New England Soccer Today

Kansas City Blues

Bobby Shuttleworth and the Revolution backline struggled against Kansas City's attack on Saturday. (Photo: Kari Heistad/

Bobby Shuttleworth and the Revolution backline struggled against Kansas City’s attack on Saturday. (Photo: Kari Heistad/

If the New England Revolution were hoping to put the disappointment of a 1-0 home loss to Toronto FC last weekend behind them with a trip to Sporting Kansas City, they failed. Instead, the Revolution only managed to add to the misery on Saturday night with a 3-0 loss to their Eastern Conference rivals.

“We didn’t start well, didn’t finish well and we lost 3-0,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps told the media after the game. “It’s disappointing because they had three shots on goal in the game and scored on all three. That’s a tough stat to look at because we pride ourselves on closing people down and trying to defend.”

Kei Kamara scored two goals on either side of the half, both by beating Revolution Kevin Alston to crosses from Soony Saad before the Revolution went down to nine men after Dimitry Imbongo was issued a second yellow card in the 65th minute and substitute Andy Dorman received a straight red card in the 86th minute. Former Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber would cap the scoring with a 92nd minute free kick to push the score to 3-0.

The game marked the fifth consecutive time Kansas City had shutout the Revolution, an active streak that now extends to 502 minutes. New England have also been held scoreless in their last 207 minutes of MLS action this season.

The loss saw the Revolution (8-9-6, 30 points) drop to seventh in the Eastern Conference, while Sporting Kansas City (11-7-6, 39 points) jumped to first in the East. The Revolution remains three points behind the Houston Dynamo for the fifth and final playoff spot, but have played one more game then the Dynamo, and missed opportunities to gain ground in two successive weeks.

The Revolution made two changes to the team that lost 1-0 to Toronto FC in Foxborough last weekend. Kelyn Rowe replaced Juan Toja in the midfield, while Kevin Alston got his first start since March after being diagnosed with Leukemia. Alston started at left back, while Chris Tierney moved to left midfield, replacing Diego Fagundez.

“Our thought process was that we wanted to have a physical presence on (Kei) Kamara,” Heaps said of the decision to start Alston. “You hope for a spark, but tonight we were flat all the way around. We didn’t take our chances and we didn’t defend that well.”

Kansas City dominated the early possession as the Revolution struggled to complete passes, but the home side didn’t manage a shot till the 20th minute when Chance Myers found Claudio Bieler at the top of the box. Bieler blasted his shot well high of the net.

Sporting would make no mistake seven minutes later when Soony Saad sent a cross into the box from the left flank. Kei Kamara rose above Alston to power a header past Bobby Shuttleworth to give the home team a 1-0 advantage.

New England’s best chance of the half came in the 40th minute when Lee Nguyen picked out Dimitry Imbongo with a long lob from midfield. Imbongo beat Kansas City’s offside trap and was one-on-one with Jimmy Nielsen, but shot directly at the ‘keeper, allowing him to make an easy save and wasting a great opportunity to equalize.

“The key on the road is to defend and take your chances when you create them,” Revolution midfielder Tierney told the media after the match. “We had some good chances in the first half but they didn’t go in for us. Their second goal and then the red cards killed us off.”

The Revolution improved play heading into halftime, but it was Kansas City who came out of halftime stronger. Sporting would double their lead in the 50th minute. Once again it was Kamara beating Alston to a Saad cross to head it past Shuttleworth, making it 2-0.

New England looked to shake things up bringing on Diego Fagundez for Kevin Alston in the 57th minute and Chad Barrett for Saer Sene six minutes later.

Any hope of a comeback quickly vanished as Imbongo was issued his second yellow card of the night and subsequent ejection, for recklessly throwing his arm into the face Oriol Rosell in the 65th minute.

“We tried to push forward a little more to help Dimitry (Imbongo) up top,” said rookie defender Andrew Farrell of the Revolution’s halftime adjustments. “But when you get down 2-0 and pick up a red card, it gets really hard. At that point it kind of just broke down, so we tried to just not give up any more goals.”

New England still had a chance to pull one back when Barrett broke free of the defense in the 80th minute, but his hard shot was impressively saved by a diving Nielsen.

The Revolution were then put in a further hole in the 86th minute when substitute Andy Dorman was shown a straight red card for a reckless, late challenge from behind on Kamara near midfield.

Kansas City would cap the scoring in the 92nd minute after former Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber went down softly under pressure from Stephen McCarthy, drawing a foul and a yellow card on the Revolution defender. Referee Baldomero Toledo initially issued a subsequent red card, apparently thinking McCarthy had already been booked, but quickly realized his mistake and rescinded the card, allowing McCarthy to stay on the field. It wouldn’t matter as Feilhaber curled the free kick over the wall and inside the near post to make it 3-0.

The Revolution returns to Gillette Stadium to face the Chicago Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17at at 7:30 p.m. ET in a crucial match for both clubs playoff hopes.

“We’ll look forward to a positive reaction at home,” Tierney said. “We’ve had two bad road results in a row. We’ve talked about it all year that we don’t want to go on losing streaks. So it’s time to draw the line in the sand, and we’ll come out next week fired up.”


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