The New England Revolution have set a new club record against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night, as their 0-0 draw marks the tenth straight match without a win this season. The match was ugly, with Philadelphia owning most of the possession and, frankly, most of the game.
"It was good to get a shutout," said head coach Jay Heaps. "I thought Matt Reis had a good game. Unfortunately, I don't think we created enough chances to win the game."
The Revs certainly did not create enough chances; in the first half, they didn't even register a single shot. Philadelphia forced several saves out of Matt Reis during the half, including a reaction save in the 43rd minute off of Antoine Hoppenot. The best chance of the half, however, came on the ensuing corner, when Amobi Okugo headed a Freddy Adu corner onto the crossbar with Reis beaten.
Halftime brought out a slightly more lively Revolution side, but the Union almost took the lead immediately off the restart. Hoppenot charged in on goal with only Reis to beat, but the veteran keeper sprawled out and made a great leg save to deny the young forward his goal.
Several substitutions started to shake the cobwebs loose for the Revs, and they finally mustered their first shot on goal in the 60th minute. A free kick found the head of Stephen McCarthy unmarked in the box, but the big center-back's bad luck as a set piece threat continued as he headed wide.
Substitute Dimitry Imbongo inadvertently created the Revs best chance in the 85th minute when he blocked a Philadelphia clearance, sending it across the box to fellow sub Kelyn Rowe. Rowe, who Heaps said was brought on due to a lack of width, turned quickly and snapped a shot on frame, but Zac MacMath was equal to it and parried away. Imbongo nearly had a shock winner in the 90th minute when he turned and fired from distance, but his shot buzzed just over the bar.
"[Philadelphia was] just really good defensively," said striker Diego Fagundez. "I think the only thing that we probably should have done more was win the second balls. Jerry was doing a great job winning the first ball, and I think I should have just followed in behind and tried to get the second one."
A cursory look at the stats reveals that the shut out might be the only positive that can be drawn from this match. The Union dominated possession, finishing the match with 64.9%. New England attempted just 247 total passes with an abysmal 68% completion, while Philadelphia attempted 487 - including a whopping 325 in the first half - and were accurate to the tune of 84.6%. The visitors also out-shot the hosts 18-9.
As if things couldn't get worse, it was also announced right near kickoff that Revolution leading goalscorer Saer Sene will be out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. Sene was subbed off after sustaining the injury against Chivas on Wednesday, and was originally listed out on with a knee sprain in Friday's injury report.
"It's a tough blow," said Heaps. "He's in 11-goal season form. It's an opportunity for others to step up, but it certainly is tough."
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