The league-leading New England Revolution will look to reassert themselves as the top team in MLS when they visit the Philadelphia Union on Friday.
While the Revolution (15-4-4, 49 points) enter Friday’s action with a seven-point lead in the league standings, New England has something to prove in the wake of a rare defeat. The Revs were outshot 19-12 and had just one shot on goal in a 2-0 road loss to New York City FC last Saturday.
“We were just really bad. …We got outplayed in every situation so obviously we need to step up our game,” Revolution midfielder Arnor Traustason said. “We need to learn from this because this is not okay.”
The loss ended New England’s nine-game (8-0-1) unbeaten streak, which included a 2-1 win over the Union on Aug. 8. The two sides also played to a 1-1 draw on May 12 in their first meeting of the season.
Philadelphia (8-6-8, 32 points) is also looking to rebound from a tough loss, as the Union dropped a 3-1 result to D.C. United last Saturday. Union coach Jim Curtin found the defeat “embarrassing on all counts,” as Philadelphia’s only score came from an own goal from D.C. defender Steve Birnbaum.
“We aren’t going to have success if we play as individuals,” Curtin told the Delaware County Daily Times. “We have to play together. We have to combine with each other, and I think that part has been off a little bit, it’s clear to say, just by the amount of chances we’re creating.”
The Union are 3-4-4 in their last 11 games, with only two multi-goal performances during that stretch.
Philadelphia will be significantly short-handed against New England. Seven players (Andre Blake, Cory Burke, Daniel Gazdag, Jose Martinez, Olivier Mbaizo, Jamiro Monteiro and Alvas Powell) are away on international duty, while Jack Elliott is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Forward Sergio Santos is also questionable after missing the Union’s last game due to injury.
New England has three players (Tajon Buchanan, Adam Buksa, Matt Turner) away on international absences. Carles Gil has missed the Revs’ last six game due to a muscle injury but is back training and could be available Friday.
–Field Level Media