Anthony Fontana scored a goal in his debut, C.J. Sapong added a goal, and the Philadelphia Union opened the Major League Soccer season with a 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution on a cold and windy Saturday night at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa.
Sapong was aggressive from the opening kickoff and finally scored on his sixth shot.
Union goalkeeper Andre Blake earned a shutout after compiling nine clean sheets last season.
The Union, which outshot New England 21-8, opened strong despite advancing to the postseason just twice in their first eight seasons.
New England has narrowly missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons and looked sluggish at times in the initial game of 2018.
By the end, the Revolution were playing with only nine men. Defender Antonio Mlinar Delamea got a red card for a denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity in the 24th minute, and defender Claude Dielna picked up his second yellow card in the 87th minute, causing him to be ejected, too.
Fontana struck for a 1-0 Union lead in the 43rd minute, finishing a cross with a tap-in. Sapong and Alejandro Bedoya were credited with assists.
In the 56th minute, New England’s Teal Bunbury fired a right-handed strike, but Blake sprawled out and made a diving save.
Sapong gave the Union a 2-0 advantage in the 69th minute when he redirected a cross by Cory Burke into the back of the goal.
Bunbury had another solid chance in the 74th minute but sent a shot just wide.
In the 11th minute, Revolution forward Juan Agudelo ripped a shot that was deflected by Blake for the Revolution’s first corner kick.
Agudelo broke free in the 21st minute but was stymied by Blake, who came out to challenge the play and cleared the ball.
In the 22nd minute, David Accam, the Union’s prized acquisition in the offseason, had a strike in the box saved by Revolution goalie Matt Turner.
Sapong had a clear opportunity to score in the 31st minute but headed a cross just wide.
—Field Level Media