CHESTER, Pa. — A coach may go to his bench for a number of reasons.
Perhaps one of his starters is tired or just a step slow. Maybe he wants to send a message to the rest of his players that you can be replaced if you don’t pick it up.
Or it’s simply a case of trying to change the momentum since nothing else seems to be working.
Whatever the case, Revolution coach Jay Heaps couldn’t have asked for more from his reserves than he got in Sunday’s 2-1 come-from-behind win over the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park.
And it didn’t take long for them to make their presence felt, as Teal Bunbury came off the bench to feed Charlie Davies for the equalizer in the 64th minute, then sub Diego Fagundez set up Bunbury for the game-winner 12 minutes later.
Just like that, the 3-2-2 Revolution had extended their unbeaten streak to five games, winning the last two on the road.
“I felt before the game we had really good options off the bench and didn’t want to let them sit too long,’’ said Heaps, whose club did concede a goal for the first time in 250 minutes, stretching four games, but lived to tell about it. “They changed the game in our favor.
“I felt the game was going our way, but they helped it along. I was disappointed with the way we played the first half. We weren’t taking our chances, so it was not a flowery halftime talk.’’
Whatever was said, the Revolution, who had fallen behind when Philadelphia’s Cristian Maidana drilled a left-footed free kick off the post past Bobby Shuttleworth in the 42d minute, got the message. “The feeling was we can do a little bit better,’’ said Bunbury. “Execute better.
“We did that the second half. Coming off the bench, I wanted to make an impact whatever it was.’’
Just three minutes after coming onto the field, Bunbury went between the legs of Union defender Raymon Gaddis, then fed a streaking Davies for the equalizer. That touched off a wild celebration for Davies, wearing “Happy Birthday Nina’’ on his jersey.
“I wanted to do something special for her. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for her,’’ the 28-year-old Davies said of his wife, who helped him get his career back on track after a car crash in 2009 left him with severe injuries.
“When I was in the dumps, she’d be one to pick me up. I didn’t have a license for the longest time, so she’d drive me to practice like a school kid. Obviously the win is extremely important, but to score a goal for her on her birthday means a lot.’’
It meant even more 12 minutes later when Bunbury followed Davies’s lead by taking Fagundez’s pass on the run and easily beating Union goalkeeper John McCarthy.
“Diego made a great run,’’ said Bunbury. “He was making eye contact and looked up and saw me.
“He put it right on a platter for me. I just tapped it in.’’
From there, it took a couple of clutch defensive plays from Lee Nguyen and London Woodberry, clearing balls off the line with Shuttleworth out of position, to preserve the victory.
“Today was definitely a team win,’’ said Davies. “Every guy stepped up. I think we can be a very special team, but we still have to put it together.’’
With home games looming against Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls, they have a chance to build on this.
“Getting points on the road is so crucial,’’ said Bunbury. “Now we have a couple of games at home, so we have to maximize those points.’’
After all, when you play in Foxborough there are certain standards to meet.
“Just being in the Kraft family, they demand excellence,’’ said Heaps. “It’s not pressure, but it’s something we cherish and want to be a part of.
“They’ve won championships in football. Now we need one in soccer.’’
. . .
In MLS play in New York, Dairon Asprilla scored a late second-half goal and the Portland Timbers beat New York City FC, 1-0.
A failed clearance fell to the feet of Asprilla at the top of the 18-yard box in the 79th minute and his deflected shot found the empty side of the net.
Portland (2-2-3) bounced back after losing to the other MLS expansion team, Orlando City, a week ago.
NYC FC (1-3-3) had its winless streak reach five games.
NYC’s Khiry Shelton had close chances in the 88th and 89th minutes, but both shots were turned away by goalkeeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey.
It was a quiet first half as Patrick Mullins’s attempt for NYC in the 16th minute was the only shot on goal for either side. NYC’s Tony Taylor was taken off the field in a stretcher in the 34th.
Chris Wingert played a back pass to his goalkeeper in the 47th minute, but Josh Saunders mistakenly picked it up at the 18-yard line. Fanendo Adi’s free kick deflected off the wall and fell harmlessly out of bounds.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.