The New England Revolution lead the Philadelphia Union 1-0 on the back of a fantastic Kei Kamara goal.
Playing the rare game on natural grass at Gillette Stadium, the Union got a little lucky in the fourth minute when Teal Bunbury was sprung behind the Union defense on a great ball. Luckily his shot hit the outside netting and not the back of the net. In the twelfth minute, Kei Kamara played a good ball in for a streaking Andrew Farrell, but Oguchi Onyewu was able to get back and clear the ball out before it did any damage. The Union’s defense was solid, seemingly having an answer for most of the Revs offensive ventures.
The Union’s offense however couldn’t get much going. The attacking midfielders (Marcus Epps, Roland Alberg, and Chris Pontius) were all too often bypassed by the deeper midfield in favor of the hopeful long ball forward toward CJ Sapong. The rare occasion the three did get the ball, Epps and Pontius were closed down quickly and Alberg made poor pass after poor pass to relinquish possession to New England.
The game was a chippy, physical affair with both teams putting in gritty performances. CJ Sapong was checked into the boards in a move more at home in a Boston Bruins-Philadelphia Flyers game than a Revolution-Union game.
In the 38th minute, Andrew Farrell’s cross made it to Kelyn Rowe, who chipped it into the box. Kei Kamara made a flying leap at the ball and his foot somehow connected with it putting the ball past John McCarthy and the Revs up 1-0.
In the 45th minute, Kelyn Rowe hit one from distance but John McCarthy did well to parry the shot out of bounds.
The Union seemed to be in a bit of disarray as the halftime whistle sounded, but were able to go to the locker room down just one goal.
New England Revolution: Cody Cropper; Andrew Farrell, Antonio Delamea, Benjamin Angoua, Scott Caldwell; Gershon Koffie, Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez; Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara
Philadelphia Union: John McCarthy; Giliano Wijnaldum, Oguchi Onyewu, Jack Elliott, Ray Gaddis; Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya; Marcus Epps, Roland Alberg, Chris Pontius; CJ Sapong
Scoring: New England - Kei Kamara (38’); Philadelphia - None
Disciplinary: New England - Gershon Koffie (Yellow - 34’); Philadelphia - Oguchi Onyewu (Yellow - 29’)