Revolution score five in rout of Union

RoweCelebrates1-Galaxy (USATodaySports)

By KEVIN KOCZWARA

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. —The New England Revolution made a statement to the rest of the Eastern Conference on Sunday evening.

The Philadelphia Union had no answer for the Revolution’s young attacking tandem of Diego Fagundez, Juan Agudelo, and Kelyn Rowe, as the trio scored four goals and forced an own goal from Amobi Okugo, who was also sent off, in a 5-1 rout at Gillette Stadium. The Union (10-8-8, 38 pts.), who had two goals called back in the second half, struggled to continue their recent strong defensive form, while the Revolution (10-9-6, 36 pts.) was able to exploit space and finish their scoring chances..

“I think there’s some plays that are made early in that second half and we felt like we did all the right things coming out of the locker room at half-time and had the momentum and get the equalizer and feel like we got the go-ahead goal twice and for whatever reason the officials felt otherwise,” said Union head coach John Hackworth to reporters after the game. “It’s incredibly hard to take that part of it because it changes so much. And then you got to give New England credit because they were really good. I mean, Kelyn [Rowe] has two fantastic goals and they kept going after it.”

Rowe opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a low shot that beat Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath. The Revs’ midfielder found space after patient build-up play from center-back Jose Goncalves and Chad Barrett, who set up Rowe with a pass into space. Rowe took Barrett’s pass and, thanks to Agudelo and Fagundez dragging defenders with separate runs off the ball, was able to place a shot low and out of  MacMath’s reach.

The Revolution had a chance to put the game out of reach for the Union in the waining minutes of the first half when Fagundez found space down the right of the field and set-up Agudelo, alone inside the Philadelphia penalty area, but the forward couldn’t turn his shot on frame and sent it wide of the goal.

The Union came out in the second half and put the Revolution under pressure and, if not for some unlucky calls and timing, could have taken the lead.

“I thought it was a good start for us. We came out with the right mentality and we had a nice goal. I thought our first half was really good, and we probably should have had a second goal right before half,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps after the game. “And then the second half, really credit John Hackworth and credit Philly.

“They came out and changed their formation and really changed the tempo of the game and unfortunately we didn’t react real well until we were tied. But then, as we managed and figured out what we were doing, we had a couple communications that opened it up and we were able to turn the game around.”

Danny Cruz equalized for the Union in the 50th minute after getting on the end of a Conor Casey through-ball and rounding New England goalkeeper Matt Reis to put the ball in the back of the net.

The Union were then unlucky in the 53rd minute when defender Sheanon Williams shot blistered past Reis off the far-post and fell to Sebastien Le Toux unmarked in the box, but the Union forward was ruled offside and his goal was called back.

The visitors had a second goal called back by referee Allen Chapman in the 56th minute. Casey, again, was in the middle of the mess. The forward from Dover, NH, collided with Revolution defender A.J. Soares and Reis as the Revolution goalkeeper seemed to lose control of the ball in his hands and Casey poked it into the back of the net. But Chapman blew the whistle for a foul on Casey and called the goal back. It was the second goal called back on the Union, and Cruz felt it was harsh to bring it back.

“I think that calling back that second goal – the second goal that Conor [Casey] had – I think it was unfair to us,” Cruz said after the game. “We worked very hard to get in the position that we were in and unfortunately, I feel like the refereeing was very one-sided and that goal kind of epitomized the night for us, I feel like.”

The Union would never recover from its missed opportunities and New England was able to make the most of a stretched and frustrated Union side. The Revolution fought back, recouped and stormed the Union goal with one counter-attack after another.

“I thought we came out flat at half and I hate that,” said Heaps. “I am really disappointed in that, but I am proud of the way the guys reacted.”

The Revolution regained their composure and took back the lead in the 58th minute when Fagundez found space on the right and laid off a pass to Agudelo, much like int he first half, and the 20-year-old forward struck a low shot off of a sliding Okugo and wrong-footed MacMath.

Rowe then gave New England a cushion and put the Revolution on their way to a rout with a 30-yard strike that dipped and swerved into the top-corner of MacMath’s net in the 65th minute. The Union goalkeeper never had a chance to save the shot. It was Rowe’s third goal in the last two games.

“It’s one of those where if you make one, you want to make two, three, four,” Rowe said. “For me, [the first goal] just gave me that little bit of confidence to hit that second one.”

