New England Soccer Today

Talking Points: #NEvTOR

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

The New England Revolution finished their season on a winning note by edging Toronto FC 1-0 on Saturday. Here’s a look at some of the talking points surrounding the contest.

Nguyen Does it Again

In the final game of the regular season, it was fitting that the Revolution’s only goal came courtesy of forward Lee Nguyen. Nguyen tallied his 18th goal of the year in the 35th minute after finishing off a Chris Tierney pass from close range, moving him into fourth place behind Bradley Wright-Phillips, Dom Dwyer, and Robbie Keane. This was also Nguyen’s ninth game-winning goal of the year, leading the MLS in the category. With the second spot in the Eastern Conference already sealed, Nguyen was replaced in the 62nd minute by Daigo Kobayshi, receiving a standing ovation from the Revolution faithful.

Gillette Continues To Be a Fortress

A victory tonight marked the Revolution’s eighth straight game without a loss at Gillette Stadium. With the exception of a 1-1 tie on August 16 versus the Colorado Rapids, the Revolution have been victorious in six straight games they have played in Foxborough. Playing in front of 32,766 fans on Fan Appreciation Day, Heaps’ squad rewarded the home supporters with one final regular season win before they enter the MLS Cup Playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. New England finishes the regular season with a home goal differential of plus-14, scoring 28 while allowing 14.

Defense Stands Tall

Tonight’s 1-0 triumph over Toronto FC marked the Revolution’s eighth clean sheet of the year. Led by Bobby Shuttleworth in goal, the Revolution defenders stymied the Toronto offense, allowing only seven shots, four of which were on goal. While AJ Soares and captain Jose Goncalves were a force to be reckoned with in the defensive third, Chris Tierney was able to make an impact offensively, providing the assist on Nguyen’s decisive goal.

Record Setting Season

With the regular season now in the books, several team records were achieved this year by the Revolution, including most wins in a single-season since 2005. New England finished with 17 victories, to go along with 13 losses and four ties. Individually, Lee Nguyen tied Raul Diaz Arce for second most goals in a single-season with 18. In terms of fan attendance, the Revolution achieved an average of 16,682 supporters over the course of the season, which compared to last year’s average of 14,839 is approximately a 12 percent increase.

Moving Forward

On November 9, the Revolution players will have to put the regular season in the backs of their minds as they kick off their quest to become MLS Cup champions for the first time in club history. The club will have to continue to depend on Nguyen to provide an offensive spark, while players like Jermaine Jones and Soares will be catalysts to the Revolution’s success. With the second seed all locked up, New England will have the decisive second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Gillette Stadium on November 9, and will look to remain a dominant team at home.

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