Everything you need to know about the Revolution’s 2-1 loss to Philadelphia Union Monday night, in quickie form:
Another game against Philadelphia, another loss: For the fourth time in 2020, New England could not get the better of the Philadelphia Union, and for the third time, the visitors from the City of Brotherly Love took all three points. Monday night’s 2-1 loss puts the Revs at 0-7-2 in all competitions against Philly since their last victory (July 29, 2017), three seasons’ worth of not-so-good results, and New England is now 1-3-5 at home this season. With it the lone game on the schedule, the Eastern Conference standings do not change, with the Revs still fifth — they would have been fifth with a win anyway — and four points behind fourth-place Orlando City with four matches remaining.
Fontana nets game winner, Buchanan gives Revs hope: It was a wild final 22 minutes. A near own goal by Henry Kessler set up a corner that led to new Revolution killer Anthony Fontana scoring his fourth goal against New England and third of the year in the 69th minute, giving DOOP a 2-nil lead. But in the 81st minute, after Matt Polster created a turnover near midfield, Tajon Buchanan fired a heat seeking missile from 19 yards out, kissing the crossbar to beat Andre Blake. Two minutes later, Buchanan looked to have leveled the match, but he was flagged for offside. And try as they might, the Revolution could not dent twine a second time.
Own goal stakes Union to lead: The Revolution controlled a good chunk of the play in the first 45 minutes, with upward of 58 percent of the ball. The offense moved fast with sharp passing, but once they arrived into the attacking third, New England had trouble getting things connected: the Revs only had two shots on-target. But it was Philadelphia which went into the locker room ahead, as a takeaway off Scott Caldwell sent the Union the other way, eventually earning a corner. On that corner, an Andrew Farrell header didn’t get beyond Kai Wagner, who raced through the defending and sent a cross into the box. It caromed off Farrell at close range; Matt Turner could not fully stop it. That 34th-minute own goal put Philly ahead, 1-nil.
Six changes to the XI: After seeing eight changes to the Revolution starting lineup for Wednesday, Bruce Arena went with six changes for Monday night. Kessler and Farrell returned as the center back pairing, with DeJuan Jones staying at right back for the second consecutive match. Tommy McNamara and Caldwell replaced Polster and Kelyn Rowe, with Buchanan and Lee Nguyen replacing Kekuta Manneh and Diego Fagundez. Gustavo Bou was not in the match day squad as he continues to come back from a minor hammy injury; those who were replaced were in the squad.
Tajon Buchanan: The second-year man out of Syracuse was on the ball, fouled constantly — but not called a lot — and finally made Philly pay for its cheek with a thunderbolt for his second career MLS goal. Add in the fact he almost had a second for the match… no one was better tonight.
Scott Caldwell: His turnover leads to the corner that Philadelphia eventually converted into the opener.
Andrew Farrell: On that opener, Farrell couldn’t head the ball beyond Kai Wagner, and he re-directed Wagner’s cross into the net.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
22 shots, 8 on-target
56.7 percent of the ball
82 percent passing accuracy
WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
The verve and urgency at the end was great, and I’ll fully applaud the Revolution for making it a game late. But at some point — at some point, ladies and gents — we have to be honest with ourselves: this team continues to be mired in mediocrity, mired in mid-table. And with that said, this team’s problems cannot all be laid on the manager, or the change of same. The blame has to be laid at the feet of the playing personnel, with many on this side having had three head coaches, plus two interim coaches, in the last eight years. At some point, it can’t be about tactics. At some point, the people in charge have to realize that this team has been mid-table for too long — yes, they are eighth overall; top third for the first time in a long time; that’s still mid-table — and continue to have problems in beating the teams above them. Honestly, it’s not enjoyable to see this team lose constantly to Philadelphia, or Toronto. At some point, the players — the Old Guard — need to be changed out, and new blood brought into the team.
THEY SAID IT
“We played a good game tonight. Obviously the own goal was a killer, to put us behind and put us in a difficult position at half but I thought the second half we played well. Throughout the game, they were chances there for us. We could have scored more than one goal tonight.” — Bruce Arena on Revolution Postgame Live
Four to go! It’s a quick turnaround between now and Friday night, when the Revolution shift gears for a trip to Nashville, which will have 24 hours’ less rest as it plays FC Dallas Tuesday night. Kick-off Friday is slated for 8:30 p.m.