New England Soccer Today

Rowe Fires Revs Over Chicago

Rookie midfielder Kelyn Rowe came on the 64th minute and sparked the Revolution attack with a goal and an assist in Saturday's 2-0 win over Chicago. (Photo: Kari Heistad)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – With the New England Revolution deadlocked in a scoreless draw with the Chicago Fire, Kelyn Rowe came off the bench to score a goal and add an assist in the Revs 2-0 victory in front of 12,523 at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night in the pouring rain.

Rowe entered the match in the 64th minute, nearly scored 60 seconds later and then put the Revs in the lead in the 69th minute. The UCLA product later set up Benny Feilhaber, who himself had set up Rowe on his first goal, in the 73rd minute for the Revs second goal of the night.

“I thought it was a good game from us,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “From the opening whistle, we did possess it well. It’s like ebbs and flows. Chicago’s a good team; they do well on the road. We knew that that were going to come at us, and they did. They came in waves and numbers.

“You could see they were waiting to counter and when they did, it was difficult to defend,” added Heaps. “When you’re trying to win the game, you have to make sure you take those chances. And I thought we took our chances well. And our backline did an excellent job of keeping them out.”

The win puts the Revs (5-7-1, 16 points) into a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference after a tough week that saw the team fall 3-2 to D.C. United and crash out of the U.S. Open Cup in penalty kicks after blowing a 3-0 overtime lead against the Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro). The Fire (5-5-3, 18 points), meanwhile, remain in the fifth and final playoff spot in the East.

“[The win] was huge,” said Revs captain Shalrie Joseph. “We needed that three points. All week we’ve been talking about coming out and starting right and making sure at the end of 90 minutes we feel good about our performance. Tonight, for Benny (Feilhaber) and Kelyn (Rowe) to come up huge and score those two goals, it’s something that we desperately need and that’s going to take us a long way into our next game.”

The Revs got off to a quick start in just the third minute as Saer Sene found space down the left flank. Sene played it in to Jose Moreno, who played it back to Feilhaber at the top of the box. Feilhaber curled a shot just wide of the post.

Chicago first threatened in the 18th minute off a set piece. Pavel Pardo took a long free kick that found the head of Gonzao Segares. The Costa Rican defender’s header was only denied by the post.

A fairly quiet first half led to a more active second forty-five minutes. Early on, the Fire were denied by the post again in the 48th minute. This time Orr Barouch sent a header across the box to Dominic Oduro, where the Ghanaian sent a header off the far post.

Sebastian Grazzini then caused goalkeeper Matt Reis some issues in the 51st minute. The Argentine blasted a shot on target that Reis couldn’t hold, but the veteran ‘keeper managed to punch it away on a second attempt.

Reis was called into action again in the 59th minute after Patrick Nyarko stole the ball from Chris Tierney. Nyarko blasted a shot on frame, but Reis was able to make the save and preserve the shutout.

The match turned in the 64th minute when Rowe replaced Fernando Cardenas. The rookie had perhaps the best chance of the match so far a minute after entering when he was played behind the defense on a through ball from Saer Sene. Rowe ran in on goal and tried to nutmeg the ‘keeper, but Sean Johnson got a leg to it and sent it wide.

Rowe then put the Revs on top in the 69th after finding a seam in the defense and getting on the end of a Benny Feilhaber pass. Rowe, running across goal, slotted it with the outside of his foot inside the opposite post.

“I thought that with my first touch, I had to take it inside and beat the first defender. Second touch, put it away,” said Rowe. “You’ve got to put it away, and this one you’ve got to score, because the last one you missed.”

Four minutes late Rowe and Feilhaber connected again to double the lead. This time Rowe played Feilhaber through into the right side of the box. Feilhaber ran in on goal and calmly slotted it inside the far post.

“I got a ball with just a ton of space on the right side, Kelyn was running through the middle and I just put him through and followed up with my run,” said Feilhaber. “He just put me in perfectly. I looked up to see if I could get it in to a forward and I think Saer (Sene) was covered by one or two guys and I just thought aim for the five hole and put it in, and thankfully it went in.”

A minute after the Revs made it 2-0, Sene threatened to add another. The French striker made a long run into the box, only to be denied by Johnson.

The onslaught continued by the Revs in the 75th minute. This time Stephen McCarthy picked off a pass from the Chicago defense and blasted a shot on frame the Johnson just managed to punch wide with an acrobatic diving save.

The Revs defense held on from there as Reis and New England recorded just their second shutout of the season.

New England has two weeks off before facing the Columbus Crew at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, June 16th.


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