My thoughts and reflections while watching the Philadelphia Union's home opener Saturday vs. the New England Revolution:

Pregame: Brian Carroll "called out sick." Yesssss!!!!

First minute: Some shaky touches by Ray Gaddis and Jack McInerney. Cristian Maidana also falls over the ball. PPL Park debut nerves?

Second minute: A lot of head tennis in the Revs' box, to no avail for the Union.

Third minute: Sons of Ben in good form.

Fourth minute: Gaddis with some good defending. Fabinho is touching the ball a lot.

Fifth minute: Union get cut open a little bit, but Zach McMath with an easy save.

Sixth minute: Fabinho with a sick backheel along the left touchline.

Seventh minute: Maurice Edu with his first touch. The Revs are making some nice diagonal runs.

Eighth minute: Union play some nice triangles in midfield.

Ninth minute: Another cross from Fabinho, easily cleared. Edu getting more involved.

10th minute: Jack Mac yellow carded. Revs with a free kick.

11th minute: McMath gathers easily. The pitch in Chester, Pa., looks perfect, despite the horrible winter.

12th minute: Austin Berry with a foul.

13th minute: Union defending well in the middle of the park, leading to a Revs giveaway.

14th minute: Fabinho trying to walk off an injury.

15th minute: Gaddis loses the ball in near the Revs' right corner flag.

16th minute: Union with a free kick in a good position.

17th minute: Revs have a break, but it goes over the touchline. Leo Fernandes looking good.

18th minute: Sebastien LeToux wins a free kick in a great position, which leads to a corner.

19th minute: Union shot cleared off the line.

20th minute: Union causing problems in the Revs box again.

21st minute: Edu cracks a shot, which is blocked.

22nd minute: Le Toux and Maidana have swapped sides. Fabinho whips in his fourth cross of the game.

23rd minute: Le Toux gets cracked to the ground, but no foul is called.

24th minute: Bad touch by a Revs player allows McMath to come and collect. Down the other end, Le Toux can't get off a good shot.

25th minute: Good hustle by Gaddis wins a deep throw. Jack Mac with a quick shot, which is saved.

26th minute: Maidana with a good free kick, which comes to nothing.

27th minute: Gaddis is impressing me. I much prefer him to Shaenon Williams opposite Fabinho.

28th minute: Good tackle by Edu creates a chance for Vincent Nogueira. One-way traffic for the Union now.

29th minute: Fernandes fouled and cracked to the ground.

30th minute: Again, Gaddis stands his ground and wins a ball well. Le Toux scores off a pass from Fernandes. 1-0 Union.

31st minute: Replay shows Le Toux may have been offside, but who cares?

32nd minute: Maidana fouled to the ground

33rd minute: Revs are struggling to keep possession.

34th minute: Le Toux with good body control to shield a ball.

35th minute: Nogueira with a good ball into the box, but the Revs keeper collects. Maidana bursts into the box, but nothing comes of it.

36th minute: Revs switch fields for one of the first times in the match.

37th minute: Good combo play from the Union on the left side,

38th minute: McMath with a huge leg save.

39th minute: Maidana wins a corner on the left.

40th minute: Poor corner from Le Toux.

41st minute: Union taking a bit of air out of the ball now. Gaddis comes up to take a throw. Jack Mac with a clever run, but ball doesn't find him.

42nd minute: Fabinho wins a corner. Maidana shot blocked.

43rd minute: Nice calm passing from the Union. Nothing seems hurried.

44th minute: Good tackle by Edu, ball goes out for a goal kick.

45th minute: Jack Mack fouls a Revs player ... so says the ref!

One minute of extra time: Union defend well at the top of their box. Halftime whistle. 1-0 Union.

46th minute: Bengston comes in for Revs, replacing Donny Smith. A few Union throw ins in the Revolution half.

47th minute: Berry brings Nyugen, who was in behind, down. Yellow card.

48th minute: NE free kick served into box. Headed down by Revs and a decent chance. Could have been dangerous.

49th minute: Union attacking in the Revs end. Questionable free kick, but not called.

50th minute: Ball from Revs over the top. Berry gets last second tackle in on Bengston to stop break.

51st minute: Bengston knocks a ball down in the box but the Union clear. Fabinho hurt a bit, stoppage for a minute. Bengston is cut on head.

52nd minute: Teams exchange possession.

53rd minute: Aaron Wheeler comes on for Union. Berry comes out.

54th minute: Questionable foul called on Edu on Nguyen. Edu shows his frustration. Free kick comes to nothing.

55th minute: Berry has a left leg injury, which is why he came out.

56th minute: Union struggling to get a hold of the ball for an extended period of time.

57th minute: Union trying to keep the ball.

58th minute: Gaddis and Maidana show good composure and make a nice defensive switch.

59th minute: Nothing comes of a Union chance, then McMath has to punch away a shot.

60th minute: McMath collects the corner.

61st minute: Union being pressed into their own end.

62nd minute: Crowd booing refereeing decision. Crowd wanted a corner.

63rd minute: Revs playing the ball along the back. Jack Mac blasts a shot over the bar.

64th minute: Union can't keep the ball.

65th minute: Maidana makes a bad pass. Union lack the bite of the first half.

66th minute: Revs are much better organized than in the first half.

67th minute: Wheeler fouls a Revs player.

68th minute: Revs switching the ball more. Union seem to be out of gas.

69th minute: Revs have a dangerous free kick. Union clear the danger.

70th minute: A good breakaway for the Union. Yellow card for the Revs,

71st minute: Poor free kick by Le Toux. Why can't these guys beat the first man?

72nd minute: Union win a corner. Nogueira eventually hits a shot wide.

73rd minute: Revs playing some nice one-touch football. The Union need to come up with some new ideas.

74th minute: The Revs just seem to want it more. A goal could be coming.

75th minute: Edu commits a foul in midfield. Jack Mac being held.

76th minute: Union waste a good run by Le Toux.

77th minute: Union just seem to be inviting the pressure. Union concede a corner.

78th minute: Union break the length of the field, but the ball is fired wide.

79th minute: Revs have a corner, Edu clears it.

80th minute: Antoine Hoppenot about to come in for the Union.

81st minute: Corner for the Union. Jack Mac subbed out.

82nd minute: Maidana about to take corner. Nothing comes of it.

83rd minute: Teams exchange possession.

84th minute: Union are their own worst enemy at this point. They're making bad decisions.

85th minute: Union offside just past the center circle.

86th minute: Gaddis making a nice run, but no one sees him.

87th minute: Wheeler wins a ball in the air. Danny Cruz in for Maidana.

88th minute: Cruz open wide right, but Union make wrong pass again to Hoppenot, who is offside.

89th minute: McMath collects a long throw. One minute plus stoppage time to go.

90th minute: McMath hoofs it downfield. Cruz shields the ball in the corner for a while, but it goes out for a goal kick. Cruz is laid out and receiving treatment. Four minutes of stoppage time.

Extra time: Wheeler with a good clearing header. Players are going down like flies now. Le Toux misses a shot on a breakaway. Union corner. Now, a Union throw. Union still has the ball down in the corner. Final whistle! Union win 1-0.

Summary: A good first half, a pedestrian second half for the Union. Four points from the first two matches is a good return. This team, with its revamped midfield, should make the playoffs.

Started at The Press in 1993 as an Ocean County reporter. Moved to the copy desk in 1994 until taking over as editor of At The Shore in 1995. Became deputy sports editor in 2004 and was promoted to sports editor in 2007.