New England Soccer Today

Kouassi’s Heroics Rescue Revs in NYC

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

An apparent leg injury didn’t stop Xavier Kouassi from scoring late equalizer in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY.

Kouassi, who came up lame in the waning stages, was playing with an pronounced limp before he headed through a Kelyn Rowe cross in the 86th minute. Prior to the goal, Kouassi had refused to come off the pitch as the Revolution had already used all three of its substitutes at the time of his injury.

Jack Harrison opened the scoring in the 16th minute before Kei Kamara got on the end of a Lee Nguyen corner to head it through in the 24th minute. Miguel Camargo tallied in the 64th minute, a goal which appeared to doom the Revolution before Kouassi’s heroics.

With the draw, the Revolution improved to 17 points (4-5-6). New York City upped its total to 21 points (6-5-3).

What it means: It certainly didn’t look like a point was possible for the Revolution leading up to Xavier Kouassi’s dramatic equalizer. Between the inconsistent play in the rear and the disjointed play up front, this looked very much like another loss. But as we’ve seen all too often this year: anything can happen in the waning stages. With New York City playing their own brand of generous defense, Kouassi stepped up when it counted and rescued the his team from defeat with what can only be categorized as the most compelling Revolution goal scored in this season. All things considered, the Revolution have to be happy with getting a point from Wednesday’s match.

True story: Lee Nguyen’s assist on Kei Kamara’s 24th minute goal gave him his 40th assist in a Revolution kit. By reaching the 40-assist mark, he became the second player in club history with at least 40 goals and 40 assists. Steve Ralston was the first Revolution player to reach the 40/40 mark.

Knighton gets 1st start of 2017: After serving as the backup during the first 13 games of the season, Brad Knighton got the start between the sticks against NYCFC. Knighton, who claimed the starting job during the second half of last season before Cody Cropper emerged as the no. 1 during the preseason, made three saves Wednesday night.

Koffie starts at DM: After starting the last six games, Kouassi was given a rest as recently-reacquired Gershon Koffie started at defensive midfielder. However, Kouassi did come off the bench to spell Koffie as a 67th minute substitute and, well, the rest is history.

Rowe returns to left back: The versatile Kelyn Rowe was stationed at left back on Wednesday as Chris Tierney was given the night off. It was Rowe’s first match at fullback since the team’s 2-0 loss to Columbus on May 6.

Toronto FC on tap: The Revolution will head home to face Toronto FC for the first time in 2017 on Saturday at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30pm. Last year, the Revolution went winless against the Reds (0-1-1).

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