New England clobbers Philadelphia – but it was quite close before some controversy turned the night

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Four important points to know about New England’s 5-1 win over Philadelphia on Sunday at Gillette Stadium outside of Boston.

  • Jack McInerney didn’t start for Philadelphia. The young striker, who was still an MLS leading scorer in Week 18, has not found goal since June 1. Stuck on 10 goals for two-plus months now, he took a seat on John Hackworth’s bench; we’ll see how the 20-year-old striker deals with it. McInerney did get on the field in the 76th, but the result was decided by then.
  • The match looks like a clubbing, but it was quite close for an hour. In fact, Philadelphia had two goals disallowed. More on that one later. Importantly, though, officials got one right and one wrong, and the blown call would have given Philly a 2-1 lead in the second half. It was a real turning point that way; Given Philly’s ability to grind out the results, Hackworth’s team had a reasonable chance at that point to come away with one point, at least.

(MORE: Highlights, including the two controversial disallowed goals)

  • New England midfielder Kelyn Rowe scored twice, both on long range strikes. One was merely good, but one was an absolute show-stopper.
  • Any and all points are critical now in the Eastern Conference, where a mere five points separates top spot from not making the playoffs. Here are the standings. (Remember, that red line is the playoff qualification demarcation.)