The New England Revolution brought their scoring boots with them on Sunday night, taking the Philadelphia Union out to the woodshed for a 5-1 beatdown. Kelyn Rowe scored two highlight-reel goals from distance, while Juan Agudelo, Diego Fagundez, and an own goal added the rest of the damage. Danny Cruz had the lone goal for the visitors, who lost Amobi Okugo in second-half stoppage time for a second yellow card.
"We need points," said Jay Heaps after the match. "We're trying to get points, we need to continue to get points at home, and right the record at home. We felt like we've let games slip away here and we need to right that ship."
The first half started slow for the Revs, with goalkeeper Matt Reis forced into several saves. He collected a weak Brian Carroll volley in the 5th minute, and also a free kick on frame from Sebastien Le Toux in the 23rd. After that, the Revs picked up the pace.
Chad Barrett received the ball in stride at midfield in the 26th minute. He then fed Kelyn Rowe, who just picked his head up from about 25 yards out and fired across Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath's face and low, tucking the ball inside the far post.
Rowe nearly had a second in the 34th minute after Fagundez tucked him in the center of the box, but he took one too many touches and flubbed the ball to MacMath. Agudelo also missed one of the easiest chances you'll ever see at the stroke of halftime when Fagundez capitalized on a Michael Lahoud giveaway and played laterally to the striker, but Agudelo managed to miss a near-open goal well wide of the near post.
The second half didn't start well as Conor Casey played in Danny Cruz in the 51st minute. The diminutive winger cut around Matt Reis and scored at an angle on an open net to level the scores. It was the first goal Reis has given up in MLS play for 2013.
Goal controversy came out in the 56th minute when an apparent Union score was waved off by referee Allen Chapman. He seemed to rule that Reis had control of a cross that he'd smothered when Casey came in and pushed it home in the six, but on replays it looked as though a collision with A.J. Soares may have left Reis without possession of the ball. It was nevertheless called off.
"I thought we came out flat at half and I hate that," said Heaps. "I'm really disappointed in that. But I'm proud of the way the guys reacted."
New England capitalized in the 58th. Fagundez drove into space in the middle of the pitch, attacking the box before slipping the ball to his right to Agudelo all alone just inside the box. Agudelo fired low for the far post, and it looked as though MacMath might have had it covered, but Amobi Okugo slid in to block and ended up diverting the ball into his own net. It was originally called Agudelo's goal, but later changed to an own goal.
Carroll buzzed over from distance in the 59th minute with what was probably Philadelphia's last meaningful chance of the game.
Substitute Dimitry Imbongo did well to hold up the ball in the 65th minute before feeding Rowe in the midfield. Once again, Rowe found space between the midfield and the back four, and once again, he made the Union pay. This one was a blistering, swerving rocket to the top corner from at least 25 yards that MacMath had no chance to save.
"It's one of those where if you make one, you want to make two, three, or four," said Rowe of his highlight-reel brace. "For me, it just gave me a little bit of confidence to hit that second one."
The rout was on in the 71st minute when the boy wonder Diego Fagundez got on the board. Scott Caldwell found him on the break with an excellent diagonal floor pass from inside his own half to put Fagundez streaking toward goal. He got to the box and opened his hips as though to cut inside, fooling his marker and MacMath, and creating just enough space for him to fire low and inside the near post.
Agudelo would get his goal just two minutes later. Fagundez had the ball on the left corner of the box just outside, and attempted a quick low pass to Imbongo just inside the box. The ball was just beyond Imbongo's reach, though the big man did get a slight touch on the ball to slow it down. That was enough to give Agudelo a chance to run onto it and chip over MacMath for the match's final goal.
The fireworks continued into stoppage time, however, where Amobi Okugo was shown a second yellow card and sent off. His first foul had been for egregiously tugging the shirt of Juan Agudelo on a breakaway, and this second one was for barging Imbongo to the ground needlessly.
The Revs are back in action on Friday night at 7:00 PM against Toronto, in the Great White North.