Fagundez added a fourth goal in the 71st minute on another quick counter-attack that was started by a pass from teammate Scott Caldwell that put the 18-year-old one-on-one with Okugo and the Revs’ forward got the best of the Union defender and snuck a shot just inside the near post.

Agudelo put the game out of reach two minutes later when he blasted a shot into the top of the net after a slick pass from Fagundez to Dimitry Imbongo, who flicked the ball to Agudelo alone inside the Union penalty area.

The Union came into Sunday’s game with the Revolution in good form, especially defensively. Philadelphia had kept four clean sheets in it last five games. The Union will be without Okugo, who was sent off in extra-time, when they host the Montreal Impact next weekend.

With the win, New England moved ahead of the Houston Dynamo into the final playoff spot, fifth place, in the Eastern Conference and just two points behind Philadelphia with a game in hand on the Union. The Revolution have a short week this week, though, and will visit Toronto FC on Friday.

Here are the match highlights:

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13 Responses to Revolution score five in rout of Union

  1. Eric says:

    When we are on we are one and its great to watch.

  2. bombast says:

    #FireHack

    • Pace says:

      #NotGoingToHappen

      • sef-one says:

        I liked the Union and watched pretty much every game over the past two years. By the end of last season I was sick of Hackworth and his tactics and player choices. I just stopped watching or caring for the team. I really like Okugo, MacInerny, Casey, LeToux, Torres, and sometimes the Farfans; but can’t get behind Cruz or Daniels.

        Hacks choices to bench Torres, the brazilian dude and the Soumare and Adu debacles were enough to make me root against the Union. It’s more fun to watch Seattle, Portland, RSL and pretty much any other team than the Union. #FireHack

  3. PD says:

    I understand that calls sometimes don’t go your way, but to have TWO goals disallowed… and your prime CB sent off in extra time… Makes you wonder.

    • downintexas says:

      Nah, first goal disallowed Le Toux was offsides. The second goal could’ve gone either way, a bit unfair for the Union. And Okugo got sent off in the last few seconds of the game.

      • PD says:

        No I agree that the calls were understandable, it’s just tough to watch when the call karma doesn’t let up like that, no matter what team is on the receiving end of it. It doesn’t change the fact the the Revs played well and the Union played about the way we can expect this lineup to play.

        It’s been so hard for me to get behind this team this year… and I really, really want to. I’m encouraged by Williams, Okugo, Hoppenot and McInerny, but the rest of the team either leaves me underwhelmed or downright disappointed. Moreover, I can’t shake the feeling that it seems like the more of a technical and imaginative player you are in Hack’s system, the further you are pushed to the periphery. I get that this is still a pretty young side, and I appreciate the value of demonstrating a strong work ethic week in and week out, but if you are relying on Keon Daniel and Michael Farfan to be your offensive engine/masterminds, I’m just not buying what you’re selling. If Torres and Kleberson aren’t the answer the trade them and get someone in who might be. Plus, there is only so much upside you’re gonna get from players like Lahoud, Gaddis, Cruz and Macmath–all “good” but not really sold on any of them as starters.

        NYRB was the first time the guys really punched above their weight class, but last night was more of what I’ve been seeing all season–when the chips are down, this team does not have the players it takes to push through.

    • Pace says:

      Alright man, we sucked. We deserved to lose. And all the calls that have gone our way this season are why we are in a playoff position. When the calls don’t go our way, this is what happens. I agree with your second post, I think a lot of fans are feeling the same, but nothing is going to change with hack and sack in charge.

  4. Jack says:

    Union fan here and the way the played last night was terrible to watch. I understand if Casey’s goal goes in, it’s a different game but they have to realize every call isn’t going to be perfect. Once that goal was disallowed, Phily imploded and if they want to do well in the playoffs they need to keep their cool for 90 minutes. Nonetheless, that was a great performance by the Revs.

    • downintexas says:

      Wish there were more fans out there like you! San Jose you all could learn from this guy.

  5. Matt says:

    enough of Daniel and ENOUGH of Barfan. These 2 fools have no business on the pitch with Kleberson and Torres and the bench. How much more poor play from these staples of the Union midfield must we take before Hack-worthless wakes up!!!!

    • Josh D says:

      I’ve been shocked that Philly have kept Torres on the bench for so long. He was quality during Philly’s first season. Sure he was young and rough around the edges, but you could tell he was a special talent in MLS.

      Hack hasn’t given him a proper chance. I wish they’d sell him. As a DC fan, I would have taken him before Silva arrived. There are plenty of other teams that could use a young, technically gifted player.