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U in Review — Opening Day: New England vs. Philadelphia

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Up two men, at home, the Philadelphia Union defeated Eastern Conference rival, New England Revolution, 2-0 to begin their 2018 Major League Soccer campaign.

Philadelphia Union’s Youth Revolution, if you will, kicked off at Talen Energy Stadium Saturday night, against the visiting New England Revolution.

Fittingly, it was a Homegrown player, 18-year-old Anthony Fontana, who put the Union ahead on the cusp of halftime, in the 43rd minute. The Newark, Delaware native tucked away a missed shot from teammate C.J. Sapong. 

Fontana made his first Union and MLS start on Saturday, after signing for the first-team in the middle of last season. Before Saturday, Fontana had one appearance for the club, which came in a Summer friendly against English Premier League outfit Swansea City.

Joining Fontana in celebrating his first career goal and also making his first-team debut was Media native and fellow Homegrown Auston Trusty.

Trusty, 19, signed with the first-team halfway through the 2016 season, but has since only featured in the Matchday 18 on three separate occasions. The United States U-20 National Team defender was tasked with locking down Teal Bunbury on the night.

Sapong, who led the club with a record 16 regular season goals last season, found himself on the opposite end of the scoresheet in the 69th minute, tapping home a centering pass from substitute and Jamaican international Cory Burke.

Sapong’s first of the season would prove to be nothing more than an assurance goal in the end, as the Union cruised to a comfortable three points.

Overall, it was a dominant performance from Jim Curtin’s team, who out-shot and out-possessed first-year manager Brad Friedel’s New England side 21 to 8 and 64 to 36 percent respectively.

Originally, the Union went up a man in the 24th minute, after New England center-back Antonio Delamea pulled down Sapong from behind. Delamea was the last man and thus received a straight red card from head referee Rubiel Vazquez.

New England suffered their second sending-off on the night, when captain Claude Dielna was issued a second yellow card in the 85th minute, and the Union would go on to finish the match up two men and two to the greater good.

Starting XI —

Philadelphia (4-2-3-1) —

Andre Blake; Keegan Rosenberry, Jack Elliott, Auston Trusty, Fabinho; Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya (C); David Accam, Anthony Fontana (Jay Simpson, 66′), Fabian Herbers (Cory Burke, 66′); C.J. Sapong

New England (4-2-3-1) —

Matt Turner; Andrew Farrell, Claude Dielna (Red, 85′), Antonio Delamea (Red, 24′), Gabriel Somi; Wilfried Zahibo, Scott Caldwell; Diego Fagundez, Cristian Penilla (Jalil Anibaba, 27′), Teal Bunbury; Juan Agudelo (Brandon Bye, 55′)

Scoresheet —

Philadelphia —

Anthony Fontana (43′) — assisted by C.J. Sapong

C.J. Sapong (69′) — assisted by Cory Burke

Next Match —

The Philadelphia Union will have a week off, before returning to action Saturday March 17, when they welcome the Columbus Crew to Talen Energy Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 2:00 P.M. EST and will be broadcasted on 6ABC.

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