July 29, the New England Revolution fell 2-1 to the Philadelphia Union when Jack McInerney bounced a goal past Matt Reis in the 90th minute at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, for a crowd of 18,938.
The match was fraught with bad calls by referee Edvin Jurisevic, who missed handballs from New England’s Darius Barnes and Philadelphia’s Sheanon Wlliams and called an equalizing penalty for a light jersey tug by Kevin Alston outside the box.
“The penalty definitely shifted the momentum, but like I said, after it was 1-1, we had, I remember three or four really quality chances,” said Benny Feilhaber. “It shifted the momentum a bit. We still could have won but I really need to take a look, I was on top of that play and I need to take a look at replay because I could have sworn that was outside the box.”
The Revolution (6-10-5, 23 pts, -1 GD) fall to ninth in the 10-team Eastern Conference, 15th overall, and Philadelphia Union (7-10-2, 23 pts, 0 GD) climb over NE to eighth in the East, 14th overall.
Neither team was in good form and the debut of Revolution Congo midfielder Dimitri Imbongo underwhelming. Head coach Jay Heaps brought Imbongo on in the 69th minute as a substitute for Kelyn Rowe while the game was level with the home team holding the advantage. The decision to bring Imbongo on at that early point in those conditions is curious considering how new internationals struggle in MLS and that Fernando Cardenas and Blake Brettschneider remained on the bench unused. Imbongo wasted perhaps their best opportunity when a Revolution shot rebounded unmarked merely feet away and he merely watched.
Reis gets caught on the bounce
Benny Feilhaber and Clyde Simms both started in central midfield, and Saer Sene returned to the starting lineup after appearing as a substitute in last weekend’s nil-nil draw with Sporting Kansas City. Sene’s early season exciting play vanished in the last two games, where he appeared more liability than asset. One of his first Saturday actions was to intercept a Revolution defensive play and deliberately dribble the ball across the Union’s goal into a cluster of Union strikers. Lee Nguyen justifiably chastised Sene for the play, which raised question marks across the board. Sene played the full 90 and sometimes with traces of brilliance but also with inconsistency, his technique and tactics swinging wildly from very good to very bad.
Sene was very good when he scored from 30 yards out in the 12th minute, assisted by Kelyn Rowe. Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath got a hand on it, but only to push it into the top of the net. It was Sene’s ninth goal, making him one of the highest scoring newcomers in MLS.
The Union equalized in the 59th minute when Freddy Adu converted the penalty issued by referee Edvin Jurisevic, who a few minutes earlier overlooked Sheanon William”s handball in the box, a legitimate penalty. In the final minutes, Jack McInerney headed down the ball to bounce past Reis for the final 2-1 result.
Heaps replaced injured A.J. Soares in the 71st minute with Darrius Barnes, who promptly handled the ball in front of the net himself. Jurisevic also overlooked that call. Stephen McCarthy suffered a bloody head gash on the temple as the game entered it’s final minutes and the Revolution finished with 10 men. McCarthy had been sidelined with concussion symptoms a few weeks before and this new injury could aggragate a condition. If both central defenders McCarthy and Soares have lingering injuries, the Revolution would have serious defensive problems in the upcoming games.
The Revolution return to Gillette Stadium for back-to-back home games, beginning on Saturday, Aug. 4, when they’ll host Sporting Kansas City at 7:30 p.m. That match will be the second half of a doubleheader featuring Italian AC Milan and Honduran Olimpia in the first game at 4:30 p.m.
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New England Revolution at Philadelphia Union
July 29, 2012 – PPL Park (Chester, Pa.)
Philadelphia Union 2, New England Revolution 1
NE – Saer Sene (Kelyn Rowe) 12
PHI – Freddy Adu (penalty kick) 59
PHI – Jack McInerney (Sheanon Williams) 90
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares (Darrius Barnes 71), Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston, Kelyn Rowe (Dimitry Imbongo 69), Lee Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber, Clyde Simms © (Shalrie Joseph 60), Saer Sene, Ryan Guy
Substitutes Not Used: Tim Murray, Flo Lechner, Blake Brettschneider, Fernando Cardenas
STATS: Shots 14, Shots on Target 5, Corner Kicks 3, Saves 3, Fouls 9, Offsides 1, Passes (percentage) 351 (79.2%), Possession 40.9%
Philadelphia Union: Zac MacMath, Gabriel Farfan, Carlos Valdes ©, Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams, Brian Carroll, Gabriel Gomez (Michael Lahoud 60), Michael Farfan, Freddy Adu (Josue Martinez 82), Jack McInerney, Antoine Hoppenot (Lionard Pajoy 78)
Substitutes Not Used: Chase Harrison, Porfirio Lopez, Keon Daniel, Raymon Gaddis
STATS: Shots 11, Shots on Target 5, Corner Kicks 7, Saves 4, Fouls 14, Offsides 2, Passes (percentage) 507 (86.6%), Possession 59.1%
NE – A.J. Soares (caution) 25
NE – Stephen McCarthy (caution) 39
PHI – Michael Farfan (caution) 67
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Assistant Referees: Steven Taylor, Craig Lowry
Fourth Official: Kevin Terry, Jr.
Weather: Parly Cloudy and 77 degrees