New England Soccer Today

Mile High Letdown

Juan Toja’s free kick gave the New England Revolution a first half lead, but after center back Stephen McCarthy suffered an injury around the hour mark and was forced to leave the match, the Rapids scored twice, giving the hosts a 2-1 victory in Colorado.

The loss extended the Revolution’s winless run in Colorado to 10 games, dating back to 2002. New England (6-7-6, 24 points) remains five points out of a playoff spot after the loss.

New England made four changes to the line-up that fell 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, with Darrius Barnes, Juan Toja, Ryan Guy and Jerry Bengtson coming in for Chris Tierney, Kelyn Rowe, Saer Sene and Chad Barrett, respectively.

The Rapids had the first chance of the match in the ninth minute when Deshorn Brown was played behind the defense by Hendry Thomas. One-on-one with goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, Brown hit a shot towards the far post, but it rolled just wide of the target.

But it was the visitors who would open the scoring after earning a dangerous free kick just outside the box in the 15th minute. Toja curled a low shot towards the far post and a run by Jerry Bengtson appeared to district goalkeeper Clint Irwin as the ball snuck in just inside the post.

Just three minutes later Colorado nearly equalized through Edson Buddle, who got the ball from Dillon Powers in the right side of the box. Buddle powered a shot on goal, but Shuttleworth was quick off his line to make himself big and block the shot.

The Rapids had another great chance in first half stoppage time with Stephen McCarthy still waiting to get back on the field for the Revolution after an injury. With a temporary man advantage, Brown got the ball at the top of the box and unleashed a shot just wide of the post.

The Revolution weathered the storm the rest of the way and entered the half with a rare road lead in Colorado.

The Rapids came out the aggressor in the second half and had two chances in the 54th minute to knot the score. First Atiba Harris forced Shuttleworth into a difficult save, then, off the rebound, Buddle couldn’t direct a shot on frame from close range.

The Revolution suffered a blow in the 58th minute when McCarthy was forced to leave the game after a second head injury and was replaced by A.J. Soares.

The Rapids would equalize four minutes later as the New England defense failed to close down Nick LaBrocca, who blasted a low shot on frame that beat a diving Shuttleworth.

The home side would then take the lead in the 67th minute when Jose Goncalves deflected a cross from Powers into his own net.

LaBrocca nearly had his second of the night in the 78th minute, but his shot was denied only by the post.

New England’s best chance to equalize came in the 84th minute, when substitute Chad Barrett got into the left side of the box and hammered a low cross in front of goal. The ball found Ryan Guy, but he was unable to direct a shot on frame from close range.

Shuttleworth then kept the Revolution in the match seconds later, denying a Chris Klute breakaway with a huge save.

New England then had a chance in the 87th minute, when Barrett broke down the right flank and then sent the ball back to Diego Fagundez. The referee blew the play dead, incorrectly ruling Barrett offside, before Fagundez finished it past Irwin.

That was all the Revolution could muster as they suffered their second straight defeat and another huge blow to their playoff hopes.


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