Five is proving to be a lucky number for the Revs this season. After back-to-back games scoring five goals, New England won its fifth game in a row against DC United on Saturday, moving five points above their second-place rivals in the standings. Patrick Mullins and Diego Fagundez scored on either side of a Fabian Espindola strike for the 2-1 final scoreline, as the Revs improved to 7-3-2 on the year.
Five thoughts on last night’s action:
Youth strikes again
Just days after U.S. Men’s National Team manager Jurgen Klinsmann announced a stunningly-young World Cup squad, the combined age of the two Revolution goalscorers was 41. It was the fourth goal in as many games for Mullins, who became just the second rookie in MLS history to score in four straight. Fagundez was even more impressive, popping up all over the pitch and wrecking havoc down the left flank. His surging run in to the box set up the first goal, and he was cool as you like in tucking away the second.
The Resilient Revs
New England has shown they can win in a variety of ways during this streak. It was an offensive slugfest against Seattle and Philadelphia, with goals coming early and often. Against DC, the team showed a little bit of mental fortitude in pushing ahead for the winner. When United tied thing up in the 73rd minute with the rain pouring down, the Revs might’ve been forgiven for packing it in and taking a point against their rival. But the fans kept singing and the team kept battling. It was a second effort by Lee Nguyen (who was excellent all night) after he’d lost possession on the wing that led to Bunbury’s cross that eventually found its way to Fagundez.
Oh captain, my captain
Jose Goncalves was back in the middle of the defense after missing five games with a strained quad. His partnership with A.J. Soares was brilliant all evening as the two combined to smother Eddie Johnson. Johnson was clearly frustrated, to the point that he was sent off for deliberately kicking at Kelyn Rowe in the 82nd minute. A Goncalves own goal was the difference the first time these sides met, but he was excellent this time around.
Heaps knows how to pick ‘em
Jay Heaps made two changes to the side that won at Philadelphia last week – the superb Goncalves, and Bobby Shuttleworth, who was excellent in net. Heaps’ substitutions were flawless last night as well. Rowe put in what might have been his finest shift since returning from injury a few weeks back, as he was involved in the attack from the moment he crossed the touchline. Scott Caldwell put in nine solid minutes for Nguyen, while Steve Neumann might have made the most important play of the game. The rookie was planted at the far post for a late United corner, and brilliantly turned away a sharp header from close range.
Espindola’s goal was the first that an opponent has scored at Gillette Stadium this season, spanning a total 433 minutes. New England is 4-0-1 at home and 6-0-1 over its last seven matches. The Revs travel north of the border to take on the Montreal Impact next Saturday.