New England Soccer Today

Record Futility

17-year-old Diego Fagundez made his second start of the season on Saturday. (Photo: Walter Silva)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution set the club record winless streak on Saturday night, failing to win their tenth straight match in playing to a dire scoreless draw with the Philadelphia Union at Gillette Stadium in front of 11,841.

The Revolution’s previous high winless run was nine games in 2011 and 1999. New England (6-14-7, 25 points) remained in ninth place, one point behind the Philadelphia (7-13-5, 26 points), with the draw.

“It was good to get a shutout,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “I thought [Revolution goalkeeper] Matt Reis had a good game. Unfortunately I don’t think we created enough chances to win the game, but on a positive we got the shutout.”

In addition to the winless run, the match also marked the 10th time the Revolution failed to score in a match this season, tying a club record. New England was also shutout in 10 matches in 2011, 1999 and 1997.

New England left both Chris Tierney and AJ Soares out of the game day eighteen due to injuries, replaced by Florian Lechner and Darrius Barnes, while Diego Fagundez replaced Saer Sene, who will miss the rest of the season with an ACL tear.

“Soares was out with concussion-like symptoms because he got elbowed in the back of the head [on Wednesday] that wasn’t called … Tierney had a little bit of tightness, but both those guys have played a lot of minutes,” said Heaps.

A dire first half saw zero shots for the Revolution, while the Union maintained 69.2% of the possession and created a few half chances.

“Some games you have a good attack and some games you just can’t do it,” said Fagundez.

After an opening 20 minutes devoid of opportunities, Sheanon Williams had the visitors first chance in the 23rd minute. The Boston native brought down the ball just outside of the box before curling a shot on frame, but Reis was well positioned to make the save.

Philadelphia threatened again in the 43rd minute. First Antoine Hoppenot got into the box off a through ball from Brian Carroll and blasted a shot on frame, forcing Reis to push it wide for a corner. On the ensuing set piece Freddy Adu found Amobi Okugo, who headed a shot towards goal that was denied only by the crossbar.

That was the extent of the first half opportunities.

It was the Revolution again on the back foot to start the second half with Adu playing Hoppenot into a breakaway. Hoppenot ran in on goal, but his effort was denied by Reis.

“Oh, Matt (Reis) was huge,” said defender Darrius Barnes. “Matt saved us on a bunch of occasions. There were times we thought a couple of their players were offside and Matt bailed us out. He’s been bailing us out all year, he’s come up with big saves and that’s what we expect from our veteran keeper.”

Reis again came up big in the 51st minute after Danny Cruz saw a shot blocked at the top of the box. The ball fell to Hoppenot, who flicked it to Brian Carroll near the penalty spot. With space in front of goal, Carroll took a shot, but Reis was quick off his line to block it wide.

“[Reis] was our best player,” said Heaps. “For me he made good saves, he came out for crosses, made some plays. It wasn’t an easy night for him and he did well.”

The Revolution finally had their first shot of the match in the 61st minute as Benny Feilhaber found Stephen McCarthy with a free kick. McCarthy’s effort, however, was well off frame.

New England followed that up with weak efforts on frame from Kevin Alston and Lee Nguyen in the 64th and 69th minutes, respectively, but Zac MacMath made the easy saves.

Kelyn Rowe eventually forced MacMath into a difficult save in the 85th minute after a Union attempted clearance deflected off Dimitry Imbongo and fell to Rowe at the far post. Rowe blasted a shot on frame, but MacMath dove to keep the ball out.

From there, the two teams were unable to test the other’s goalkeeper again before the final whistle.

New England returns to action on Wednesday, September 5, with a home match against the Columbus Crew at 8 p.m.


  1. rick sewall

    September 2, 2012 at 9:31 am

    The game was a dud. Both teams would have given us a better performance if the prospect of relegation was in the background. These teams , all teams, should should have to earn their way to America’s top level. My English friends worry that foreign ownership want to get rid of pro-rel in he EPL, feeling that this move would destroy the league. Also, games played on natural grass are simply more attractive. Once again Heaps showed bad attitude at the end of the game. He should behave in a more mature manner and get his team to focus on the game itself. He may hate to lose, but this doesn’t guarantee that the team is going to stop losing. I strongly feel that in some ways hating to lose can be counterproductive.

  2. risapres

    September 2, 2012 at 11:24 am

    new park! New Coach!New General Manager and we are all set!

  3. Jim

    September 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Less points = higher draft & allocation spot. Keep the horrible results coming! This game was awful. I’d blame the officials too if I was Heaps, why not?

    Simply put, I don’t care about this season at all anymore. I understand that Burns and Heaps MAY be fighting for their jobs, but I doubt it. Tank tank tank!

  4. W Peter Jones

    September 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    WINLESS STREAK Hey guys in the last two games the Revs have had two draws ie win 3pt draw 1pt loss 0 pts hey 1pt is better than nothing ??

  5. rick sewall

    September 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I don’t think players respect a coach who persists in criticizing referees because it distracts from their ability to concentrate on the game and thereby diminishes their chances of winning. It also makes it harder to get out of the serious rut they currently are in. Ten games without a win? There are reasons for this. I would not give up on the season, and I would never stop trying to find solutions. Call it an intellectual exercise to keep your sanity.

    • Jim

      September 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Basically, I just don’t want to steal useless points when this organization DESPERATELY needs high draft picks. Like that game against Toronto last season when we just HAD to tie….

      The difference between picks 1, 2, and 3 in the draft is huge – in a non expansion year it is just something we desperately need to take advantage of.

  6. rick sewall

    September 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    ! point is bad for the draft and allocation situation. They might catch you if you lose on purpose. Seriously, this is why pro-rel is going to be critical for league health.

    • Jim

      September 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      If the revs decide to tank, or as I like to call it ‘let the reserves get a chance to prove their worth & secure a spot for next year’ will it not pressure the league to maybe consider pro / rel a little more? Or at least put rules in place against tanking? I say we take full advantage of the ultra-forgiving MLS and make them look like fools.

      Regarding the officiating: Heaps, everyone knows that the officials are horrible. It is absolutely distracting & entirely unprofessional to blame the officials constantly game after game. Every team in the league suffers at the hands of the officials, not just us (cough cough Brad and Jeff)

  7. rick sewall

    September 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I have always disliked the system, as in football and basketball especially, whereby the lousiest team gets the first college draft pick and so on. It leads to a degree of corruption because losing is rewarded. Pro-rel would be at least a beginning in the attempt to solve this problem, if the league is going to try in the first place . Am I mistaken or is the refereeing in the Mexican league much better than that in the MLS? If so, why?

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