FOXBORO, Mass. – For the first 15 minutes of the game, New England had over 81% of the possession and looked to be in complete control of the game.
So in the 18th minute, when Chivas USA had their first opportunity of the game, there was a chance Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth could have been caught napping.
But that wasn’t the case as Shuttleworth came up with a Save of the Week candidate – his first of four saves on the night – to keep the game scoreless.
“For me, I’m just trying to stay connected as much as possible talking to AJ and Jose and the back four and Scotty,” Shuttlworth said of staying in the game with the possession so lopsided. “That’s the kind of stuff I’m trying to do to keep myself in the game. I think that’s what makes a good goalkeeper being able to come up with the big save in the right moment.
“The shots come out of a mistake or against the run of play, so it’s even harder for a goalkeeper to make those saves,” head coach Jay Heaps said. “I think the first one was a mis-clearance in the first half. He did a great job. He saw it the whole way. In the second half that save that he made looked a lot easier than he made it, but he positioned himself perfectly – we just looked at it on film – and that save gave us the spark to go for a little bit more. When you have your keeper, he makes two huge saves and you want to go forward.”
Chivas’ Akira Kaji took down a cross field free kick in the far side of the area and quickly cross the ball back towards goal. Both Revs defender Andrew Farrell and Chivas’ Eric Avila went up for it and the ball just cleared Farrell, bouncing of Avila’s head and right to the feet of Felix Borja.
Borja, with his back to the goal and Revs midfielder Scott Caldwell right on his back, didn’t hesitate, letting the ball cross his body before turning and firing a right footed shot from just a couple yards from the penalty spot.
Shuttleworth reacted quickly though, diving to his left and punching the ball clear.
“I’m not really sure how it landed to him but he did well to kind of turn his hips and take a shot,” Shuttleworth said. “I think it was either AJ or Jose that was tight and kind of took away the right side so I knew he could only throw his helps and shoot to the left and luckily enough I was able to be in the right spot.”
That save kept the Revolution from falling behind, a trend they saw repeat itself over and over during their eight game losing streak.
After a couple of failed attempts out of the back from the Revolution in the 51st minute, Chivas’ Agustin Pelletieri took control of the ball and dribbled quickly to the 18-yard line and fired a low shut, but Shuttleworth was quick to get down and make his second save of the game.
A quick counter attack from the Goats that started in the 64th minute nearly resulted in the equalizer less than 10 minutes after Lee Nguyen had put the Revolution up 1-0. With New England stretched out, Oswaldo Minda put a through ball in for Borja. Borja took a tight angle in on goal and shot towards the near post but again Shuttleworth was quick to get down and spilled the save out of the area.
Shuttleworth’s final save of the game might have looked simple, but was no easy feat for the goalkeeper. In the 72nd minute, Nathan Sturgis sent in a cross to the far post that was met by the head of Erick Torres. His header sent the ball towards the bottom left side of the goal, but Shuttleworth got down and was able to swipe away the ball with one hand before it bounced in for the equalizer.
The shutout is Shuttleworth’s sixth on the season.
“It’s been a tough stretch for us the past couple of months,” Shuttleworth said. “These are the types of games, especially at home, that we have grind it out and get three points. We did enough tonight. It definitely wasn’t our best stuff but its three points in the bank and we can look forward to Toronto next week.”