CHESTER, Pa. - Sebastien Le Toux scored in the 31st minute, lifting the Philadelphia Union to a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday.
Le Toux received a crossing pass from Leo Fernandes and sent the ball past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
"We wanted to start well at home, and to get a shutout is really important too," Le Toux said in quotes provided by the team. "I feel like we got off to a good start, and I felt relaxed as the game went on. It's fun to score goals. Hopefully I can score more goals later on, and help more the team more. Starting off the season with three points (at home) entails a great start to the year and I want to do everything I can to make sure it continues."
Fernandes, a former Reading United player who started just three games last season, was a last-minute replacement for Union captain and midfielder Brian Carroll, who was scratched just before the game because of flu-like symptoms, according to Union coach John Hackworth.
"I think you saw in the first 10 minutes of the game it was a little shaky," Hackworth said. "The guys haven't trained with those players in those positions all week long, but Leo has been in some of preseason activities with these guys. I told Leo that you don't have to be the best player on the field; all you have to do is your job, play your role, manage your minutes, and I thought he did a good job with that today."
In all, the Union dominated the stat sheet, holding edge in possession (60-40), attempts on goal (13-5) and shots (10-5). However, Hackworth said he still saw some things that the team needs to work on, especially in the second half.
"The best way to close out the games is to get the second goal," Hackworth said. "I'll be honest; I don't think we played well the second half. My expectations going out of halftime was that we were going to do the same thing like gain possession, have the highest number of passes. ... The whole time (in the second half) I was urging us to step it up and pick up the pressure. But I feel confident in this group and that will be the next step for us."
The Union were coming off a 1-1 draw at Portland in their opener. Philadelphia improved to 4-0-2 against New England at PPL Park.
The Revolution were shut out for the second straight game. They began the season with a 4-0 loss at Houston and will play four of their first five games on the road.
New England's best chance to score came in the 38th minute when Diego Fagundez had a clean look from about 10 yards out. But goalkeeper Zac MacMath made the save.
The Union played without injured starters Conor Casey (calf) and Sheanon Williams (quad).