New England Soccer Today

Drawn Out

The New England Revolution scored goals on either side of halftime to overcome an early Toronto FC lead, but in fitting fashion gave up a late equalizer to finish the season with a 2-2 draw. The Revs (5-16-13, 28 points) finish last place in the Eastern Conference, five points behind eighth-placed Toronto (6-13-15, 33 points), for the first time since 1998 and fail to reach at least seven wins for the first time in club history.

Monsef Zerka scored his second goal for the Revs in their season finale.(Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

“I thought we deserved to win the game, I’m disappointed we didn’t win,” said Revs head coach Steve Nicol.  “I thought we played good football.”

Toronto took the lead in the 20th minute when Danny Koevermans beat the Revs offside trap and dribbled into the box. Koevermans beat a sliding Franco Coria to send a low pass across the box where Nick Soolsma stepped in front of Darrius Barnes to slot it into the net.

Zerka tied it for the Revs in the 41st minute with an impressive header from a tight angle. The Morrocan winger got to a Benny Feilhaber cross at the far post and redirected it past Milos Kocic to give the Revs a 1-0 lead. For Zerka, an August addition to the squad, the goal was his second for the Revs.

“I guess one thing you can take away is that our set pieces have been half decent I guess throughout the year,” said Feilhaber. “We’ve got some goals off some corner kicks and free kicks.  That’s one thing that has been a positive.”

Just after halftime Milton Caraglio gave the Revs the lead after a great play from Feilhaber saw the midfielder find space in the right side of the box. Feilhaber got forward and sent a low cross in front of the net that set-up Caraglio for an easy tap in for the Argentine Designated Player’s third goal of the season.

Caraglio thought he had scored another for the Revs in the 82nd minute with a spectacular bicycle kick, but was in an offside position and in a quick turn of fortunes Toronto the home side quickly got down the other end to score an equalizer. A cross from Eric Avila on the left flank eluded the Revs defender and found an unmarked Koevermans at the far post for his eighth goal in just 10 games since joining Toronto, knotting the score at 2-2.

The Revs made just one change to the lineup that fell 3-0 to the Columbus Crew last weekend, inserting Rajko Lekic for 16-year-old Diego Fagundez, who missed the match with a concussion.

New England started the match the brighter of the two teams, but settled for long shots as they approached the box and Kocic was up to the task of keeping them out until Toronto struck on the counterattack to take the lead.

Chances were then limited until Zerka’s equalizer and Caraglio’s strike looked likely to send the Revs home with a rare positive until Toronto equalized late.

The Revs would suffer one more negative to end the season when Chris Tierney was sent off deep into second half stoppage time for kicking a ball away to delay a restart and picking up his second yellow card of the night.

The draw means the Revs become just the sixth team in league history to finish a season with five wins or less.

“It’s always frustrating to not get the win,” said Feilhaber. “In that sense of course it is disappointing but you couldn’t have painted a more clear picture of the things that we need to improve on for next year.  I’m glad that, even though as much as I wanted to win,  that no one is going to be thinking that, oh we won the last game and we have something going for next year.

“We need to improve our team, we need to make changes that are going to help us compete at a higher level next year,” he continued.  “It can’t be as poor a season as this one was, it’s going to take work and effort by the players, the coaches, the management, everybody.  The organization is really going to have to work hard to improve the team to be competitive next season.”


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