New England Soccer Today

Shuttleworth Huge in Win

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth has been an important contributor as the club has won seven of their last eight, but never was he called on as much during that stretch as he was in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew. Shuttleworth came up with six huge saves – several from close range – under difficult field conditions with at times driving rain to earn Man of the Match honors as the Revolution took an important three points against fellow Eastern Conference playoff hopefuls Columbus.

“[The conditions were] difficult for a goalkeeper,” said Shuttleworth. “I think the field players probably prefer it to be that way, but I think you’ve just got to concentrate a bit more and just make sure that even routine stuff has got to be focused on and don’t take anything for granted.”

The Crew outshot the Revolution 15 to 11, including a seven to six advantage on shots on goal, but New England finished with the edge on the scoreboard, thanks in large part to Shuttleworth’s efforts. One of his biggest saves came in the 18th minute when Weylon Francis sent a cross in from the left flank that Ethan Finlay backheeled from the top of the six-yard box to a wide open Aaron Schoenfield. Schoenfield then tried to beat Shuttleworth at the near post from close range, but the Revolution keeper made a quick reaction save to keep it scoreless and even managed to hold onto the ball to avoid giving up a rebound.

Lee Nguyen would put New England ahead two minutes later.

“I think Bobby was great,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “When a goalkeeper makes a save that should be – he pulled one back really, let’s be honest, when Schoenfeld was inside the six and Bobby saves it. It was just that game you just had a lot of energy to it and to make that save there it felt like that gave us a boost and we scored right after it. So I thought he was huge, a couple other saves and just his presence in the box I thought was really good. I think you get into this time of year were one or two saves are the difference between three points or no points and tonight Bobby was in the right spot and really commanded the area.”

Another highlight was Shuttleworth’s 63rd minute save on Schoenfeld. This time Justin Meram flicked a ball over the defense that allowed Schoenfeld to run in on goal and shoot from about 12 yards, but Shuttleworth again made a reaction save and pushed the rebound out of harm’s way.

“I was going to come for the initial ball, but realized I wasn’t going to get there and kind of hit the brakes,” said Shuttleworth. “At that point it was just stand tall and try to react to the ball.”

That save kept the game knotted at 1-1. Four minutes later U.S. National Team midfielder Jermaine Jones scored the game winner for the Revolution.

“It’s good and it’s important to know that you have a guy in the back who is there when he has to be there,” said Jones. “Sometimes [Shuttleworth] doesn’t get so many balls, but today was a different game. He saved our backs and we are all happy that we get the three points.”

The match was just the third time this season Shuttleworth was called on to make at least six saves in a match and the first time since July.

“I think that’s a sign of a really good goalie, somebody who has become one of the top few goalkeepers in the league without a question,” said defender A.J. Soares. “There’s games and there’s stretches in game where he doesn’t have to do much, but he’s organizing, he’s playing with the ball at his feet – he’s doing a lot of things that seem easy that he makes look easy. He’s always talking to us. He’s shouting at me the entire game, putting me in the right position. It just sort of starts out the organization, it starts off the leadership, then I can do my job and I can organize guys in front of me. He’s sort of the first eyes for everybody from the back.

“Then there’s times where he has to come up big and just play goalie, I guess you would say,” added Soares. “Tonight he showed, like I said, he’s easily one of the best goalkeepers in the league without a question. We’re super lucky to have him. He bailed us out tonight a lot of times. He’s bailed us out all year. We’re lucky here to have a lot of good goalies, we’re spoiled.”

And thanks to Shuttleworth’s big plays in goal, the Revolution took sole control of second place in the Eastern Conference on Saturday night with the victory, prevented the Crew from sweeping the season series, and all but secured a spot in the playoffs with three regular season games remaining.

“I mean that’s a huge game,” said Shuttleworth. “They’ve already come in here and beat us once and we talked about that all week so it was a big game for us. Three points is huge and hopefully we can bring that into Montreal next weekend.”

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