The Revolution received a preview of life without Carles Gil in sustaining a 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park Saturday night.
Gil departed with an injury in the first half, leaving the Revolution (7-3-3, 24 points) to slowly collapse to their third successive loss in all competitions. Daniel Gazdag converted twice in the second half and Julian Carranza concluded the scoring in the 88th minute as the Union (6-4-3, 21 points) improved their unbeaten streak to six games.
Gazdag opened the scoring on a throw-in, firing off the inside of the left post in the 56th minute. The chance was set up in transition, after a Jack Panayotou shot was blocked. Revolution defender Andrew Farrell got to the ball before Uhre but surrendered a throw-in, and the Revolution were slow to recover, leaving Gazdag isolated against Dave Romney.
Gazdag converted a penalty kick in the 73rd minute, the sequence set up by a restart, Romney and Giacomo Vrioni failing to connect. Jakob Glesnes intercepted and Uhre went down in a clash with Farrell. Referee Lukasz Szpala immediately signaled a penalty kick but did not issue a card to Farrell.
The Revolution survived a rocky start that included a non-call as Uhre went down in a clash with Romney in the opening seconds, followed by a Latif Blessing caution (fourth) for a foul on Jose Martinez. Djordje Petrovic saved twice on Carranza, a deflected shot off Romney (ninth) and a diving stop following a Martinez cross (27th). Along the way, there was a Farrell block on Uhre following a Matt Polster giveaway (21st).
Though Gil departed, replaced by Panayotou in the 35th minute, the Revolution might have stayed in contention. But they squandered two clear chances off Emmanuel Boateng crosses ― Bobby Wood missing wide (19th) and Brandon Bye, who went out with an apparent shoulder injury in the final minutes, firing high (60th).
Observations from Saturday’s game:
▪ Defining moment: Gil went down in a non-contact situation in the 33rd minute, then walked off alongside trainer Joshua Williams, holding his right thigh. This was the latest setback in the Revolution’s fortunes with Designated Players — the team has had all three DPs on the field together only 29 times (out of 115 games played) since 2020. After Gil went down, the only Revolution DP available was Vrioni, who entered in the 66th minute. Gil, who has yet to commit a foul this season, was issued his second caution of the year (dissent) after the penalty kick was awarded. Gil’s status has not been determined for the Revolution-Chicago Fire game next Saturday. “We’ll know more after we get an MRI,” Revolution coach Bruce Arena said of Gil.
▪ Difference-maker: Uhre, who twice outmanuevered Farrell to set up goals. Actually, Farrell was in position both times, but somehow lost his footing and possession, leading to a throw-in; then surrendered a penalty that was more a case of Uhre selling the call, as there seemed minimal contact on the play.
▪ Tactical: With Gil in action, the Revolution were able to unlock the Union’s 5-3-2 alignment. But Union defenders Jack Elliott, Damion Lowe, and Glesnes negated the Revolution’s single striker setup, and were not threatened after Jozy Altidore and Vrioni entered.
▪ Statistical analysis: The Revolution had a decided height disadvantage, limiting their wide game and corner kick threat, though Boateng was able to get low crosses in for opportunities. Only one Revolution starter (Romney) stands taller than 6 feet; all five Union defenders are 6 feet or taller. The Revolution committed 13 fouls (five cautions); Philadelphia had 12 fouls (one caution).
▪ Road ahead: The Revolution meet the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium Saturday, their only home game of the month, followed by visits to Atlanta United and New York City FC.
▪ What they said: “It was even at halftime. We wanted that, or to be ahead by half. We accomplished that and then we came out in the second half and made some really poor errors that resulted in two goals. We had two decent chances in the game where we don’t even hit the frame. So, these are mistakes in a game like this that are going to cost you. And they did.” — Arena.
Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at email@example.com.