In a rematch of their MLS Is Back Round of 16 matchup, the Union and New England Revolution played to a 0-0 draw. The Union allowed a single shot on frame the entire match.
Jim Curtin opted to trust the squad that performed so well in Orlando, but he was forced to make a change at left back with Kai Wagner nursing a minor injury. Matt Real, who had a strong start to 2020 before the season was put on hold, entered the first eleven.
In the first ten minutes, New England looked out for revenge, but Andre Blake looked as locked in as ever. Gustavo Bou wrapped his foot around a lasered shot from the right side of the box, but Blake followed it all the way and shoved the ball away from the goal.
Bou next sought to break things open by playing provider. Shimmying up the left after breaking the offsides line, he centered for Adam Buksa but watched in horror as the big striker pounded the post with his shot.
The Revs would rue their misses as the Union began climbing into the game. In the 36th minute, Jamiro Monteiro’s outlet pass found Brenden Aaronson on the left. Dancing toward the box, he found Kacper Przybylko in the center. A loose touch took Przybylko wide of the goalframe but he still made Matt Turner work with a low angled drive.
At the end of the first half, Monteiro released Sergio Santos up the left, but Matt Polster hauled down Aaronson through the middle. Robert Sibiga stopped play, visibly frustrating Santos.
The Union’s best chance of the night came from wonderful interplay between Monteiro, Przybylko and Aaronson. The striker bought time for Aaronson to make a run into the box and played the ball into space. Turner rushed out and put a finger tip to Aaronson’s lifted finish to keep his side in the match.
Two minutes later, another homegrown got a look at goal and gave the ball a ride. Matt Real stepped into the same space Kai Wagner scored from in Orlando and fired a shot with approximately the same vicious pace. Turner leapt to his right to palm it around the post and prevent Real from opening his professional account.
In the waning moments of the match, Bou finally got behind the defense in the center. A wall pass with Polster put Jack Elliott into hot water, but a few long strides closed the gap with Bou and a sliding tackle prevented the star striker from testing Blake.
The Union faced a stunning 44 crosses from the Revolution but left Gillette Stadium with a point. They next face New York Red Bulls at Subaru Park on August 25 at 7:30 p.m. The match will be live on PHL17 and streamed on the Union’s website.