Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia (8-4-7, 31 points) played its usual solid, defensive game. What set the teams apart wasn't so much the Union's quality as it was the Revolution's ineptitude. The Revs (3-9-7, 16 points) had no shots in the first half, and roughly 40 percent of the possession in the game. The loss extends the Revolution's winless streak to nine games.

The Union's first goal came before the protesting fans departed. Justin Mapp's 11th-minute cross found Keon Daniel at the far post, and the midfielder headed the ball back across the 6-yard box, where Ruiz delivered it home with a leaping kick.

Philadelphia's second goal looked a lot like the first, except that it came on a set piece in the 24th minute. Union midfielder Kyle Nakazawa found a diving Sebastian Le Toux at the back post. The Frenchman headed back toward the middle, where another Carlos, this time the defender Valdes, karate-kicked it home.

New England's poor first-half performance led head coach Steve Nicol to quip that his team was "playing like a bunch of schoolboys," during his in-game interview on the Revs' TV broadcast.

Nicol reiterated his assessment of the first half after the game.

"I think the first half was maybe the worst since I've been here, to be honest," he said.

The Revolution switched to a 3-5-2 formation at the start of the second half and were looking better until the 66th minute, when Feilhaber received a second yellow card for a hard foul on Ruiz. The game was more evenly matched from that point on, with the Revs continuing to play improved soccer, and the Union returning to their consistent first-half form.

Defender Sheanon Williams added a third for the visitors with the last kick of the game, running onto a Danny Mwanga lead pass behind the Revolution defense and firing a low shot past goalkeeper Matt Reis into the far corner of the net.

A New England native, Williams said he had hoped to score a goal for some of the members of his family who were in the stands.

"It was definitely a great experience for me," Williams said after the game.

More important than achieving his personal goal, however, was moving closer to achieving the team goal of winning the Eastern Conference, Williams said.

"In the East, anything can happen," he said. "We've got to get points. We're in a tight race at the top with New York and Columbus, and we want to separate ourselves. All year we've been saying that we want to be number one, and right now we are."

Both clubs will be back in action on weekdays this week. The Revolution travel to D.C. United on Wednesday night, while the Union will return home to for friendlies English club Everton on Wednesday and Spanish giants Real Madrid on Saturday.

This entry was posted in MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- Philadelphia Union. Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Union roll past Revs, take sole possession of first place in Eastern Conference

  1. jeremy says:

    Feilhaber getting a second yellow for a foul on Ruiz is like karma. Best served cold.

  2. Chupacabra says:

    Every USSF ref should be forced to watch a continuous loop of Ruiz rolling on the ground clutching his right ankle with their eyes wired open Clockwork Orange-style. Maybe then one of them will have the sense to yellow card him for faking injury and making a mockery of the game.

  3. RJ says:

    New England has really sank pretty deep this year. Stevie Nichol is a great coach but it may be time for the team and him to seperate themselves.

  4. Kyle says:

    Twellman just gave the audience a “Meow” at the request of a SOB via Twitter. Funny stuff. Wow, how bad are the Revs. Decent enough crowd but NE gave them nothing to cheer for. Union supporter but I almost feel bad for the good people of NE.

  5. Rlw2020 says:

    Good for the fans of NE standing up for themselves. That ownership/management is denying a great region of this country from good soccer. The team needs to be sold asap or some sort of mutiny!

  6. chris says:

    Its scary the crew are still in contention for first in the east

  7. Michael Johnson says:

    Crowd wasn’t decent. 90% of the cheering you heard was from the visiting SOB fans. Deadest game I have ever attened, including Open Cup games.

  8. Peter says:

    RBNY will prevail in the end.

  9. SeasonTixNoMore says:

    Following the Revs closely for 8 or so years and being at the game tonight, I can safely say this is the lowest point I’ve seen the team. Dejected players, coach, supporter’s sections and fans. The management still continues to talk about progress but we see none. What it comes down to is the product on the field and it has been in decline since their last cup appearance. Who will be held responsible? It’s bad enough now that accountability should come into play.

    Of course, when your owners consider you second class citizens to their golden child (Patriots), how can you point the finger to anyone but them?

  10. mikey says:

    If points were awarded for friendlies, possibly.

  11. Scott A says:

    Philly would play friendlies if anyone wanted to play them in friendlies.

  12. Rev up those Revs says:

    I hate watching this team. I hate Robert Kraft. We are a cancer to the growth of MLS. Good night everyone.

  13. Brian says:

    We played Celtic and Man United last year, and we’re playing Everton and Real Madrid this year. You’re completely right dude no one wants to play us in friendlies. What an idiot

  14. Scott A says:

    Too funny. Perhaps me eliciting your response was planned to show mikey how accurate his statement was? Perhaps showing him that Philly plays friendlies too? Thanks for the desired response.

