FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution shocked MLS leading Seattle Sounders with a 5-0 victory in front of 11,293 at Gillette Stadium on Sunday evening, stealing the show on former Revolution striker Clint Dempsey’s return to Foxboro. Diego Fagundez scored his first two goals of the season, while Teal Bunbury and rookie Patrick Mullins added a goal apiece and Seattle scored an own goal to complete the rout.
After a dominant opening by the Sounders, Mullins turned the tide and gave the Revolution the lead in the 14th minute and it was all New England from there. Fagundez doubled the lead in the 29th minute, Bunbury made it 3-0 in the 36th and then Fagundez scored his second in the 41st. Seconds after halftime a Chad Marshall own goal made it 5-0.
“I thought we took our chances well,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “It was not our best stuff to start. I think we handled it well. I thought Bobby [Shuttleworth] made a big save. We’re a team that when we do take our chances we’re pretty dangerous and I thought we took our chances tonight.”
The win puts the Revolution (5-3-2, 17 points) into a tie on points for first place in the East with Sporting Kansas City, though Kansas City leads on goal differential. The result also extended the Revolution’s unbeaten streak to five games and shutout streak at home to four games. The Sounders (7-3-1, 22 points) continue to hold the overall lead in MLS.
Heaps used the same line-up that won 2-1 at Toronto FC last weekend, but Seattle would have the better of the early play.
Seattle had a pair of early chances two minutes in when a Marco Pappa shot from just outside the box was deflected wide for a Sounders corner. On the ensuing corner Clint Dempsey knocked the ball down to Lamar Neagle, who from just inside the box put a hard shot on frame that Bobby Shuttleworth did well to save.
Two minutes later it was the Sounders on the attack again with Lamar Neagle flicking a header off a Pappa cross to Obafemi Martins. Martins directed it on frame from close range, but it was right at Shuttleworth, who swatted it away.
Mullins put the Revolution in the lead in the 14th minute after Fagundez played Chris Tierney down the left flank. Tierney hit a low cross into the box that deflected off Bunbury and was tipped off the post by Stefan Frei. The ball fell to Mullins who tapped it into the net for his second goal in as many games.
“I think it was another good switch of the play – a nice pass out to the left,” said Mullins. “I wanted to make sure I put myself in a position where if the ball bounced away, I was ready to pounce on it and finish it. It did and I was there.”
New England doubled the lead in the 29th minute through Fagundez. Tierney was again the catalyst off a poorly cleared corner kick finding a wide open Fagundez on the left side of the box. Fagundez blasted a shot inside the near post past Frei to make it, 2-0, with his first goal of the year.
“It’s a relief for me,” said Fagundez. “I’ve been waiting for this one a while and hopefully now I can start banging some in because I’ve been looking for this for a while.”
“I think Diego’s been working really hard,” said Heaps. “He trains extremely hard, so I see those finishes quite a bit, they just haven’t come in the big game yet. You saw tonight what kind of class he has.”
Bunbury then made it 3-0 in the 36th minute on a counterattack. Lee Nguyen played Bunbury behind the defense and the Revolution striker hit a low shot on frame. Frei made the save, but it fell back to Bunbury. Bunbury, from a tight angle, hit a low shot towards the near post, but Frei deflected the shot into his own net. The goal was Bunbury’s second of the year.
Fagundez added to the scoreline with his second of the night in the 41st minute. Bunbury played him down the left flank with Seattle right back DeAndre Yedlin out of possession. Fagundez ran into the box and again beat Frei with a shot to the near post to make it 4-0.
“Teal got the ball and I just made a huge run,” said Fagundez. “I was waving my hand to [get him] to see me and Teal played an awesome ball. I knew I had to get a good touch to get a nice shot and at the end of the day, that’s what I did.”
The onslaught continued just seconds into the second half when Nugyen played Bunbury into the right side of the box. Bunbury hit a shot from a tough angle that deflected off Chad Marshall and went past a flatfooted Frei to make it 5-0. The goal was credit as an own goal.
Shuttleworth kept Seattle off the board in the 54th minute with a great diving save to deny a powerful header from Marshall off a Pappa corner kick.
Shuttleworth again preserved the five goal margin with an impressive diving save off a shot from substitute Kenny Cooper in the 76th minute.
Rookie Steve Neumann nearly added one off the bench in stoppage time, but his shot from distance was tipped over the net by Frei.
“We’ve fought three good teams in the past couple games,” said Fagundez. “We’re doing well against them and that’s what we want. It gets our confidence going and knowing we can beat the best team, who became champions last year (Sporting Kansas City) and the hot team, who is on fire now (Seattle) is definitely great for us.”
The Revolution return to action with a trip to face the Philadelphia Union on May 17th at 7p.m.