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.


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