New England Soccer Today

Too Good for this Galaxy

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution extended their winning streak to three games with a stunning 5-0 victory over the defending MLS Champion Los Angeles Galaxy in front of the biggest home crowd of the season, 19,120, at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.

Fagundez registered a goal and an assist in the Revolution win. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

Fagundez registered a goal and an assist in the Revolution win. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

Eighteen-year-old Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe each scored a goal and set up two more, while Lee Nguyen, Saer Sene and Chad Barrett added a goal apiece. Fagundez, a Leominster, Mass. native, registered his team leading fifth goal of the season, while Rowe moved among the league leaders with five assists. For Sene, Barrett and Rowe, the goals were their first of the season. Sene, the Revolution’s leading scorer last season before suffering an ACL tear, made his first start of the season in place of Jerry Bengtson, head coach Jay Heaps’ lone change over the team that beat Toronto FC 2-0 a week ago.

“Diego (Fagundez) you see him, he has excellent body control today; we see it all the time in training,” said Heaps. “But it’s tough to find that all the time on the field but today he really had it. You can see he was putting the ball exactly where he wanted it and sliding off defenders. He created the first two goals. That touch to Saer (Sene) was one of the best touches of the game and setting up Lee (Nguyen), being smart, and playing quickly and taken advantage of an unset defense was a good job from him as well.”

New England (5-4-4, 19 points) moved above .500 for the first time all season and currently sit behind the Philadelphia Union for the fifth and final playoff spot only on goals scored, while still having a game in hand. The Galaxy (6-5-2, 20 points) sit in fourth place in the West.

The visitors started the game the stronger team and nearly drew first blood in the second minute when Landon Donovan played Gyasi Zardes behind the defense. Zardes ran in on goal, but sent his shot into the side netting. A minute later Marcelo Sarvas blasted a long shot on frame, but Bobby Shuttleworth just managed to tip it over the net. Juninho continued the barrage with a long distance shot that Shuttleworth tipped over in the ninth minute.

“To be fair, I think they were the better team in the first half, created more chances,” said Revolution defender Chris Tierney. “We weathered the storm which is what you have to do sometimes and Bobby (Shuttleworth) kept us in the game, with some big saves early.  We just made enough plays when it came down to it, to keep them out.”

New England showed its first sign of life the 15th minute when Carlo Cudicini punched out a Nguyen corner to Chris Tierney. Tierney headed the ball back into the box where Stephen McCarthy directed it towards goal. The ball eluded Juan Agudelo and rolled just wide of the far post.

Sene then put the Revolution in the lead against the run of play 34th minute after getting the ball on the left flank. The French striker cut inside and played a give-and-go with Fagundez that sent Sene alone into the box. Sene hit a low shot that hit off the far post and went in to put the Revs in front 1-0.

“In the first 10 minutes, I think they had two or three pretty good chances so we just had to weather the storm there and then come out and try to play after that,” said Shuttleworth. “We came in one-nil at halftime so we felt great with that. They definitely had the better play in the first half so to come out in the second half and play the way we did, I think we definitely stepped it up and created a lot more chances.”

New England would carry that lead into halftime and the second half got off to a subdued start before Nguyen sparked it to life in the 71st minute. With the Galaxy confused over the referee awarding New England a free kick, Fagundez played it quickly to Nguyen who ran in on goal, cut in on his defender and sent a left footed shot past a flat-footed Carlo Cudicini that beat him at the near post to put the Revolution ahead 2-0.

The Galaxy threatened to pull one back four minutes later when Juninho put a header on frame from close range, but a Revolution defender blocked the shot and the defense managed to clear.

Fagundez then put the game out of reach in the 87th minute with his team-leading fifth goal of the season. The 18-year-old helped create the play with a great run across the top of the box before finding Agudelo. Agudelo then sent the ball back to Fagundez, who played a quick one-two with Rowe to get himself in space near the penalty spot before hitting a low shot past Cudicini.

“My confidence keeps going higher and higher,” said Fagundez. “The more minutes I get, the more confidence I get. Every goal I keep getting is helping out the team, so that’s all that matters.”

The Galaxy came close to pulling one back with two late chances before the Revolution exposed their defense on the counterattack. Substitute Chad Barrett, who has struggled for minutes all season, made it 4-0 with his first Revolution goal in his first appearance since March. Rowe got the ball on the left flank and fount a wide open Barrett at the top of the box, who blasted it past Cudicini in stoppage time.

“We have a lot of guys that are fighting for minutes,” said Heaps. “It makes my job hard and you’ve got to deal with some bruised egos at times. But at the same time you can see guys pushing and taking it really well with competing at every position and it’s a great thing to have if taken in the right light.”

“I think more people need to put me on their fantasy teams,” joked Barrett. “It’s just a great confidence booster for me. It’s the first goal I’ve scored since last year… It was great to see the ball hit the back of the net and see the crowd get on their feet. It meant a lot to me to kind of get the monkey off my back. Hopefully I get more minutes and can slot a few more in.”

Rowe then capped off the scoring on what was essentially the last kick of the game. After some nice build-up play on the right flank following a long Revolution free kick, Barrett turned provider, teeing up Rowe at the top of the box, who hammered it past Cudicini to make it 5-0.

“It’s exciting [to be a part of this offense] no matter when you come on, whether you if you start or come off the bench, it’s exciting the whole game and you can see it here,” said Rowe. “We had four goals in the second. You never know when it’s going to happen and I think that’s great for us because we can have a shot and be like ‘ah man, he missed’, but we’re going to have five or six more before the end of the game, so for us we know we’re going to get more chances this time.”

Shuttleworth made six saves for the Revolution in the victory, extending the team’s streak without allowing a goal to 305 minutes, the longest active streak in MLS the third longest in the league this season.

The Revolution remains home with a match against Eastern Conference cellar dweller D.C. United on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Post-game video from New England Soccer Today contributor Carl Setterlund.

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