New England Soccer Today

Revs Weather Multiple Delays

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Four hours and 40 minutes after the opening whistle, referee Jose Carlos Rivero finally whistled to end the game.

After kicking off at 7:38 ET from Gillette Stadium, the game was put to a halt less than 13 minutes in because of bad weather in the area. After a 109-minute delay, play resumed and made it all the way until halftime. During the break, another storm made it’s way into the area and causing a 61-minute delay.

The second half kicked off at 11:30 ET.

“It’s tough,” Revolution captain Jermaine Jones told “We went on bikes, we went in hot water to try and keep the body warm. It’s not easy. I think the game was over four hours so it was crazy but we got the three points and that’s important.”

The game didn’t have a chance to really open up before the first stoppage. Neither team registered a shot on target while touches were very limited (Charlie Davies had just one at the first break).

“It was tough because I felt like we were starting to find out groove,” Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen said. “We started having more possession there and then you have to go on a break, and I think that kind of played to Houston advantage, but the guys did great to mentally prepare for it.”

Nguyen had the best chance from either side shortly after the game was back underway. Diego Fagundez took a shot from outside the area that was deflected off a Houston defender and ended up finding Nguyen on a through-like ball. Nguyen released a shot on a tight angle but Houston goalie Tyler Deric closed down enough and got enough of the shot to force it wide for a corner.

Fagundez then had a pair of chances in a five minute span but again Deric had an answer. First it was Goncalves that found Davies on a long ball and it took just one touch for Davies to lay it off for Fagundez. Fagundez got over the ball and sent a bouncing shot on target but Deric knocked in down. Just minutes later, Faungdez was nearly on the end of a neat combination play but Deric was off his line before the Homegrown Player could get to it.

Once halftime hit — 10:13 ET — so did the thunder, lightning and rain. That sparked the second delay, which lasted just a minute over an hour. All together, the players were off the field for 76 minutes this time around.

“We just stayed in the dressing room doing work, exercise, moving around on the bike and making sure we are ready in case he blows the whistle earlier,” Goncalves said, noting he had never played in a game like this before and joking about how late he had to stay up. “At this time I’m in bed usually. I had to get the permission to stay up a little more. It’s difficult but if it’s the case, you have to be professional, mentally a little stronger than usually. Mentally you get a little tired but the other team they are also going to be tired. You must think about this and all the work you do in the week. We suffer all the week with hard training and then we come out on Saturday to win the game and that’s what we did. If it takes 90 minutes or three hours, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day we need the three points.”

During the breaks, beyond staying warm, the team was able to talk a bit of strategy.

“We go over tactics quite a bit,” Revolution defender Chris Tierney said. “It was actually a unique situation where we’re 12 minutes into the game we already have a chance to come together as a group and look things over, and talk about what changes we want to make, and I think especially at halftime, we did a good job of making those adjustments and finding a way to score.”

“We try to find out what we can make better but you try to keep your body warm so when you come out you can be ready straight away,” Jones said. “It’s tough when you start to play and then stop and have to come in and then again. It’s not easy but I think the team handled it really good and we’re happy with the three points.”

“It’s never easy with what we had to deal with, but the message in the locker room was we can’t control that, we have no control of what’s happening out there, but when we step on the field we can control how we go about the game,” New England head coach Jay Heaps said. “I thought our guys were excellent in approaching it and showed some real resolve and some mental toughness.

“They keep themselves loose and I think for me it’s also I think we had a lot of time to talk, so we were able to find little areas that we thought we could help break them down,” Heaps said. “Houston did a good job of really limiting—we had a lot of the ball, but it was hard to break them down. I think the time to talk during those breaks were pretty good.”

It was the first weather-related delay at Gillette Stadium since August 16th, 2003 when the Revolution hosted the San Jose Earthquakes. Coincidentally, that Earthquakes team moved to Houston to become the Dynamo in 2006. San Jose rejoined MLS for the 2008 season.

“It was extremely difficult,” Tierney added. “I’ve never experienced that in a league game, a couple of Open Cup games had delays, but nothing like this, I mean this was tough, so credit to all of our players and coaching staff, we did a great job of  – I just feel like we just wanted the game more, we willed it, and it’s all worth it now.”

The stoppage talks worked as New England was able to breakthrough for goals by Goncalves (69th minute) and substitute Juan Agudelo (88th minute).

New England now sits in 4th place in the Eastern Conference. Although they have the same amount of points as Columbus (34 points) and the same amount of wins (first tiebreaker), Columbus’ -1 goal differential is better than New England’s -2.

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