MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, May 17, 2014
(All times Eastern)
New England (5-3-2) at Philadelphia (2-5-5), 7 p.m.
Chester, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Union will hope for a
second consecutive victory on Saturday when the club hosts the New England
Revolution at PPL Park.
With the club riding a franchise-worst nine-game winless streak and manager
John Hackworth on the hot seat, the Union turned in their best performance of
the season on Wednesday, coming away with a 2-1 victory over defending MLS
champions Sporting Kansas City.
Philadelphia held its own during a scoreless first half and struck first four
minutes into the second half when Cristian Maidana broke free down the left
flank and sent a shot on goal from a tight angle.
The strike was parried away by Sporting goalkeeper Eric Kronberg, but the
rebound fell to the feet of Danny Cruz, who fired it home on the slide.
After the goal, the Union players sprinted to the sideline and embraced
Hackworth in a show of unity and support for the embattled manager.
"We're behind him and he knows we are behind him," Cruz said of his manager.
"We just wanted to show to the media and to the fans that tonight was big for
not just us for [Hackworth] and I think you could see the fight in everybody
tonight for that big reason."
Sporting drew level in the 80th minute via a rocket into the top right corner
from Dominic Dwyer, but the Union retook the lead less than a minute later
when Maidana collected a pass from Andrew Wenger and slotted it into the
bottom right corner.
New England, meanwhile, is in exceptional form, riding a five-match unbeaten
streak to sit even with Sporting on 17 points for first place in the Eastern
The Revs' best performance of the season came last weekend in a 5-0 thrashing
of Seattle Sounders FC at Gillette Stadium.
The Revs opened the scoring in the 14th minute through rookie Patrick Mullins
and Diego Fagundez made it 2-0 in the 29th minute.
It was 3-0 for the hosts in the 36th through Teal Bunbury and Fagundez
finished a brace in the 41st for a 4-0 halftime lead. A Chad Marshall own goal
just a minute into the second half completed the rout for the Revs.
"We knew what we had to do on the field, and then it was just commitment to
the play," said Fagundez. "We fought, we did everything we could and we
finished every chance we had."
Philadelphia's only other win this season came against New England, a 1-0,
result at PPL Park on March 15.
05/16 16:38:34 ET