New England Revolution Disappointed, Draw Philadelphia Union 1-1 at Home


Okay, we’ll clinch next week, right?

The New England Revolution only managed a disappointing 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union Saturday night in Foxborough as the Revs again failed to reserve the three points necessary for a playoff berth.

After being taken down in the box by Union defender Fabinho, Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen tucked in the ensuing penalty kick, putting the Revs up 1-0 in the 36th minute. The Revs amped up the pressure going forward, enjoying most of the possession until halftime. Philadelphia reorganized in the second half with a quick turn-around shot goal from Union striker Fernando Aristeguieta to beat Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth in the 65th minute. That counted as only one of two shots on frame all game for the Union as the Revs continued a relentless offensive onslaught for the rest of the match, forcing Union goalkeeper Andre Blake to make a few spectacular saves to keep the game level after 90 minutes.

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The Revs took a total of 20 shots with 11 on target as the Union only took 5 shots, testing Shuttleworth only twice. This stat tells you all you need to know about the game.

The Revs were in as good of form as ever. The midfield clearly controlled the tempo of the game with Revolution players Lee Nguyen, Chris Tierney, and Diego Fagundez linking up on some impressive sequences of play pushing forward. Revolution defender Andrew Ferrell played exceptionally in the center back position, a role he has grown into and made his own over the course of this unpredictable season.

However, as a soccer fan first and a Revolution fan second, I must applaud Union goalkeeper Andre Blake on his performance. INCREDIBLE. If anyone else on the planet was in goal for the Union, the Revs would have surely taken the three points and sealed their presence in the postseason. But not on Blake’s watch. Oh no, even Revs striker Juan Agudelo’s world-class volley in the 79th minute wasn’t enough to beat the Philly keeper Saturday night.

On that note, it’s difficult to blame the Revs for not getting the expected victory. All aspects of the Revolution’s game were on point and all parts of the machine were fully functional. There is little that can be done when the Union have Mister Fantastic in goal.

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Aside from Saturday night’s match, going into the last few games of the season and, more importantly, the playoffs (we can say this with 99% certainty), I would like to see Juan Agudelo find his stride. His last goal came on September 13th in a 3-1 victory over Toronto FC, however, as of recently, he has not been able to build on that performance.

Part of the reason, I believe, is his absence from the starting lineup. Revolution head coach Jay Heaps is firm on keeping his lone-striker formation occupied, and rightly so, by forward Charlie Davies. An in-form Juan Agudelo, a player who has proven his indomitable technical ability and vision for the goal time and time again, has the potential to be a game-changer in the most crucial moments of the upcoming playoffs. Perhaps it is too late to get the guy consistent minutes in time for the postseason, but his reinstallation into the starting lineup should be the club’s priority next season as their biggest potential asset is contributing little by sitting on the bench for the majority of the game.

The Revs take on Chicago Fire on Saturday, October 3rd at Toyota Park where they will have, yet again, another chance at officially clinching the playoffs. I’m expecting a complete thrashing of the Fire, who sit last in the league table and have thrown in the towel for the remainder of the season. However, this is MLS: the league where standings mean very little in the face of weekly league opposition. Let’s hope Jay Heaps and the crew can finally get down to business and seal our playoff berth.

Next: New England Revolution Fall in Montreal, End Winning Streak