New England Soccer Today

Three Thoughts: #NEvSJ

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Three thoughts from the Revolution’s first win of the season, which came at the expense of the Earthquakes in Saturday’s 2-1 victory.

1. Rowe got the memo: Given that the Revolution came into Saturday afternoon’s game with 35 shots, and nothing to show for it, the onus was on every attacking player to be more clinical in the attacking third. Kelyn Rowe took this responsibility to heart, almost singlehandedly guiding the Revolution attack to a winning finish. Never mind his two goals, which, for their part, showcased Rowe’s shooting and positioning abilities. Rowe had seven shots–five in the first half and just as many on target–versus the Earthquakes, which is quite a substantial contribution in and of itself.

2. Dubious penalty kick call: Scott Caldwell certainly asserted himself physically in Saturday’s game—especially with Daigo Kobayashi slotting in next to him in central midfield and venturing into the attack. But to call a penalty kick on his 61st minute shove on Clarence Goodson seemed overly harsh. Goodson holds a half-foot height advantage on Caldwell and appeared to be knocked off balance more than fouled. Nevertheless, full credit goes to Chris Wondolowski for coolly stepping up to take the ensuing spot kick.

3. Hanging tough late: The Revolution got their first win and goals of 2015, but it took a gutsy second half effort to hold onto the three points after Wondolowski tied the game from the penalty spot. The last 15 minutes in particular were especially nervy, as Bobby Shuttleworth faced four shots that either needed saving or narrowly missed. Shuttleworth, however, does deserve a share of the praise for his four-save performance. That the Revolution were able to preserve their victory is key—though they should be wondering why they allowed the Earthquakes the opportunity to sniff at an equalizer. A more complete performance in terms of possession, defending against counterattacks, and managing transitions will go a long way this season.

If you want to reach Julian, email him at and follow him on Twitter @juliancardillo

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