The New England Revolution will play their third match in seven days on Saturday night as they welcome the Philadelphia Union to Gillette Stadium for an Eastern Conference clash. The Revs are still stuck in a nine-match winless run after they drew Chivas 3-3 on Wednesday in a match that saw them blow a three-goal lead in just under 25 minutes. The Union also played a midweek game, but lost to Columbus 2-1.
Philadelphia is another Eastern Conference team that, while mathematically still in the playoff hunt, is effectively out of it. Considering the success the side enjoyed last season, this came as a bit of a shock. Most of their talent and life comes from the core of young players in their squad, among them the Farfan twins, Jack McInerney, and Sheanon Williams. Their presence enables the Union to attack from all over the pitch, but perhaps most dangerous of all is former USA wunderkind Freddy Adu. When Freddy is on his game, he's nigh-on unstoppable, and will give a shaky Revolution defense fits with his dribbling and creativity.
Defensively, the Union will be without captain Carlos Valdes, leaving them ripe for the taking for the Revolution attack. Lee Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber, and Jerry Bengtson should be able to pick their way through the defense without much issue, and young goalkeeper Zac MacMath has been inconsistent and prone to shocking errors this season, so goals should not be an issue. That doesn't mean it will be easy; longtime MLS veteran Brian Carroll holds the midfield for the Union, and with him on the field the defense has a tendency to play at a level much higher than the sum of its parts.
The most notable injury news is that Saer Sene, who on Wednesday became the first Revolution player since 2007 to reach double-digit goals in one season, is out with a knee sprain. Competition to replace him will be hot, with Diego Fagundez, Blake Brettschneider, and Dimitry Imbongo all in the mix. A.J. Soares is also listed as probable, leaving a slight chance that he'll start on the bench in a dual effort to alleviate his injury and also get him some rest in this long stretch of games. Blair Gavin is doubtful yet again, though this time with disc irritation, while Sainey Nyassi and Bobby Shuttleworth remain out.
The Union are in just their third season in MLS, but already the Revs' record against them is abysmal. They've actually never beaten Philly; the overall series record stands at 0-3-2, with an 0-2-0 mark at home. Last season the Union prevailed in the series, winning in Foxboro before storming back from a four-goal deficit to draw 4-4 in Chester, PA.
The match will be broadcast live on CSN starting at 7:30 PM EST. 98.5 The Sports Hub will have the radio call.
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