Chester, Pa. – After the Union and Revolution first teams played to a thrilling 4-4 draw at PPL Park on Wednesday, Philadelphia’s reserve squad (2-5-1) topped New England (4-4-1) 2-0 at Widener University’s Quick Stadium in a rainy Thursday morning affair.
2010 first round picks Jack McInerney and Danny Mwanga tallied in the first half for the Union, and recently re-acquired goalkeeper Thorne Holder put on an impressive display to blank the Revolution.
The first chance of the match went to the visitors, when Revs forward Kenny Mansally found space in Philadelphia’s third and unleashed a shot to the near post that struck iron before caroming away from danger.
Minutes later, New England Home Grown Player Diego Fagundez sent a perfectly-weighted cross from the left flank to 2010 first round pick Zack Schilawski, who put a volley over the bar from close-range.
The Union struck first in the 25th minute. Off a Kyle Nakazawa corner kick to the far post, on-trial defender Joe Tait headed back across the box to McInerney. The second-year striker made no mistake with the finish, firing past New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth for a 1-0 advantage.
In the 31st minute, Holder made his first of two point-blank saves, coming off his line to deny Fagundez from six yards out. Six minutes later, Holder again came out of his net, this time to interrupt Mansally's breakaway opportunity.
Minutes before halftime, the Union added to their advantage. After receiving the ball just inside New England’s half, Mwanga found a streaking McInerney, who tried to play 16-year-old Zach Pfeffer through to goal. McInerney’s ball was deflected back to the 19-year-old, leading to a shot on goal. Shuttleworth did well to save McInerney’s initial effort, but the rebound found the foot of Mwanga, who calmly fired into the upper netting for a 2-0 lead.
While the majority of the second half produced few scoring chances, New England threatened to pull within a goal late.
After New England’s Charlie Romero had a shot from within the area saved, Kheli Dube latched onto a poor clearance by Holder, turned and fired, but Holder cleaned up his own mess, making another save in the 87th minute.
A minute later, Dube sent Schilawski all alone down the left flank, but after cutting towards goal, the second-year forward sent his shot wide of the far post.
The victory was the first for Philadelphia since thier opening reserve game, back on April 10. After snapping a six-match winless run, the Union will return to reserve action on September 18 home against the Columbus Crew. The Revolution, who edged Toronto FC’s reserve side 2-1 six days ago, will finish up play in the MLS Reserve League on October 16 when they also take on the Crew in Foxborough at 10:00 a.m.
PHI – Jack McInerney (Kyle Nakazawa, Joe Tait) 25’
PHI – Danny Mwanga (Unassisted) 45’
Philadelphia Union -- Thorne Holder; Juan Diego Gonazalez, Joe Tait, Andrew Welker, Ryan Richter; Kyle Nakazawa (Darius Madison 63), Zach Pfeffer, Amobi Okugo, Morgan Langley (Andrew Heir 68); Jack McInerney, Danny Mwanga (Gabriel Farfan 45)
Substitutions not used: Zack Steffen
New England Revolution -- Bobby Shuttleworth (Tim Murray 45); Nigel Marpoles, Evan Schwartz, Otto Loewy (Alan Koger 45), Ryan Kinne; Zak Boggs, Diego Fagundez, Kheli Dube, Andrew Sousa; Kenny Mansally (Charlie Romero 45), Zack Schilawski
Substitutions not used: None