New England Soccer Today

Talking Points: #NEvCLB

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

The Revolution wrapped up their Conference Semifinal series against the Crew with a flourish following Sunday’s 3-1 second leg win at Gillette Stadium. Here’s a look at some of the talking points surrounding Sunday’s win.

Offense shines again

For the Columbus Crew defense, they are going to be seeing the Revolution offense in their nightmares. After scoring four goals in the first leg of the series, New England finished off the Crew in style, scoring three more in the 3-1 victory to win both legs by a combined 7-2. Coming as no surprise, it was forward Lee Nguyen who opened the scoring for the Revolution, slotting one past Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark in the 43rd minute for his second goal of the MLS Playoffs. Only 10 minutes into the second half, captain Jose Concalves doubled the lead for New England, putting a cross from Charlie Davies past Clark. After Tony Tchani got one back for the Crew in the 69th minute, midfielder Teal Bunbury scored one of his own for the Revolution, solidifying the victory with 13 minutes left.

Home sweet home

Over the past few months, there really has been no place like home for Jay Heaps’ side. Unbeaten in it’s last 15 home games, Gillette Stadium once again proved to be a fortress for New England. For tonight’s game, an astounding attendance of 20,184 packed Gillette, making it the largest crowd for a home playoff game in Revolution history. The New England supporters continue to provide a tough environment for opponents to come and win, and will be needed when the New York Red Bulls invade Foxborough.

No discipline for Columbus

In this leg, two Columbus Crew members were sent off in the 61st and 85th minutes. The first Crew player to have his night end early was midfielder Ethan Finlay, who received a straight red card in the 61st after catching Revolution goalie Bobby Shuttleworth in the head after Shuttleworth attempted to slide and grab the ball. The night got worse for Gregg Berhalter’s side when Justin Meram received a second yellow card in the 85th after earning his first yellow 19 minutes earlier.

Revolution contain weakened Crew offense

Perhaps one of the biggest talking points will come from not who played in the game, but who missed out on this second leg. Columbus strikers Federico Higuain and Aaron Schoenfeld were both absent. After being listed as questionable, Higuain could not fight through a right calf injury, while Schoenfeld injured himself on Friday. In the first leg, Higuain was one of the goalscorers for the Crew, and led his team with 11 goals this season.

Moving On

With the victory tonight, New England advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where it will take on New York, who defeated DC United 3-2 on aggregate. This season, the Revolution met the Red Bulls twice, losing both games. On June 8, New England fell 2-0 to New York, and was also defeated in August 2-1. The first of two legs will be on Nov. 22 at Red Bull Arena, with the second matchup returning to Gillette Stadium just six days later. After tonight, the Revolution will be brimming with confidence as they look to advance to their first MLS Cup since 2007.

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