New England Soccer Today

Chivas USA ruin Fagundez’s dream debut

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Sixteen-year-old Diego Fagundez scored his first professional goal and earned a penalty kick for the New England Revolution (4-10-9, 21 points) in his debut, but it was the visitors, Chivas USA (7-8-8, 29 points), who would leave with 3-2 victory.

Fagundez had a dream debut, but the Revs couldn't get a needed result. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

The hype leading up to Saturday’s match was all about 22-year-old Argentinean striker Milton Caraglio, the Revs first Designated Player, who made his first appearance, but it was Fagundez, a Leominster, Mass. native who stole the show. The diminutive striker, who signed a first team contract this offseason after playing with the Revs U-16 and U-18 teams, entered the match in the 66th minute. Two minutes later the rookie was taken down after a nice run into the box, earning a penalty kick – which captain Shalrie Joseph coolly converted – to bring the Revs back within in goal at 2-1.

The skillful youngster would give the Revs another shot at a comeback in the 86th minute after a long ball from Kevin Alston allowed Fagundez to slip behind the defense into the box and slot a shot past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for his first career goal.

“When I saw the ball go in the net I was like ‘oh my god’,” said Fagundez. “The first thing I did was a heart to my family that’s standing in the club seats.”

“I’m really happy with my performance and the team,” he added. “I thought we deserved a tie at least.”

Unfortunately for the Revs a positive result was not in the cards as a makeshift backline gave away three sloppy goals to the visitors. With A.J. Soares suspended and Franco Coria injured, Ryan Cochrane and Darrius Barnes got the start in the center of the defense, while Kevin Alston and Chris Tierney defended the flanks.

“The three goals [we allowed] were atrocious,” said head coach Steve Nicol. “I’ll always defend the players, but occasionally when your defense gives up goals like that, there’s no hiding place. The goals were atrocious. And really, defensively, we let down the rest of the team tonight. We made some great chances – fantastic chances when you think about when we should’ve scored – and we’ve lost again.”

Chivas USA took the lead in the 31st minute after New Zealand international Simon Elliott found Nick Labrocca on the right flank. Labrocca sent a cross into the box that eluded the Revolution defenders and found Alejandro Moreno right in front of goalkeeper Matt Reis. Moreno got a foot to it, directing it past Reis to give Chivas the 1-0 lead.

They’d double that lead just before the hour mark after a Stephen McCarthy giveaway gave the visitors a quick break down the left flank. Labrocca ran into the box and saw his initial shot blocked by Darrius Barnes, but made no mistake on the rebound.

Joseph’s penalty kick – his seventh goal of the season – would get the Revs back in the game nine minutes later, but Moreno’s second goal of the night with ten minutes remaining on a counter attack would all but end the Revs chances. The Venezuelan Moreno got the ball from Ante Jazic and faked out Reis before dribbling to the six yard box and slotting it past the Revs ‘keeper from a tight angle to increase Chivas’ lead to 3-1.

“Yeah I mean when you’re pushing the game so much sometimes guys get out of position and that’s going to happen and defensively we were all over the place,” said Joseph. “That’s what happens when we change the back two in the middle.”

Fagundez would give the Revs some life with life with his 86th minute strike and a pair of late Joseph shots nearly earned a draw, but the Revs were unable to grab any points.

While there were certainly plenty of positives for the Revs on the offensive end – the team outshot Chivas 17-9, including 11 shots in the second half – poor defending and wastefulness in the offensive third doomed the home side to defeat in front of a crowd of 11,523 at Gillette Stadium.

In fact, the Revs probably should’ve had the lead in just the 7th minute when Kevin Alston found Joseph on the left flank. Joseph delivered a curling cross towards the far post, finding Ryan Cochrane just a few yards from the net, but Cochrane couldn’t quite get his header on frame.

The Revs continued to put some serious pressure on the Chivas backline, playing most of the game in the attacking half in the opening 20 minutes, but had nothing to show for it and Chivas would go into halftime with a one goal lead.

Reis then came up huge in the 58th minute to keep the Revs just down a goal after an Alston pass was picked off by Moreno who ran in on goal, challenging Cochrane. Moreno curled a shot towards the far post, but Reis dove to make an impressive save.

There was nothing Reis could do on Labrocca’s goal just a minute later or Moreno’s eventual 80th minute winner however, leading to the Revs 10th loss of the season. But Fagundez’s contribution did leave the Revs with one major positive to take from the game.

“We were hoping to get a spark [from Fagundez],” said Nicol. “We had thoughts about playing him at some stage tonight anyway because he’s been doing great in training. He just likes to play, you can see his enthusiasm. It looks like he’s got a footballer’s brain. So it was a no-brainer to get him on. He did a fantastic job – he gets the penalty, he gets the goal: what more can you ask for?”

New England Revolution vs. Chivas USA
August 6, 2011 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)

Chivas USA 3, New England Revolution 2

Scoring Summary:
CHV: Alejandro Moreno (Nick LaBrocca, Simon Elliot) 31
CHV: Nick LaBrocca (unassisted) 59
NE: Shalrie Joseph (penalty kick) 69
CHV: Alejandro Moreno (Ante Jazic, Justin Braun) 80
NE: Diego Fagundez (Kevin Alston) 86

New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Darius Barnes, Ryan Cochrane (Pat Phelan 81), Shalrie Joseph ©, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney, Zack Schilawski (Diego Fagundez 66), Benny Feilhaber, Sainey Nyassi, Milton Caraglio (Kenny Mansally 62)

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Otto Loewy, Zak Boggs, Ryan Guy

STATS*: Shots: 17; Shots on Goal: 8; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 8 ; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 11

Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy, Ante Jazic, Heath Pearce, Michael Umana, Zarek Valentin, Simon Elliott (Paulo Nagamura 76), Blair Gavin (Ben Zemanski 56), Jorge Flores (Laurent Courtois 66), Nick LaBrocca, Alejandro Moreno, Justin Braun

Substitutes Not Used: Zach Thornton, Michael Lahoud, Francisco Mendoza, Marcos Mondaini

STATS*: Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 6; Corner Kicks: 1; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 13

* Note that all statistics are unofficial

Misconduct Summary:
CHV: Kennedy (caution) 68

Referee: Mark Kadlecik
Assistant Referees: Craig Lowry, Corey Parker
Fourth Official: Daniel Fitzgerald
Weather: Cloudy and 79 degrees
Attendance: 11,523

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