New England Soccer Today

The Drought Continues

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Another 90 minutes and New England is still searching for its first goal of the 2015 season.

Despite being up a man for the final 30 plus minutes, the Revolution were unable to break through Montreal’s packed in defense in a 0-0 draw.

“We had chances,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said. “I think two things – you have to credit them I thought they did a great job. I don’t think there was a guy on the field [for them] that could walk after the game. They really did a good job to get the point, and you give them credit for that.”

In the 61st minute, Montreal defender Hassoun Camara received his second yellow card of the game for a red card. Camara was beat by Juan Agudelo in the attacking third and Camara grabbed a handful of jersey and pulled Agudelo down to earn his second yellow.

Both of New England’s two shots in the second half came with Montreal down a man. First, midfielder Scott Caldwell found Lee Nguyen in a seam in the 69th minute. Nguyen quickly turned and unleashed a shot from about 30 yards out but Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush was positioned well and pushed the shot out of the area.

Chris Tierney, who was wearing the captain’s armband in Jose Goncalves’ absence, had New England’s final chance. A Montreal foul gave the Revolution a free kick from about 25 yards out on the right side of the area. Tierney ripped a shot over the wall but it was right at Bush.

“Yeah, things aren’t clicking the right way but I’m not worried yet because I think we’re having chances,” Heaps said. “I felt like the last two games we were dangerous. We’re missing by inches not by feet. We weren’t dangerous at all in Seattle but the last two games we’ve been dangerous. When you take a piece like Juan and you try to insert him back in, it’s going to take a little time. I’m happy with the chances we’ve created, we just need to make sure we finish them.”

One chance that New England had that wasn’t counted as a shot on goal was off a header in the 72nd minute. Pushing forward on the left flank, Tierney whipped in a cross that found Nguyen six yards out in the center of the area but his header was just inches over the bar.

Just a minute after Montreal was reduced to 10 men, Heaps went to his bench and inserted striker Charlie Davies, marking the first time Davies and Agudelo played together this season.

“It was something we worked on,” Heaps said of having both Davies and Agudelo on. “Charlie is returning from an injury so his minutes have to be limited. He was great all week in training. I thought there was some space for him and we underplayed him a couple of times. Charlie’s got some wheels and he can really open up back fours. On a couple under hit plays, I think if we overhit them he would have been in. And Juan I thought did a nice job when he went out wide. He was able to occupy a defender and we had a lot of play through him once we moved him out wide. “

Neither striker was able to register a shot on target.

“I think it’s getting frustrating, but we’re going to watch the film and see how we can create more chances,” Agudelo said. “As a striker, I think me and Charlie, we have to have at least two shots a game and I wasn’t even able to get one and Charlie wasn’t even able to get one, so I think that’s an important thing we need to look at.”

Before Hassoun was sent off, New England had registered two shots on target in the first half. First, it was a low shot from Diego Fagundez in the 28th minute but it was easily collected by Bush. Kelyn Rowe had a go from distance just before halftime but Bush had no trouble collecting it.

“I think the chemistry is there between all of us, all we need is luck right now,” Fagundez said. “We need a ball to fall to someone’s foot and someone to tap it in. We’re creating so many chances but no one can finish one or has had a chance to just touch one.”

Once the Impact went down to 10 men, it was clear they were set to pack it in and play on the counter attack.

“When it was 10 men, I thought we were going to be able to score one,” Fagundez said. “But they went straight defense and it was kind of hard to get into the box. We were playing around the box and trying to get chances in but we just couldn’t get one in.”

“It was hard to open them up,” Agudelo added. “The only way we could have gotten is out wide and crossing the ball. They definitely packed it in and had some good counters.”

As for the solution to the Revolution’s goal scoring woes, Agudelo offered that playing a more direct style could help New England solve it’s early season struggles.

“I think maybe not passing too much in the attacking half,” Agudelo said. “Sort of directly playing balls over the top and making their goalkeeper work. We didn’t feel like we made their goalkeeper work.”

It’s not an unfamiliar situation for the Revolution, who opened up 2014 in nearly identical fashion. Much like they did last season, they started 0-2-1 with five goals against and were held off the board in each of their first three.

“Our locker room, heads were down because we felt we left a couple points on the table and had some opportunities and had a couple clear chances that we didn’t take advantage of,” Heaps said. “But we have to take the positive and keep moving forward.”

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