New England Soccer Today

Their Cup Runneth Over Again

Revolution center back A.J. Soares goes toe-to-toe with Red Bulls forward Andre Akpan in Wednesday's Open Cup game. (Photo: Kari Heistad/

Revolution center back A.J. Soares goes toe-to-toe with Red Bulls forward Andre Akpan in Wednesday’s Open Cup game. (Photo: Kari Heistad/

BOSTON – If only every game that Kelyn Rowe played was an Open Cup game.

For the second straight tournament game, Rowe scored twice to send the Revolution to a 4-2 fourth round win over the Red Bulls at Harvard University on Wednesday.

After scoring two goals in the May 28 third round game against Rochester, Rowe wasted no time putting his name on the scoresheet when he found paydirt in the fourth minute, then added another in the 37th minute. Fabian Espindola brought one back for the Red Bulls in the 30th minute, but Dimitry Imbongo netted what proved to be the game-winner in the 51st minute. Jonny Steele made it close when he scored in the 61st minute before Chris Tierney capped the scoring in the 87th minute.

With the win, the Revolution earned a quarterfinal date with D.C. United on Jun. 26 at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm.

“When (Rowe) shoots in on goal, it’s usually going in,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said. “He’s got one of the best shots I’ve seen, right or left foot. He was fired up for tonight. Right from the open, his touch was on. His movement was good. His pressure was good. He had a nice night.”

The sophomore midfielder looked dangerous early, and from the attacking midfielder’s role, steered the offense right from the opening whistle. And it wasn’t long before he resumed his goalscoring exploits.

Inside of four minutes, Rowe secured an awkward pass from Gabe Latigue along the right, cut toward the area, and fired a shot that found the back of the net.

“I thought I’d catch (Ryan Meara) near post,” Rowe said. “Last year, I caught him far post. I thought he’d think I was going there again. I got a lucky bounce over him so that was nice.”

New England tilted the pitch in their favor through the first 25 minutes before New York started to put pressure on the hosts.

At the half hour mark, Espindola, who menaced the likes of Tyler Polak and Kalifa Cisse in the early going, broke through when he ran toward a long ball that Matt Reis tried to poke away in front of the area. But Espindola beat him to it, pushed it toward the open net, and slit it through to level it.

Seven minutes later, Rowe responded when he grabbed a ball from outside the 18 and fired another long-range effort that beat Meara to put the Revolution back on top.

“I think Gabe Latigue made a run inside and pulled the defender out,” Rowe said. “And I thought, again, ‘I mean, I made the run, may as well shoot it’ and it ended up going far post.”

Rowe’s goal gave his club the edge going into the interval, but the Revolution widened the gap in the opening minutes of the second half.

This time, though, it Imbongo who put his name on the scoresheet when he chased down a long ball from Darrius Barnes that sailed over the Red Bulls backline and with only Meara to beat, slipped his shot into the net in the 51st minute.

The Red Bulls didn’t back down near the hour when Eric Alexander pushed it deep down the right flank and crossed it far post, where Steele nodded it into the net to cut the lead back down to one.

Although both attacks lost their polish and physical play became the rule after the hour, Tierney put the game out of reach for the Red Bulls when he made a run down the left and tapped through a dangerous far post cross from Ryan Guy in the 87th minute.

In the waning moments, Brandon Barklage picked up a second yellow and red card ejection to leave the Red Bulls a man down before the final whistle.

“We had a lot of guys that were ready to go,” Heaps said. “You could tell that we started really well. I thought it probably should have been a little bit better. We probably could have been up 2-0 when (Espindola) scored. Unfortunately, it was a battle the rest of the way. We created a lot of chances and scored some goals.”

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