New England Soccer Today

Reis Reaches Milestone

Matt Reis became the sixth goalkeeper in MLS history to earn 100 career wins with the New England Revolution’s 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids at Gillette Stadium Wednesday night.

Despite falling behind 1-0 in the 21st minute on a Jaime Castrillon header, the Revolution battled back with two first-half goals and Reis stopped six shots en route to the milestone.

“[It’s] kind of a relief,” Reis said of the win. “It’s something the last three games, it’s been there, and in the back of my mind. It’s finally a hurdle to get over and move on and focus on the rest of the season.”

Revolution head coach Jay Heaps, who played seven seasons as a defender in front of Reis, not only praised his goalkeeper’s skill but also his longevity.

“Matt is one of the special players in this league,” Heaps said. “One of my big things, a stat they never show, is availability. He’s a guy that can be available for a coach’s selection. Matt Reis has shown over his career he’s always ready and he’s always available.”

Reis showed his skill in the second half, getting a paw to stop Castrillon’s attempt at a second goal. Former Revolution midfielder Jeff Larentowicz sent a ball to the far post in the 69th minute, Castrillon out jumped his defender and his header was inches away from tying the game before Reis was able to quickly knock the ball over the bar.

“You feel confident with him back there, especially the second half,” Heaps added. “We have a young back line and Matt shows he’s confident.”

Revolution Sharlie Joseph, who made his 250th appearance, arrived the same year as Reis and praised the goalie’s personality on and off the field.

“That’s Matty,” Joseph said of Reis’ nonchalance about the milestone. “You gotta love Matty. Matty’s just easy going and the greatest teammate I’ve ever had in this locker room. For him it’s just another day and another game.  He’s going to look forward to probably playing at 50.”

New England’s 2011 first round draft pick AJ Soares played consistently as the center back in front of Reis for 2011 season and has continued to do the same in the eight games this season.

“He’s such a great guy,” Soares said. “[He’s] very deserving of any award he gets, he really deserves more. [He’s a] huge leader for us, a big guy in the locker room. I’m just glad that we could finally get this for him. He had a huge hand in it tonight. He made some really great saves. For a guy like him, he’s had such a fantastic career; hopefully he can get a lot more wins.”

As it often happens, Reis has been able to teach Soares a lot of the league and the game as they continue to play together. Reis’ skill and intelligence for the game have been apparent according to Soares.

“He’s a big time goalie,” he said. “Like I say every week when someone asks me about him, he proves he’s one of the best players in the league, not just one of the best goalies, one of the best players in the league. I’m just really glad he could get that 100th win.”

Reis joins Kevin Hartman (172), Zach Thornton (131), Nick Rimando (124), Joe Cannon (109), and Scott Garlick (107) in the 100-win club.

After the game, the team gathered together in the locker room to honor Reis.

“We had a nice little ceremony in here and got a jersey with the number 100 on it,” Reis said. “That was nice. I’ll get that signed and put it up in the garage with all my over stuff.”

Reis will be back in action with the Revolution in search of win 101 as they travel to Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

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