New England Soccer Today

Nguyen’s Late Strike Seals Road Draw

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Lee Nguyen’s late equalizer rescued the New England Revolution from the edge of defeat as they claimed a dramatic 1-1 draw against the Portland Timbers on Sunday at Providence Park in Portland, Ore.

Nguyen scored in the 84th minute after Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson bobbled the ball in front of goal, where the Revolution midfielder lay in wait to send it through.

The Timbers opened the scoring early after Diego Valeri volleyed through a wayward Chris Tierney clearance in the 12th minute to put the Revolution in an early hole.

With the draw, the Revolution pushed their mark to 1-2-1 (4 points) while the Timbers’ record went to 4-1-1 (10 points).

What it means: While Portland left its fair share of chances on the table, credit the Revolution for bending, but not breaking and pouncing on a late opportunity when it presented itself. For all intents and purposes, the Timbers should have won this match. They forced the Revolution to make a whopping 26 clearances, and kept their foot on the pedal for much of the match. But the guests not only survived – they made Portland pay for a late mistake when Nguyen followed up on a loose ball in front of frame. It might be too early to call a comeback draw a character result, but Sunday’s match seemed to have all the hallmarks of one for the Revolution.

Stat of the match: Nguyen’s late equalizer was the first Revolution goal scored in Portland since the Timbers entered the league in 2011.

Kouassi returns to the XI: After sitting on the bench as a precaution during last week’s win over Minnesota, designated player Xavier Kouassi was back in the Revolution lineup at defensive midfielder Sunday two weeks after making his club debut. With the Ivory Coast international back in the mix, midfielder Scott Caldwell was relegated to the substitute corps. Kouassi picked up a 44th minute caution for a harsh challenge on David Guzman, and went the full 90.

Rookie Smith gets the nod at CB: In a surprise move, fourth-round pick Josh Smith was slotted into the lineup at center back over veteran Benjamin Angoua, who was one of the Revolution’s high-profile offseason signings. Smith played 90+ minutes before an apparent leg injury ended his debut prematurely.

Agudelo, Nguyen back in familiar roles: It appears the Lee Nguyen-up-top experiment has been shelved as the Revolution midfielder returned to his customary role as the no. 10 on Sunday. With Nguyen back in the midfield, Juan Agudelo, who moonlighted as the 10 during the first two games, was stationed at forward alongside Kei Kamara.

Heading back home: The Revolution return to action on Saturday when they host the Houston Dynamo at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:00pm. In their last meeting, the Revolution and Dynamo played in a wild 3-3 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium during the 2016 season opener.

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