Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe scored impressive goals from distance in the first half and Teal Bunbury added a tap-in in the second half as the New England Revolution cruised to a 3-0 victory in Toronto on Saturday night in Jermaine Jones’ debut.
Head coach Jay Heaps made just one change to the line-up that beat Chivas USA 1-0 in Foxborough last weekend, starting Teal Bunbury in midfield over Diego Fagundez. Perhaps most notably, however, was U.S. Men’s National Team star Jones, who the team signed on Sunday, making his debut off the bench, entering the match in the 65th minute.
The win moves the Revolution (10-12-3, 33 points) into a tie for third place with Toronto (9-9-6, 33 points) and the Columbus Crew (8-8-9, 33 points). The Revolution hold third based on wins, but Toronto has a game in hand.
The Revolution opened the scoring in just the second minute after Lee Nguyen intercepted a poor pass in Toronto’s half. Nguyen ran towards goal then hit a low shot from outside of the box to the far post that goalkeeper Joe Bendik couldn’t reach with a diving save attempt.
New England made it 2-0 in the 21st minute through another long shot. Rowe got the ball near midfield, played a give-and-go with Nguyen and then dribbled forward past Michael Bradley before unleashing a shot from about 30 yards inside the far post.
Jose Goncalves came close to adding to the lead in the first minute of the second half, heading a Daigo Kobayashi corner kick on frame. Goncalves’ looping header was just tipped over the bar by Bendik.
Bunbury made it 3-0 in the 58th after Rowe got the ball near midfield and made a strong run forward. Rowe played a through ball to Charlie Davies who ran in on goal, then slotted a pass across the goalmouth that found Bunbury at the far post for an easy tap-in.
Three minutes later it was Toronto with a chance to cut the deficit after a poor giveaway from Bobby Shuttleworth. Jonathan Osorio’s initial shot was blocked by AJ Soares and his second effort forced a difficult save by Shuttleworth.
Jones then entered in the 65th minute for Diago Kobayashi to make his debut for the Revolution. Steve Neumann also entered for Bunbury.
Toronto threatened on the counterattack in the 68th minute through Gilberto. Gilberto ran into the box under pressure from Goncalves, but his effort from a tight angle went into the side netting.
Substitute Dwayne De Rosario sought a late consolation goal for Toronto in the 89th minute, but he couldn’t beat Shuttleworth at the near post.
The Revolution returns home to face Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, with New England looking to extend their current two game winning streak.