    Now calling me an idiot is just mean :) You Philly people sure are paranoid. Must be the whole “Transfer targets calling Philadelphia an ugly city” thing.

  15. LiquidYogi says:

    So Feilhaber deliberately taking him down after the ball was gone wasn’t making a mockery of the game? Ruiz definitely makes a meal of things but maybe complain about that when he isn’t fouled so stupidly by a player who just wanted his red so he could get out of that game.

  16. Bundy, Al - Polk High #33 says:

    Speaking of Ruiz….there’s “Something about Ruiz”.

    At least that’s what I think when I see that hairstyle…an ode’ to Cameron Diaz, apparently.

    ==============

    On topic: Fortgate incident? Any more reporting on that minor (/major) topic other than a brief mention?

    Without researching it, I hope it was just a general protest towards ownership and their lack of effort in actually caring about the product and the stadium the product plays in.

  17. Bundy, Al - Polk High #33 says:

    Ever read the “Boy who cried Wolf”?

  18. Bundy, Al - Polk High #33 says:

    I’d love to see him with an ownership group like RedBull, ie a team that puts money into scouting, signing and winning, and see how successful he could be as a manager.

    I’ll say this, Nichol would travel with his team to Cup matches, if ya know what I mean.

  19. LiquidYogi says:

    Yes I see your point…but in this play Feilhaber deserved a yellow card.

  20. PD says:

    I’m a union fan and I’m not sure that it was worthy of a yellow when I saw the replay…

  21. PD says:

    Like Everton and Real Madrid, right? Dolt.

  22. PD says:

    This is such a sad state of affairs for one of the FOUNDING TEAMS of the MLS. The fans and players deserve more.

    Here’s a thought — the players staff and season ticket holders should stage some kind of stoppage at a match with national TV coverage, something like a “this is bologna BBQ”. Keep the match from being played. They should even use KRAFT products.

    It could be a really fun way to highlight what is an otherwise really depressing situation.

    If nothing else it MIGHT get more media scrutiny…

  23. brant says:

    You know that Robert Kraft has nothing to do with Kraft foods, right? If you’re just making a play on the name, it’s cute. But if you’re trying to imply that somehow the food business has affected the soccer team, it’s inaccurate.

  24. brant says:

    Can someone tell us what “Fortgate” was?

  25. dan a says:

    yeah… the stage a walk out and yet the stadium sounds as quiet as when they are in it.

  26. dan a says:

    when the NE supporters walked out. funny though, no one really noticed when they left since it’s usually quiet in that end.

  27. Andy says:

    Still higher attendance than Dallas haha!

  28. USAmr says:

    I think it has something to do with a bunch of fans being thrown out of a game a few weeks ago for swearing. This happened in the supporters section.

  29. Dwayne says:

    @Dan
    It’s never quiet in that end. That’s where the supporters groups sit.

    @brant
    link to thedrugisfootball.com

  30. crosswiredmind says:

    Yep, ugly just like every other American city. You will notice that he didn’t sign for any MLS team.

    And yes, your comment above does make you look quite uninformed. To claim it was troll bait – that makes you look like an idiot.

  31. bryan says:

    god, the Revs are in a downward spiral.

  32. Scott A says:

    Nope, Pires specifically claimed that Philly is “not a beautiful city” and that he’s envious of Henry playing for a New York team.

    You really think that I don’t know that Philadelphia Union has played in friendlies? Hell, I went to one. Is it Philly standard practice to think of words like dolt and idiot as wit? The original poster was intimating that the Red Bulls were hampered by friendlies. I successfully made the point that Philly plays in friendlies just as often.

    God damn are you guys desperate for a rival. Truly a city and people loved by all.

  33. crosswiredmind says:

    That was a far better attempt at troll baiting. With practice, you could even graduate to BigSoccer.

  34. Scott A says:

    So, first I was pretending to troll bait after the fact? Now I was troll baiting all along but got better the second time? You can’t make up the rules as you go along Chester slum boy. I’ve found that troll is a catchall word for people whose wit has been detrimentally affected by the internet. It was never trolling; it was banter to point out that everyone plays friendlies.

    Your wit can increase if you slow up on the donuts. I’ve seen you crosswiredmind….and yeesh…big boy.

  35. crosswiredmind says:

    LOL! Yes, when all else fails fall back on the oldest form of ad hominem there is – the “your fat” comeback. I take it back, you don’t need any more practice to play in the BigSoccer sandbox. Enjoy.

  36. Scott A says:

    It’s spelled “you’re” oh so typical Philadelphian :)

    Nice job ignoring everything else I said because facts are not your friend.

    Chester: late to the MLS party. Late to acquire wit.

  37. crosswiredmind says:

    Note the quotes. LOL!

  38. Scott A says:

    LOL Philly thinking they matter in the world LOL LOLLOLLOL

  39. inkedAG says:

    I wish RB’s supporters could do something like this.