MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
06/27/2014 7:18 PM
06/27/2014 7:31 PM
Philadelphia (3-7-6) at New England (7-5-2), 7:30 p.m.
Foxborough, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Philadelphia Union interim head coach Jim Curtin will get his first opportunity to man the touch line in a league match on Saturday when the Union travel to Gillette Stadium to battle the New England Revolution.
Former manager John Hackworth was relived of his duties following the club's 3-3 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps at PPL Park on June 7. Hackworth led the struggling Union to just three league wins despite several high-profile offseason signings.
"You've got to win.... I go back to our fans. They don't deserve ties at home; they deserve victories. They don't deserve being near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. They deserve a team that's going to be near the top," said Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz following Hackworth's dismissal.
Philadelphia did earn consecutive wins in U.S. Open Cup play against the Harrisburg City Islanders and New York Cosmos, but Curtin's tactical and man- management acumen will be tested in MLS for the first time on Saturday against tough opposition.
New England, meanwhile, will look to bounce back following a 2-0 loss to Red Bull New York at Gillette Stadium on June 8. Still, the Revs are in fine position with 23 points from 14 matches.
The Red Bulls took the lead in the 17th minute. Lloyd Sam drove in a long free kick from the left wing toward the back post, and New York midfielder Eric Alexander was able to redirect a free header past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth for the opener.
The second goal came in the 76th minute when a ball was headed down at the top of the box and Peguy Luyindula hit it on the volley into the lower right corner of the net, giving the Red Bulls their first win at New England since 2002.
The defeat marked the first time New England has lost two consecutive games since dropping the first two matches of the campaign back in March.
"We had chances to score goals, and we didn't," said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. "I think it was a little bit about the final ball, the class inside the area. We had two or three balls go across, we had shooting go right at their goalkeeper. We weren't good enough, and we've got to get better."
"I think we've been streaky. Let's be honest, we've won games and we've lost and we've got to find a way to balance that out a little bit better," Heaps added.
This will be the third meeting of the season between the sides. The Revs claimed a comfortable 5-3 win over Philadelphia at PPL Park on May 17.
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