Revolution End Losing Streak, Beat Rapids 3-0

Photo: Chris Aduama/aduamaphotography.com

Photo: Chris Aduama/aduamaphotography.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution avoided tying their franchise record for longest losing streak by outplaying the visiting Colorado Rapids 3-0 Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium.  The Revolution move to 8-11-2 (26 points) on the season and end an eight-game losing streak in MLS matches, which began in late May.

“I thought we came out again the right way,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “I thought it carried over well from Saturday, and we got good pressure and good commitment from everyone on the field. I think it was a hard-fought match, but I think we got what we deserved.”

Lee Nguyen earned man of the match with a goal, an assist, and had a shot deflected in for an own goal.  Kelyn Rowe also scored for the Revolution in a one-sided match.

Despite the Revolution’s recent struggles on offense, it didn’t take long for New England to get on the board as Drew Moor deflected a Lee Nguyen shot into the net in the 10th minute.  Charlie Davies, receiving just his second start of the season, received a throw-in from Kevin Alston, making his first appearance since May 3rd, and backheeled to Lee Nguyen who cut into the box.  Nguyen carried the ball past multiple defenders before shooting past Rapids keeper Clint Irwin.  Drew Moor tried deflecting the ball away, but hit the ball into his own net.  It was the first time the Revolution scored first in an MLS match since May 24th, their last win before their 8-game losing streak.

The remainder of the first half didn’t see much action, as the both teams ended the half with a combined one shot on goal.  The Revolution controlled the half with 57.9 percent possession, mostly in the Rapids half, but could not convert that possession into miore scoring chances.

The second half saw teams opening up and taking chances, but it wasn’t until the 74th minute when the game opened up.  Rapids defender Thomas Piermayr was given his second yellow of the match, and Colorado was forced to play a man down.  The play also resulted in a free kick outside the box for the Revolution, and Lee Nguyen rocketed a shot into the top corner for his team leading 7th goal of the season.

Playing down a man and facing a 2-0 deficit, the Rapids started to tear at the seams and the Revolution continued attacking and creating chances.  Kelyn Rowe received a through ball from Nguyen as he cut into the box and scored his first goal on the season, placing a shot in the top shelf, which put the Revolution up 3-0 in the 78th minute.

The Revolution continued to pressure but failed to score a fourth goal, with their best chance coming from Teal Bunbury.  Bunbury found himself in the right place at the right time, getting a one-on-one chance with the goalkeeper after a turnover along the Rapids backline.  However, Bunbury missed his target entirely, putting the shot wide of the far post.

Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe both carried the Revolution with four shots, two shots on target, and a goal.  The defense also had a stellar game minimizing the Rapids’ chances and only allowing three shots from inside the box.  Bobby Shuttleworth made three saves as he earned his fifth clean sheet of the season.  The Revolution controlled the entire match, but seemingly got better as the match went on.  All seven of the Revolution’s shots on goal and 11 and their 15 total shots came in the second half.

For the Colorado Rapids, the match marks their fourth loss in their last five road games.  They will travel back to the Midwest for a match Saturday versus Real Salt Lake.  On the winning side, the match breaks the Revolution’s eight-game losing streak and represents their first points since May 24th.  The Revolution also have a quick turnaround as they travel to New York to play the Red Bulls Saturday at Red Bulls Arena, followed by an off week.  The Revoluton’s next home game will be August 16th against the Portland Timbers.

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About Greg Johnstone