Recap: First-place Union earn decisive 3-0 win in New England
Foxborough, Ma. – After picking up a single point in each of their first two matches of a three-game road trip, the Philadelphia Union dominated the New England Revolution on Sunday, 3-0, to reclaim sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference. Carlos Ruiz, Carlos Valdes and Sheanon Williams all tallied in Philadelphia's comprehensive victory.
Philadelphia (8-4-7) dictated play from the opening whistle, dominating possession and holding New England (3-9-7) without a single shot on target for the match.
The Union's third road win of the season eclipses the club's total from 2010 and marks the first three-game road unbeaten streak in club history.
Philadelphia's seventh shutout of the season gives the club 31 points on the season, matching their 2010 total.
Crisp passing and pinpoint ball movement propelled the Union throughout the match and led to the first Philadelphia goal in just the 12th minute.
Off a Faryd Mondragon free kick, Ruiz flicked onto Justin Mapp to the right of the penalty area. Mapp touched toward the endline with his right foot and delivered a cross off the head of Keon Daniel, who was cutting to the far post. Daniel’s header found an airborne Ruiz, who finished with flair for the 1-0 advantage.
The goal was Ruiz’s team-leading sixth of the season and third in four appearances since returning to the Union from Gold Cup play.
With the lead, the Union continued to dominate, nearly doubling the advantage off a corner kick in the 20th minute. Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis was able to punch a corner away from the head of Ruiz, who was posting up in front of the New England net.
Philadelphia found their second goal off a set piece four minutes later. Kyle Nakazawa curled a free kick from 35 yards out to the left of the Revolution box. A diving Sebastien Le Toux sent the ball to Valdes in the 24th minute for an acrobatic finish, the defender's first MLS goal.
New England broke out of halftime with two quick opportunities, threatening to cut their deficit in half. Stephen McCarthy sent a volley over the bar in the 47th minute off a corner kick before Chris Tierney had the best opportunity of the night for New England in the 51st. With time and space on the left wing, Tierney unleashed an angled shot that rattled the iron to the right of Mondragon.
The Revolution continued to pin Philadelphia deep in their own end, but failed to test Mondragon before the Union returned to the possession game that served them so well in the first half.
As the Union began to regain control of play, New England’s Benny Feilhaber was shown his second yellow in the 65th minute after a late challenge on Ruiz. Playing down a man, the Revs were unable to challenge Philadelphia's lead in the final 25 minutes.
Though the Union appeared content to close out the result over the final 10 minutes, they added a third goal late in stoppage time when Williams, a Boston native, broke free off a New England corner and was sent in on goal by Mwanga. With a deft toe-poke, the 20-year-old scored his first MLS goal, curling it inside the far post to close out a convincing victory.
With the win, the Union improved to 3-4-3 away from PPL Park.
Philadelphia have earned at least a point in five of their last six road matches (2-1-3) and in nine of ten overall.
The Union return to action against Premier League side Everton on Wednesday, July 20. The 7:30 p.m. international match will air on Comcast SportsNet. Following another international match against Real Madrid on Saturday, July 23, Philadelphia will return to league play on July 29, when they'll host the defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids.
PHI -- Carlos Ruiz 6 (Keon Daniel 1, Justin Mapp 2) 12
PHI -- Carlos Valdes 1 (Sebastien Le Toux 7, Kyle Nakazawa 3) 24
PHI -- Sheanon Williams 1 (Danny Mwanga 3) 93+
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Franco Coria (Darrius Barnes 46), A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney, Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs 46), Pat Phelan, Benny Feilhaber, Stephen McCarthy, Kenny Mansally (Zack Schilawski 79), Rajko Lekic.
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Otto Loewy, Alan Koger, Ryan Guy
STATS: Shots: 6; Shots on Goal: 0; Saves: 4; Corner Kicks: 6; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 10
Philadelphia Union -- Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan, Justin Mapp (Danny Mwanga 63), Brian Carroll, Kyle Nakazawa, Keon Daniel (Stefani Miglioranzi 79), Sebastien Le Toux, Carlos Ruiz (Michael Farfan 74).
Substitutes Not Used: Zac MacMath, Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo, Roger Torres
STATS: Shots: 12; Shots on Goal: 8; Saves: 0; Corner Kicks: 5 ; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 8
NE -- Benny Feilhaber (caution; Reckless Foul) 49
NE -- Benny Feilhaber (caution; Reckless Foul) 66
NE -- Benny Feilhaber (ejection; Second Caution) 66
PHI -- Keon Daniel (caution; Dissent) 72
Referee: Chris Penso
Referee's Assistants: Hector Vergara; Eric Boria
4th Official: Mark Geiger
Time of Game: 1:51