New England Soccer Today

Woodberry Not Happy About Rivas’ Goal

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Revolution fullback London Woodberry had every reason to feel confident upon entering Saturday’s contest against Orlando City in the waning stages. Little did he know he’d soon be at the center of a game-changing play.

With the hosts holding a narrow lead late, Cyle Larin raced down the right and fed a ball central to Carlos Rivas, who was making a B-line for the box. Although Woodberry closed in on Rivas right in the nick of time, Larin’s ball bounced off the Revolution fullback’s left leg, then ricocheted off of Rivas’ leg before settling into the New England net in the 90th minute, forcing the hosts to stomach a bitter 2-2 draw.

“It sucks, and I’m pissed off right now,” Woodberry said. “I’m not happy, this is going to leave a bad taste in my mouth for awhile. From a professional standpoint, I just have to try to look forward and leave it in the past but it’s a tough moment right now.”

Woodberry’s frustration is understandable. He came on in the 75th minute for Je-Vaughn Watson with the task of helping the Revolution see out what was at the time of his entrance a 2-1 Revolution lead. And up until Rivas’ goal, he appeared to be doing his part to keep the Lions attack at bay.

In 15 minutes of work, he collected two clearances and intercepted two passes to help solidify the Revolution defense. But fate dealt him a cruel blow in the 90th minute on a play that had the fourth-year defender second guessing himself after the match.

“I thought I had a pretty good view of the ball,” Woodberry said. “I came across it and I didn’t expect him to to get a touch on it. Maybe I could’ve tried to play it out for a corner kick instead of playing it back to where it came from.”

While Woodberry may have been hard on himself for the way the game-tying sequence unfolded, Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said his substitute defender did just about everything he could in tracking Rivas and making a play.

“That last goal really wasn’t London’s fault,” Heaps said. “I just looked at it on film and he wins the ball, and it deflects off of Rivas’ foot. He noticed where the guy was, made the play, and just kicked it off of Rivas’ foot and into the goal.”

Bad luck or not, Woodberry couldn’t help but wonder ‘what if?’ What if he had tried to guide Larin’s ball over the end line? Would it have prevented the tying goal, and allowed the Revolution to finally clinch win no. 2?

We’ll never know for sure, but that won’t stop Woodberry from thinking about it anytime soon.

“Those are just small parts of the game you have to take advantage of, especially when you’re given an opportunity to make a play,” Woodberry said. “But I just have to move forward.”

Like any professional defender, Woodberry will indeed move forward from Saturday’s match. But there was no denying that the play was eating at him in the immediate aftermath.

“It sucks,” Woodberry said. “I’m warming up on the sideline and in the back of my mind, I’m thinking we got three points coming. But I guess that’s how the game works sometimes.”

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