The Union did not have the usual dominating season we have become accustomed to. In the last couple of years, it was clear they were one of the best teams in the MLS. This year, there were issues. Some were their fault, some were out of their control. It was a weird season for the MLS with interruptions by both the Leagues Cup and International Play. And that International Play meant star goalie Andre Blake was away from the team for several games during the regular season. All of it led to a sloppier season for the Union. They had to settle for the 4th seed in their conference after being either the 1 or 2 seed the past three seasons.
None of those issues were present in their first game in the playoffs though. They dominated the Revolution in the first game of a 3-game series. By the 37th minute, they were up 3-0. Daniel Gazdag, Mikkel Uhre, and Nathan Harriel all scored in the first half. The Revolution made a bit of a push in the second half. But it was never enough to undo the 3-0 lead. The Union won 3-1 to take game 1 of the series.
The win continues the tradition of the Union being downright dominant at Subaru Park. They have lost just one game in Philadelphia in MLS play all season long. Meanwhile, they were 5-8-4 when on the road. The bad news is if they continue into the playoffs, they will likely be on the road against all future opponents. The drawback of some of their struggles in the regular season, even if they looked much better today.
Next up for the Union is game 2 of the series with the Revolution. That game takes place back in New England, but won’t be played until Wednesday, November 8th.
Like the Union, New England tends not to lose games when they play at home. They were 12-1-4 when playing in Gillette Stadium. And these two teams met in the final game of the regular season, with the Revolution winning 2-1. If the Union can’t finish out the 3 game series in New England, it would come back to Subaru Park for a win on Sunday, November 12th.