The Philadelphia Union’s dominating win over the New England Revolution on Saturday showed was their biggest offensive explosion yet and while they scored a rare first half goal, the five-goal second half continued a trend.
Through 11 games, the Union offense has scored 16 of its 21 goals in the second half.
By scoring first on Saturday night, the Union showed that they are capable of starting the game off strong and taking control of the game from the opening whistle, something they didn’t do in their last loss against Western Conference powerhouse LA Galaxy. They never had the chance to take control of the game because LA was able to capitalize of the Union’s lackluster first half performance and turn it into a 2-0 win. With the Union able to score and control the opening minutes more, they give themselves a better opportunity to be able to control the whole game, rather than play on their heels.
Unfortunately on Saturday, the Union’s pace dropped off after their opening goal.
“A really disappointing start to the game, not our best first half… Guys kind of were playing out of position and running all over the place, it didn’t look like us,” head coach Jim Curtin said.
That all changed in the second half thanks to another strong night for the bench with Ilsinho, Sergio Santos and David Accam all contributing to the rout.
Union fans got to see Santos more than they have for the entire season, as the Brazilian forward notched two goals in the second half in his first appearance in a Union uniform since the second week of the season. The two goals were his first for the Union after notching a game-winner in an appearance for Bethlehem Steel.
“I had a little bit of a tough road so far, couple of injuries, then I got a game with the Steel and I was able to score and then I had another injury all over again,” Santos said after the match through a translator. “So, it was just great to get out there and score a goal, I got to improve physically still but I’m ready to keep going.”
In Santos’ 26 minutes on Saturday, he totaled five shots, all of which were on goal, and of course his two-game sealing goals. Santos’ performance just adds to the long list of players that the Union have been able to rely on for their “next man up” mentality this season.
“Yeah, he should have had five goals honestly,” said Curtin. “He has the quality to score and be dangerous. You could see his movement in the box, how dynamic he is.”
Despite New England being a terrible team, this win shows that the Union can do what they need to do in order to win bigger games and prove to the league that they are the Kings of the East. They’ll look to keep that rolling this weekend against a team that handed them one of their three losses this season, Toronto FC.