Revolution fall to Philadelphia Union to close regular season

By José Ríos

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The New England Revolution fell to the Philadelphia Union 2-0 on Sunday, Nov. 8 in the final game of the regular season. The result dropped the Revs to eighth place in the Eastern Conference, while Philadelphia lifted the Supporters’ Shield as the team with the best record in MLS.

New England came into the game knowing a win would secure them a spot in Round One of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. When they took the field at Subaru Park, however, they looked uninspiring and unthreatening with possession. 

The Union, on the other hand, looked clinical throughout the match, proving why they  finished the season with the most points inled MLS—47 points in 23 games. 

New England showed promise going forward and seemed to pose a threat to the Union’s back line, controlling most of the ball with 58 percent of possession. The Revs had their offensive masterminds Carles Gil, Gustavo Bou, and Adam Buksa on the field, but that was not enough to create the chances they needed to score, only recording one shot on net.

On the other hand, Philadelphia registered five shots on goal while only maintaining 42 percent of possession, proving that scoring goals, not maintaining possession, wins teams games.

The game was highly contested Philadelphia kicked off the scoring in the 42nd minute with a set piece goal.Jakob Glesnes received the ball at the edge of the box on a short corner kick and lifted it to Alejandro Bedoya, whose header came off the post, but allowed for an easy tap in from Sergio Santos. 

The game was highly contested in the midfield throughout 90 minutes, with Philadelphia looking much more dangerous in possession. In the 69th minute, substitute Cory Burke hammered home a low cross from José Martinez to seal the 2-0 win.

The day ended in celebration for Philadelphia and new worries for New England as they now have to play a play in round to qualify for the Conference Quarter finals. 

New England is now preparing to face the Montreal Impact this Friday at Foxborough in the  play-in round. 

New England sits in eighth place in the table with 32 points—six points above Montreal. The Revolution also lead in goal difference, despite having scored seven less goals. New England scored 26 goals this season and allowed 25, while Montreal has scored 33 and allowed 43. This could present an opportunity for New England to exploit Montreal’s lack of defensive cohesion. 

With Gil and Bou healthy and back on the line up, New England can use the play-in round to create some rhythm. They may have failed to score last game, but they were going against the best defensive side in MLS. Montreal, however, could finally allow for the creativity of these two players to come up and not only snatch a win for New England, but also give them some confidence to keep going in the playoffs. 

Still, it is not all sunshine and rainbows. Montreal’s offense has been impressive so far, scoring 33 goals. New England’s defense can be shaky at times, so it cannot take this game for granted. Also, New England’s home record is far from impressive with only two wins in 10 games. New England and Montreal have played four times this season with New England winning three.

If the Revs win, however, it would serve as a confidence booster, giving Gil and Bou time to readjust to the team after returning from their injuries. If they were to win, they would play against either Philadelphia or Toronto FC in the quarterfinals. 

Kickoff is Friday, Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.