In perhaps their best performance of the 2016 season, the Philadelphia Union dominated the New England Revolution 4-0. CJ Sapong, Chris Pontius, Richie Marquez, and Roland Alberg all scored goals while Andre Blake and the defense held on to their fifth clean sheet of the season. New addition Alejandro Bedoya got the start in midfield, while Charlie Davies also got minutes late in the game against his former club.
Sapong got the scoring started off barely past a minute in the game when Fabinho made a great run down the left flank and whipping a cross into the box to Sapong, who was poorly marked by New England Defender Jose Goncalves. Sapong poked the ball past a defenseless Bobby Shuttleworth, and the Union were off and running.
New England had the majority of possession during the first half, but the Union’s defense held firm. Looking calm and composed, they stifled the Revs attack blocking two shots and not allowing many good looks at goal. There was a bit of a scare as a Kei Kamara shot bounced off of the post, however it rolled away with no damage done. Andre Blake was forced to make only two saves in the first half, and the Union were able to go into the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
CJ Sapong would be subbed out for Fabian Herbers at the half after Sapong took a Jose Goncalves elbow to the head shortly before halftime. In the 51st minute, it was Herbers’ run that started a play that culminated with Ilsinho working his magic in the box and drawing the defense off of Chris Pontius. Ilsinho then slotted the ball over to Pontius, who didn’t miss. Pontius’ goal doubled the Union’s lead and made him the first goalscorer to reach double-digits for the Union since Sebastien Le Toux had 12 in 2014.
Just three minutes later, a Tranquillo Barnetta corner kick found the head of Keegan Rosenberry, who flicked it on to Richie Marquez. Marquez headed the ball into the back of the net, and the rout was on. Shortly after the goal was scored, Andre Blake made a great save on a long distance shot from Kelyn Rowe and there were shouts for a penalty to be given to Diego Fagundez, who went down in the box, but nothing was given. The Union’s defense held fast, and New England was largely wasteful with their chances.
Perhaps the moment of the night came in the 80th minute when the Union’s newest player and former Rev Charlie Davies went to the scorers’ table to come into the match. The New England crowd chanted his name and gave him an ovation as he came onto the pitch for the Union in the 83rd minute. Davies then helped put the final nail in New England’s coffin in injury time, when he got an assist on a great goal from Roland Alberg. Alberg took a pass from Keegan Rosenberry, backheeled it to Davies, who gave it back to Alberg. Alberg took one touch and fired it past Bobby Shuttleworth as time expired to give the Union the 4-0 win and a critical three points in the Eastern Conference.
With the win, the Union have their fifth clean sheet of the season and have outscored the Revolution by a combined score of 7-0 in MLS play. The Union sit in fourth in the East, just four points behind New York City FC with a game in hand. The Union will host Toronto FC on Saturday, August 20. Toronto’s match against the Houston Dynamo that was supposed to take place on Saturday, August 13 was postponed until Sunday, August 14 due to lightning.