Sunday, July 29, 2012

Union rally to beat Revs

Union F Jack McInerney

By John McMullen

CHESTER (The Phanatic Magazine) - There was no David Beckham to make the ladies swoon and no impressive fireworks show at halftime but there was soccer on the Delaware Riverfront Sunday as the Philadelphia Union got back to league play by rallying past the New England Revolution, 2-1, in front of a sellout 18,598 at PPL Park.

Just four days after the MLS All-Stars stunned Chelsea FC, 3-2, behind a stoppage-time goal from Seattle's Eddie Johnson, the atmosphere was far more tempered until Jack McInerney did his best Johnson impression by burying a header past Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis in the 90th minute to lift
Philadelphia to its first comeback win of the season.

Moments after McInerney's marker, Union All-Star defender Carlos Valdes saved the game in stoppage
time by clearing a shot headed toward the empty net.

"We're slowly chipping away. We've got another first in our season," said Union interim head coach John Hackworth. "That's really important, because, to be at this point in the season, and not even come back to get a result, [would be disappointing]. To do it in the fashion we did, and to get a win and three points, that's huge."

Freddy Adu also scored on a penalty kick for the Union (7-10-2, 23 points), who remained undefeated against the Revs (6-10-5, 23 pts) in franchise history and have won four straight at PPL Park under

With the game even at one apiece and looking like a draw, Philadelphia's best offensive defender, Sheanon Williams, pinched up and flanked the New England defense on the right wing before serving a  beautiful crossing pass which McInerney headed home as things winded down. He then jumped off the field and into the River End to celebrate.

"It's a confidence builder," McInerney told the team's website. "I think it just shows the character of our team. We want to be in the playoffs, and we don't give up until the end of the game."

Adu, who was held out of the Union's last match, a 2-0 setback at New York on July 21, for disciplinary reasons, got his chance in the 59th minute when McInerney was taken down just inside the box. Reis actually guessed right but Adu had enough mustard on the freebie to slip it past the netminder.

New England, which has won just one of 11 road matches this season, scored its only marker in the 12th minute when Frenchman Saer Sene, who gave the Union fits most of the night, took a deflection and ripped a laser with bend from 30-plus yards out which got on top of Union GK Zac MacMath quickly.

"I think you see the character of these players," Hackworth said. "They continually come out [and play]. I don't think we played great in the first half, and for them to come out and try to play with a lot of confidence in the second half, it [shows a lot]."


*Philadelphia's substitutions were Michael Lahoud for Gabriel Gomez in the 59th minute, Lionard Pajoy for Antoine Hoppenot in the 78th and Josue Martinez for Adu in the 82nd.

*The Union are now 10-for-10 all-time in penalty kicks.

*The Union's defense struggled for most of the night, particularly Amobi Okugo and Gabriel Farfan, who are actually mindfielders forced back out of necessity.Okugo had been playing especially well recently but his inexperience finally showed tonight. Bakary Soumare, the former MLS All-Star defender who returned to the league when he signed with the Union on June 26, has been recovering from right knee surgery and should be ready to help shortly.
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