Philadelphia Union gave a dominating performance last night at Gillette Stadium against New England Revolution in front of a crowd of just over 17,000. Philadelphia cruised to a 4-0 victory thanks a relentless offensive attack and spectacular goalkeeping from MLS All-Star Andre Blake.
The Union also saw the long anticipated MLS debut of Alejandro Bedoya. The USMNT star was penciled in the starting lineup for Philadelphia and brought a calming presence to a group that had been searching for their first win since July 9. Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin praised Bedoya for what he brought to the club.
“I think you saw with the addition of Alejandro a guy that can slow the game down when it needs to slow down, and can speed it up when it needs to speed up,” Curtin said. “It gave us a little bit of a calming presence in possession. I think the guys fed off of that.”
The match started off perfectly for Philadelphia, as Fabinho delivered a cross into the box and was able to find striker C.J Sapong who took care of the rest. The Union had a 1-0 lead in the second minute of play. Philadelphia kept the momentum when Blake made a spectacular save on New England’s Diego Fagundez in the 19th minute and the Union would finish the first 45 up 1-0.
The floodgates opened up in the second half when Chris Pontius notched his 10th goal of the season, moments later Richie Marquez recorded his second career goal with Pontius earning the assist. For Pontius, his goal was his fourth in five games, and his assist was his fifth on the season which ties a career high.
The final goal of the night for Philadelphia was set up by an emotional return. Charlie Davies spent three seasons a member of the Revolution, but was traded to Philadelphia on Aug. 3. Davies made his first appearance against New England since the trade and received a standing ovation when he entered as a sub in the 83rd minute. That was a moment that summed up Davies’ tenure in New England.
“I think that about sums it up, really, of my time here,” Davies said. “I think they showed appreciation for my dedication to the club on, and off, the field and it was emotional at the end for me because, obviously, this place is special to me.”
Davies earned an assist on the final goal of the match for Philadelphia after a quick give-and-go lead to Roland Alberg sending a rocket to the back of the net to put a cherry on top of a 4-0 victory in New England.
The Union will look to build on their momentum moving forward. The club faces the task of dealing with two Eastern Conference opponents in a short span. After the Union host Toronto FC at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday, the club will fly to Columbus to take on Crew SC the following Wednesday. As for now, Curtin is extremely pleased with his club’s ability to earn three points on the road.
“Everyone feels now that we can get a result here in a hostile environment,” Curtin said. “Big crowd tonight, again there’s no better feeling, there’s no tougher task, than winning on the road in any professional sport, to be honest. So, credit to the group."