New England Soccer Today

Scoreless in Seattle

Bobby Shuttleworth kept the Sounders off the scoreboard on Saturday. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/aduama.com)

The New England Revolution extended their scoreless streak to 388 minutes, but managed to escape Seattle with a point after the Revolution defense kept their third shutout of the season. New England had just 31.5% possession against the Sounders, completed only 65% of their passes and couldn’t get a shot on target during the draw.

The nil-nil scoreline leaves the Revolution (1-2-2, 5 points) temporarily in seventh place in the MLS Eastern Conference. Seattle (0-3-2, 2 points) remains in last place in the Western Conference as their worst start in club history continues.

Head coach Jay Heaps made three changes to the line-up that lost 1-0 to FC Dallas at Gillette Stadium two weeks ago. The team switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation with Ryan Guy going to the bench in favor of an extra center midfielder in Kalifa Cissé. Diego Fagundez was replace on the wing by Kelyn Rowe, while Chris Tierney replaced Kevin Alston – who is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with leukemia earlier this week – at left back.

Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was called into action in just the third minute after Seattle picked off a pass from A.J. Soares. Steve Zakuani fired a shot on frame from just outside the box, but a well-positioned Shuttleworth easily made the save.

Seattle had two great opportunities in the 15th minute after Lamar Neagle picked a ball off from Soares. Neagle played Zakuani into a one-on-one with Jose Gonçalves, but the Revolution defender managed to tackle the ball out for a corner at the least second. Off the ensuing corner, Lee Nguyen’s clearance fell to Osvaldo Alonso, who rocketed a shot towards the upper corner that Shuttleworth just got his fingertips on to tip over the new with an acrobatic save.

Some sloppy defending from the Revolution allowed Seattle another chance in the 44th minute when the backline failed to step forward in unison, allowing Zakuani to beat the offside trap. Zakuani ran in on goal and dribbled around Gonçalves, but Shuttleworth was quick off his line and blocked Zakuani’s shot to send the Revolution into the break knotted at 0-0.

While the Revolution kept Seattle off the board in the first half, the visitors managed just one shot (off target) to the Sounders’ eight. New England also had just 34.9% of the possession and completed just 64% of their passes, while Seattle completed 83% of their own.

Seattle would open up the second half where the second left off – controlling the play. Zakuani had a chance in the 55th minute as he dribbled in on Soares and took a left footed shot from just outside the box. Zakuani’s low shot rolled just wide of the far post.

Shuttleworth came up big for New England again in the 60th minute when Neagle got around the Revolution backline at the end line. Neagle ran in on goal and blasted a shot on frame, but Shuttleworth managed to make the save, tipping the ball up and then catching it.

With the Revolution attack faltering, Saer Sene, the Revolution’s leading scorer in 2012, made his season debut in the 74th minute, entering the game for Juan Toja. It was Sene’s first appearance since tearing his ACL on August 19 last season.

Seattle had another chance in the 82nd minute when DeAndre Yedlin found space on the right flank to send in a cross. Mauro Rosales flicked the cross on to Neagle, who hit a shot on frame from about 15 yards, but Shuttleworth was again well positioned to make the save.

The Revolution finally had a chance in second half stoppage time when Jerry Bengtson somehow got the ball after a miscue from goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. Bengtson attempted a shot, but couldn’t find the empty net from a tough angle.

Bengtson had another great chance deep into stoppage time after he got behind the defense on a long ball. Bengtson failed to get a shot off before Gspurning got to the ball, assuring the Revolution went without a shot on target for the second time in their last three matches.

The Revolution return to action with a trip to face the New York Red Bulls on April 20 at 7 p.m. Though New England is the only team in MLS to have allowed just two goals this season, they also remain the only team still searching for their second goal of the season, having not scored since a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire in their season opener.

6 Comments

  1. wpeter jones

    April 13, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    It was a very entertaining game by the Revs end to end stuff when Mr Heaps made the Subs ie Dorman & Sene it made a difference in play more attacking for the Revs Shuttleworth was on his game tonight to me he was the MAN OF THE MATCH

  2. Demetrios Tsillas

    April 14, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Poor performances by both Tojas and Nguyen doomed the attack. It was only when Sene came in that the attack found some footing but by then it was too late. Shuttleworth had a good game but benefited from Seattle’s inability to finish. Next week I hope to see Sene as an early sub or even starting player. He has the ability to create goals from thin play. I’d like to see a starting 11 which includes Dorman, Sene, Bengtson and Rowe.

    • John B

      April 14, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Rowe should never start….ever again. It was a nice gesture from Heaps since Seattle is his home town.
      One thing has got to change, Toja can’t run around like a maniac out there confusing his own teammates. And how many times did he turn the ball over against Seattle? I lost count.
      I’m excited to see Sene back in the line up. With his speed and ability to keep the ball and not a poacher like somebody, he should create space on opposing defense.
      Both Nguen and Toja to be fair, didn’t have a lot of support yesterday. I thought nguyen did better when Sene came in…cause he finally had someone to connect with.
      Final thought, with a defense that seems to be able to handle its own, a 4-4-2 formation is a must for this offense to get out of this funk. A more crowded midfield will just clog up space and do you no good. Small tight passing is not their game (passing percentage less than 65%)

      • PaulQ

        April 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm

        Great assessment n I absolutely agree w u. Toja ‘s doing too much like Benny last couple seasons n that ‘s why he turned the ball over n confused his teammates. Rowe n Farrell generated zero threat on the right, but only few threats from the left despite Tierney poor touches after his injury.Most important that Heaps needs to stop playing 2 DM players of Cisse n Simms that just clog up space instead playing another CM + Cisse or Simms so at least the Revs has one open player to connect with n they were better when Dorman in for Cisse, but still not good enough. They need a quality CM. Again Soares was awful commonly (passing percent of 41%).

        • John B

          April 14, 2013 at 6:09 pm

          I’m not high on Soares. He made couple of crucial mistakes yesterday that should have turned into goals. Ha panics too often and knocks the ball out of bounds unnecessarily.
          But it’s better be lucky than good.

  3. wpeterjones

    April 14, 2013 at 10:39 am

    The REVS play a better game when they Sub TOJA To me TOJA & LEE do not play well together on the field with the Revs Lets hope next week Mr Heaps has in his starting line up for next game Red Bulls– DORMAN & SENE & Toja on the Sub bench

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