Goals from Sergio Santos and second-half substitute Cory Burke made the difference for the Union, whose capture of the Supporters Shield — given to the club with the highest overall points total during the regular season — marked the first major trophy the franchise has ever won.
Philadelphia finished the regular season 14–5–4 (47 points) with a perfect 9–0–0 home record and the league’s best defensive record (20 goals allowed).
Playoff field in Eastern Conference set
New England could have avoided the play-in round with a draw Sunday against Philadelphia. But the loss, combined with the New York Red Bulls beating Toronto FC, dropped the Revolution out of contention for a first round bye.
“We’ll evaluate this game and then all we can do is the task at hand,” said Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner. “We shot ourselves in foot obviously. We needed a result to get that top six spot.”
The Revolution finished the regular season 8–7–8 (32 points) and in eighth place. They now have just one win against Philadelphia in their last 11 tries dating back to 2015, and are winless in five games against the Union this season.
“Philadelphia is a good team, that’s why they’ve earned more points than anyone else,” Revolution head coach/sporting director Bruce Arena said. “Today they just outplayed us. In a bunch of other games we had against them we had the edge a little bit. Obviously [Philadelphia] was motivated today, but I cannot understand how our team played in first half. It was very disappointing.”
— X – PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) November 8, 2020
New England to test flimsy home record in playoffs
New England has the worst home record of any playoff team. They will now test it against the Montreal Impact in the play-in game Nov. 20.
“We take every game the same way,” said Scott Caldwell. “Maybe we haven’t been as sharp as we can be at home, but we know we can beat any team.”
The Union clogged up the middle of the pitch Sunday and forced New England into giveaways and made playing through Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou difficult. Philadelphia also out-shot New England 18–9, with only one of the Revolution’s attempts hitting the target.
Philadelphia capture Supporters Shield as Sergio Santos, Cory Burke score in finale
The Union opened the scoring in the 42nd minute. Jakob Glesnes collected the remnants of a corner kick near the left side of the penalty area and crossed to Alejandro Bedoya, whose header clipped the bar.
An open Sergio Santos knocked in the rebound with goalkeeper Matt Turner out of position and Revolution players caught flat-footed. Philadelphia made it 2–0 in the 70th minute. Jose Martinez’s driven pass from the right flank went across the box and reached Burke, who outran Andrew Farrell and blasted past Turner.
“We were thoroughly beaten today,” Arena sad. “We were dominated in the first half. The team that showed up in the first half played a horrible game.
“Our passing, our ability to hold the ball and keep the ball was very poor. That was our entire team.”