Philadelphia Union beat New England Revolution to reach East semis


Union eliminate Revolution to move on to Eastern Conference finals

Chris Donovan scores the lone goal of the match as the Philadelphia Union advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

Corey Donovan redirected Jack McGlynn's free kick in the 79th minute as the Philadelphia Union advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 1-0 victory over the 10-man New England Revolution on Wednesday in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Donovan's tap-in was enough for the Union to complete a two-game sweep in a best-of-three, opening-round series. Philadelphia earned a 3-1 victory in the opener back on Oct. 28 in Chester, Pennsylvania.

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Andre Blake made three saves to keep his first clean sheet of the 2023 playoffs, a task made easier once New England's Mark-Anthony Kaye was sent off just before half-time.

The fourth-seeded Union will continue their defense of the Eastern Conference title in a single-elimination match against 2023 Supporters Shield winner FC Cincinnati to be played on Nov. 25 or Nov. 26. It will be Philadelphia's third consecutive appearance in the conference semifinals and fourth in the past five years.

New England battled admirably despite its numerical disadvantage in the second half. While Philadelphia outshot the Revolution 19-8, the difference in efforts on target was a more even 4-3.

Philadelphia Union players celebrate after scoring a goal against the New England Revolution in the MLS playoffs.
Philadelphia Union players celebrate after scoring a goal against the New England Revolution in the MLS playoffs.
USA Today Images

The fifth-seeded Revolution face an offseason of transition after manager Bruce Arena resigned midseason amid an investigation into allegations he made inappropriate remarks. New England lost six of its last nine in MLS regular-season and postseason games under Clint Peay, the second interim manager to serve after Arena's final game.

Kaye departed in the 45th minute for stomping down on Daniel Gazdag while the Union player was on the ground. Referee Drew Fischer initially whistled only a foul on the exchange, but brandished the red following a video review.

To its credit, New England gave up few clear chances after going behind, but McGlynn was in the middle of the two best.

In the 51st minute, he went for goal himself on a free kick and struck the near right post, with goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. potentially beaten.

Then in the 79th from a similar position, McGlynn decided to drive a low ball across the face of the goal instead.

Replays suggested Philadelphia midfielder Alejandro Bedoya might have gotten a slight touch on the ball first, but then Donovan definitely did, redirecting it just enough to send it inside the far left post with Edwards rooted to the ground.