New England Soccer Today

Revolution Wilt in Big Apple

Photo Credit: New England Revolution

Photo Credit: New England Revolution

NEW YORK, NY. – Expansion side New York City FC celebrated their home opener in style, getting a comprehensive 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution in front of a raucous crowd of 43,507 at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night. Spanish star David Villa opened the scoring in the 19th minute and the Revolution failed to capitalize on numerous chances before Jose Goncalves was ejected in the 67th minute and former Rev Patrick Mullins finished off the scoring for New York City in the 84th minute.

“It was a tough result,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “I thought going down early was unfortunate. I thought we had chances to be in this game—ahead in this game. We didn’t take the chances and you go home without any points when you don’t take the chances.”

The loss leaves the Revolution 0-2 to start the season, having conceded five goals and scored zero.

New England made two changes to the line-up that lost 3-0 at the Seattle Sounders last weekend. 2014 Revolution MVP Lee Nguyen returned from injury and started in central midfield with Daigo Kobayashi getting his first start of the season beside him, while Teal Bunbury (right shoulder sprain) and Scott Caldwell were dropped from the line-up.

New York City had the better of the early play and threatened to score in the sixth minute when Adam Nemec and David Villa got into the Revolution box. Villa drew the defense and sent a pass to an open Nemec, but Bobby Shuttleworth managed to impressively deny Nemec’s shot.

Kelyn Rowe then had a good chance for New England in the eighth minute, getting on the end of a Chris Tierney cross at the far post, but his attempted volley was high of the net.

New England threatened again in the 13th minute off a corner kick.  Chris Tierney played the ball short to Nguyen who played it back to Tierney. The Wellesley, Mass. native curled a cross towards goal that Diego Fagundez may have gotten a touch on before NYCFC goalkeeper Josh Saunders kept it out with a kick save.

“Their style is one where they try to jam up the middle,” said Tierney. “Their wide players like to tuck in, so it leaves gaps out wide, but it also leaves us vulnerable to the counterattack, so it’s about trying to manage that. We just tried to take up good positions wide and get balls in the box and unfortunately we couldn’t score.”

Shuttleworth was called on again to deny Villa in the 16th minute after the Spanish striker broke into the right side of the Revolution box. Villa attempted a shot to the far post, but Shuttleworth managed to keep it out with a diving save.

There was little Shuttleworth could do to stop Villa three minutes later, however, as he found space on the left flank and played a give-and-go with Ned Grabavoy, slicing through the Revolution defense and into the box before chipping a shot into the far lower corner to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

Tierney played provider again in the 37th minute with a dangerous low cross from just outside the box. Juan Agudelo redirected it towards goal, but his effort was just wide of the far post.

Perhaps the best two chances for the Revolution came in quick succession in the 42nd minute. First Rowe found Juan Agudelo with a cross from the right flank and Agudelo powered a header on frame from point blank range that Saunders somehow managed to keep out. Seconds later Agudelo played Rowe behind the defense, but Rowe’s chip past Saunders was just wide of the far post.

“In my mind we had four or five clear chances, not half chances, clear chances and it would’ve been nice to finish those,” said Heaps.

“At the end of the day you need luck too, and we didn’t have luck today,” said Tierney. “There were plenty of balls that, you know, six inches the other way and it’s a goal. We’ll keep trying to work on creating chances and if we do so, goals will come.”

Shuttleworth was called on again early in the second half, denying Villa from point blank range under two minutes into the period. Two minutes later he’d stop Villa again as the striker got the ball from Nemec, faked out Goncalves and then, one-on-one with Shuttleworth, hit a shot on frame that the Revolution ‘keeper denied.

The Revolution netminder continued his stellar performance in the 63rd minute after NYCFC sliced through the Revolution defense again and a cross from the left flank found Villa who volleyed a powerful shot on frame. Somehow Shuttleworth got just enough to tip the bar over the net.

“There were a couple times [Villa] got in there and I’m just trying to stand up as long as possible, read his shape, and react to the ball,” said Shuttleworth.

New England lost Kevin Alston to a right hamstring injury in the 59th minute and the right back was replaced by Darrius Barnes.

A rough night got worse for the Revolution in the 67th minute when Jose Goncalves got sent off for tripping off substitute Khiry Shelton on a run into the box. The foul occurred just outside the 18 and New York City failed to take make the most of the set piece, but would hold a man advantage for the rest of the night.

Former Revolution striker Patrick Mullins—who NYCFC took from New England in the expansion draft—put the dagger in just seconds after coming on in the 84th minute. Villa got the ball in the left side of the box and sent a pass across goal, where Mullins ran by a flat-footed Barnes and slotted it inside the far post to make it 2-0.

The Revolution return to Foxboro to face the Montreal Impact in their home opener at Gillette Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“We had our chances, they had their chances and they scored and we didn’t,” said Shuttleworth. “We have to take the positives from this and move on to next week at home. We have to get three points at home and that’s the end of the story right there.”

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