New England Soccer Today

Two Points Lost

Photo credit: New England Revolution

Photo credit: New England Revolution

The New England Revolution took a 2-0 lead into the final 19 minutes in their first ever match at Orlando City SC on Friday night, but conceded two late goals and were forced to settle for a disappointing 2-2 draw against the expansion club. Charlie Davies opened the scoring in the 19th minute and Kelyn Rowe doubled the advantage in the 71st, but Cyle Larin got one back for Orlando in the 75th minute and Aurélien Collin equalized in the 90th.

The draw temporarily puts the Revolution alone in first place in both the Eastern Conference and all of MLS. New England (5-2-3, 18 points) remains unbeaten in their last eight, while Orlando (2-5-3, 9 points) ended a two game losing streak with the tie.

Head coach Jay Heaps made just one change from the line-up that won 2-1 against the New York Red Bulls last weekend with Lee Nguyen, who started on the bench last weekend after missing some training due to a contract dispute, returning to the starting line-up in place of Kelyn Rowe. Jermaine Jones and Andrew Farrell remained the starting center back pairing with Jose Goncalves out with a calf issue.

New England had the better of the early play, but struggled to threaten the net until the 19th minute when Scott Caldwell forced a turnover and got the ball to Davies about 35 yards from goal. Davies dribbled forward into the box before hitting a low shot past goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to make it 1-0.

Orlando looked a bit better after the goal, but the Revolution had the next best chance of the half in the 41st minute off a Chris Tierney cross. London Woodberry got on the end of the cross and headed it, but his effort was denied by the post. The rebound fell to Davies, but his header was also denied by the cross bar.

Orlando came out stronger in the second half as well, but New England doubled their lead in the 71st minute after Rafael Ramos attempted to chest a long ball from the Revolution back to Ricketts. Substitute Kelyn Rowe intercepted the pass, rounded Ricketts and finished to make it 2-0.

This time, however, Orlando would respond as just four minutes later they cut the deficit to one when Cyle Larin headed past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth off a cross from Ramos to make it 2-1.

Aurélien Collin then found the equalizer in the 90th, when he beat Jermaine Jones and headed in a cross from Luke Boden.

Both sides pushed for an equalizer from there, but were unable to create a real chance. New England returns to action next Saturday, May 16, when they take on Toronto FC at 7:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.

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