Chester, PA – In a fixture that was postponed due to the effects of Hurricane Irene on the East Coast, the New England Revolution return to MLS action to face the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park Wednesday night.
While this will be the first match for the Revolution since a 2-2 draw with Red Bull New York on August 20, the Union featured more recently, falling to Real Salt Lake 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday to extend their winless run to six games.
Sebastien Le Toux scored from open play for the first time this season to cut the deficit in half, but the Union were unable to find an equalizer.
"I believe it was a good game, a good performance," said Union head coach Peter Nowak. "We missed a couple chances we were supposed to put away, especially two from Justin Mapp. It was good we created situations. In some capacity, we still missed a couple chances we created. We've got to get better with anticipation, but I'm quite pleased with the performance because the tempo was high and we still pushed throughout the game."
Sitting six points behind the first place Columbus Crew, Philadelphia currently occupies fourth place in the Eastern Conference. And with less than two months left in the regular season, there is an added sense of urgency surrounding the remaining fixtures.
"It's simple, we just have to win games," Le Toux said. "We have two games coming at home, one Wednesday and one Saturday - we just need wins. With every game that comes, we need to make the most of it."
New England, meanwhile, has struggled with results all season, currently sitting in last place in the East with 23 points from 26 games. But the club has shown bright spots of late.
Milton Caraglio has helped New England become a more dangerous attacking team. The Designated Player scored both goals for the Revolution in their draw with the Red Bulls.
New England has also been rejuvenated with the inclusion of youngster Diego Fagundez. The 16-year-old provided a spark off the bench in the club's 3-2 loss to Chivas USA on August 6, drawing a penalty as well as scoring from open play.
Despite the reasons for optimism, New England defender Darrius Barnes knows that his side will face a tough test at Philadelphia.
"They're a tough team," Barnes said of the Union. "They're organized. They're not going to dazzle you with anything technical or anything like that, but they're just a great team, an organized team. They move the ball well and they take their chances when they're given to them."
Barnes will undoubtedly be hoping for a better result than when these two teams met earlier in the year. On July 17, Philadelphia blanked New England 3-0 at Gillette Stadium with goals coming from Carlos Ruiz, Carlos Valdes, and Sheanon Williams.