New England Soccer Today

Short-handed Revs Wilt in Philly

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

No Rowe, no Agudelo, no Delamea, no Fagundez, no problem…for the Union, at least.

It took only three minutes for a reserve-heavy Revolution to dig themselves into a ditch they couldn’t climb out of in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the Union under steamy conditions at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa.

The guests found themselves in immediate danger after a handling call on Benjamin Angoua just inside the box set the stage for a C.J. Sapong penalty strike in the third minute. Ilsinho threw dirt on the guests when he buried Philadelphia’s second goal in the 48th minute while Roland Alberg’s blast from distance erected the tombstone on the Revolution’s hopes in the Keystone State.

Revolution coach Jay Heaps was forced to shuffle his lineup due to injuries, call-ups, and disciplinary action. Midfielder Kelyn Rowe, who played 61 minutes for the U.S. on Saturday, was unavailable along with fellow call-up Juan Agudelo. Center back Antonio Delamea was forced to sit due to a concussion. Midfielder Diego Fagundez was handed a one-game ban by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for “violent conduct” against Sebastian Giovinco in last week’s loss at Toronto.

With Rowe, Agudelo, Delamea, and Fagundez all relegated to bystanders, reserve defender Donnie Smith earned the start at left back, while rookie Josh Smith replaced Delamea. Teal Bunbury partnered with Kei Kamara up top and Scott Caldwell took Fagundez’s spot on the wing.

Not surprisingly, missing four starters didn’t help the Revolution on the road, where they’ve been winless this season. With the Union on the hunt early, Sapong attempted to send a cross from the left that immediately ricocheted off the left arm of Angoua to earn the penalty, which the Union striker promptly buried inside of three minutes.

After conceding, the Revolution gathered themselves somewhat and flashed some promise on each side of the first-half hydration break with temperatures hovering in the low-90s.

But any hopes of uncovering an equalizer took a significant hit early in the second half. Fafa Picault picked out Ilsinho in the final third, where he slipped past Josh Smith and sent it through to make it a two-goal game.

To their credit, the Revolution weren’t about to quit. They nearly answered back a minute later when Je-Vaughn Watson smacked the post to come within inches of changing the dynamic.

Not long after Watson’s close call, rookie Brian Wright, who scored the winner in Wednesday’s Open Cup win over DC United, was summoned to give the attack some much-needed energy in the 52nd minute. It was the first-round pick’s MLS debut.

However, the only energy seen after the substitute came from the Union. Ilsinho, Picault, and Haris Medunjanin all fired threatening shots that exposed the Revolution’s makeshift back four before Alberg fired a missile from 30 yards in the 78th minute to ensure the Revolution’s winless ways on the road (0-7-3) remained intact.

The only silver lining for the Revolution following the loss is that they’ll have a short turnaround with a meeting against the Red Bulls on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30pm.

In May, the locals suffered a 2-1 loss to their longtime rivals at Red Bull Arena.


  1. Jim metsch

    July 2, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    You honestly believe they lost because they were short handed. Has the revolution filled their roster any time this season? Or last?

  2. Brian O'Connell

    July 2, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Jim. I’m not sure they win with a full squad, but not having 4 of their best players certainly contributed to the scoreline. They were simply outclassed from start to finish.

  3. pauloblitzz

    July 2, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    We’re not good in a 4-5-1, once again Heaps put out that formation and once again we lose. I thought we figured out we’re better off with the 4-4-2. Why he keeps playing 2 or 3 holding mids and 1 striker is beyond me. He’s a idiot I guess but Lee Nguyen once again is useless yet somehow like always escapes major criticism from the fan base. Once again DP striker proves to be useless yet continues to get started and escaped major criticism because everyone is hung up on blaming the Ben and lack of depth for everything. Our depth isnt the problem, and the D isnt the problem. The problem is this team is build around Lee fn Nguyen and Kei fn Kamara and neither of those 2 clowns can put the fn ball in the fn net. Plane and simple. Trade Kei for 1st round, pay off most of his salary, get what you can for him now because there’s no way we extent his useless behind for anything close to what he’s getting payed. Your already signed Lee and payed him so ride that out but Kei isnt working. Trade him or change his role to a support striker who comes in off the bench. We’re better off with Teal, Femi, Wright, Diego, Rowe, Juan or Lee up top. Kamara’s body language and attitude his sour.

  4. Andrew in NH

    July 3, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Good news, bad news Revs fans, First the bad news: the Revs lost yet again on the road… the good news is MLS does not have relegation. 20 points in 18 games is awful. Tenth place out of eleven in the East, the Revs are sinking fast. Hopefully they will go deep into the US Open Cup cause the playoffs are not going to happen. And to think, I thought the Union was the Revs best hope for getting an away win so far this year.

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