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Three things we learned from the Union’s win over New England

Three takeaways from the 2-1 game on Saturday night

Anthony Fontana greets fans outside the stadium after the Union 2-1 win over New England on September 12, 2020
Photo by Carl Gulbish

What a match. The Philadelphia Union took down the New England Revolution to continue their hot streak near the top of the Eastern Conference. The Union had a solid first half, but almost lost the game in the second, and were only saved by the right foot of Anthony Fontana.

There are some positives and some negatives from this match, and they’re all important, so let’s get into it.

Anthony Fontana

The big conversation from this match is obviously Anthony Fontana. The Homegrown attacker carried the Union to three points. And he still doesn’t start or get the minutes that he deserves.

Counting Saturday’s match, Andrew Wooten has about 600 minutes on the pitch, with no goals to show for it (not counting the MLS is Back Tournament knockouts). Kacper Przybylko has 20 goals in 3,200 minutes, or a goal every 160 minutes. Sergio Santos has 6 goals in 1,150 minutes, or a goal every 191 minutes.

Anthony Fontana, counting Saturday night’s match, has four goals in about 320 minutes, or a goal every 80 minutes. I won’t explain any more than that; you can do the math for yourself.

Winning Without Justice

Bluntly, the Union didn’t deserve to win that. If it’s not for Anthony Fontana miraculously finding a hole in the New England defense, the Union finished that game 1-1 with the Revolution playing a man down. The Union didn’t look good in the second half, and the Revolution looked like the better team, even with only ten men.

It’s possible to make the argument that a great team wins games even when they aren’t playing their best, and there is validity to that argument. However, the Revolution aren’t a great team, and the Union should be able to take them down even when they have 11 men on the field. The Union are a good team, but they should be able to beat New England no matter what. They didn’t deserve to win, and easily could’ve lost. So hold off on the praise for the time being.

A Soccer Team Without Starters

Jose Martinez earned himself yellow card No. 5 against New England, meaning that he’ll be suspended next Sunday against Montreal. Additionally, Sergio Santos, Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott, Ilsinho, and Warren Creavalle, who were all injured on Saturday night, many of whom may be out against Montreal as well.

There are some positives and negatives to this. On the positive side, we may see more of Jack de Vries and possibly even Cole Turner take the pitch. On the negative side, the Union will have only five players on the bench, assuming that nobody returns from injury.

Thankfully, Montreal isn’t performing great this year, which means that the door is wide open for the Union to play some of their substitutes and give their starters (and injured players) a break. One of those starters could even be named Anthony.