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Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 1
Talen Energy Stadium — Chester, Pa.
Saturday, March 3 — 7 pm ET


The Revolution open a new season with a new coach and, they hope, a new direction. But most pundits are expecting more of the same from the Revs, who narrowly missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons before hiring former US national team legend Brad Friedel to replace Jay Heaps. It hasn't helped, of course, that the biggest offseason storylines revolved around trading 2017 top scorer Kei Kamara followed by the public trade demands of their second-leading scorer, Lee Nguyen — who, at least for now, remains in New England.

Expectations aren't especially high in Philly, either. Entering their ninth season, the Union have still never won a playoff game. And after an eighth-place finish in 2017, they didn't do very much in the offseason, aside from acquiring speedy winger David Accam and playmaking midfielder Borek Dockal, who they're hoping can push the team to the next level.

Philadelphia Union

How many teenagers will we see in the Union lineup when they open the season? It's distinctly possible that both 19-year-old Auston Trusty and 18-year-old Anthony Fontana will start at center back and attacking midfield, respectively — though Fontana's inclusion will depend on if recently signed Czech playmaker Borek Dockal is available to make his MLS debut. Trusty the Process?

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE: Ilsinho (hamstring)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Andre Blake — Ray Gaddis, Jack Elliott, Auston Trusty, Fabinho — Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya — Fafa Picault, Anthony Fontana, David Accam — CJ Sapong

Notes: The Union have won 10 of their last 13 MLS matches at Talen Energy Stadium (2L-1D), keeping six clean sheets in that time. They ended 2017 with a 6-1 win over Orlando, their most goals ever in a MLS home match. ... CJ Sapong has scored four goals in his last four games against the Revolution. He had one in his first 12 games against them (including the playoffs).

New England Revolution

Despite several question marks, the Revs do look to have some nice depth in their attack with Ecuadorian striker Cristian Penilla joining the club on a season-long loan from Pachuca. How will he mesh with starting striker Juan Agudelo, as well as top reserves Teal Bunbury and Diego Fagundez?

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: None

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)

GK: Cody Cropper — Andrew Farrell, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Claude Dielna, Gabriel Somi — Scott Caldwell, Wilfried Zahibo — Cristian Penilla, Kelyn Rowe, Krisztian Nemeth — Juan Agudelo

Notes: New England finished 2017 with an 1-13-3 road record, becoming the third team since 2015 to win just one road game in a season. The 46 away league goals they conceded are the most in MLS history. ... Lee Nguyen needs one assist to become the 19th player in league history with 50+ goals and 50+ assists in his career.

All-Time Series

The Union have beaten the Revolution more than any other MLS team, picking up 10 wins against New England since joining the league in 2010. Six of those 10 victories have come at home, including 3-0 shutouts in each of the last two seasons. The last four matches have been decided by scorelines of either 3-0 or 4-0, with Philly winning three of those games.

  • Overall: Philadelphia 10 wins, 34 goals  … New England 6 wins, 27 goals … 4 Ties
  • At Philadelphia: Philadelphia 6 wins, 20 goals … New England 3 wins, 14 goals … 2 Ties
  • Last meeting at Philadelphia: Philadelphia 3, New England 0 (July 2, 2017)


Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
Assistant Referees: Craig Lowry, Adam Wienckowski
4th official: Christopher Penso
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Kevin Terry Jr.

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Season Stats

Philadelphia UnionNew England Revolution
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