New England Soccer Today

Final Whistle: Revs Snap Winless Streak

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A pair of strikes in quick succession shortly after halftime allowed the New England Revolution to snap their six-game winless streak in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire in front 15,775 at Gillette Stadium.

After struggling to impose their will in the first half against a depleted Fire selection, the Revolution broke through in the 48th minute when Diego Fagundez volleyed a rocket from the top of the box past Jon Busch. Two minutes later, Teal Bunbury blasted a shot through traffic that was redirected into the back of the net by Charlie Davies for the hastily-built two-goal lead.

With the win, the Revolution picked up their first victory since May 2, and improved their record to 6-4-6 (24 points). The defeat to the Fire extended their losing streak to three, and watched their record fall to 4-8-2 (14 points).

Analysis: Whatever Jay Heaps said to his team at halftime certainly worked. After watching his team’s bright start fade midway through the first half, the Revolution came out of halftime a motivated side. And it didn’t take long for that determination to pay dividends, when Fagundez and Davies found the back of the net within moments of each other. Suddenly faced with a two-goal deficit, the shell-shocked Fire struggled to file a response, as a couple of misfired headers from Jason Johnson serving as the best opportunities the guests had at getting on the board.

Stat of the match: Fagundez’s 48th minute goal was his second straight at home after scoring in the Revolution’s 2-2 draw to LA Galaxy on May 31. Interestingly, Saturday’s strike came in Fagundez’s 100th career game with the club.

Critical moment: No doubt the moment that changed the game was the 48th minute golazo fired by Fagundez. Not only did it put the Revolution ahead, but it clearly took the wind out of the sails of the Chicago selection.

The game could’ve changed when…the Fire found no fewer than three quick chances to open the scoring in the 24th minute. After Bobby Shuttleworth punched away a Harry Shipp cross, the rebound fell to Kennedy Igboananike, whose shot was walled up at the near post by Scott Caldwell. But the Revolution weren’t out of the woods when Jeff Larentowicz gathered the rebound and found Igboananike before Andrew Farrell sent it away. Shuttleworth made another save on Igboananike shortly after to dismantle another threat.

Fagundez in, Rowe out: Coach Jay Heaps made on change to the lineup from the one he used last week, slotting in Fagundez at right midfield in place of Kelyn Rowe. The move worked like a charm, to say the least. Fagundez went 73 minutes before he was spelled by Rowe.

Agudelo returns: After spending the last two weeks on international duty with the U.S. Men’s National Team, Juan Agudelo made his return in the 69th minute when he came on for Teal Bunbury.

Neumann makes long-awaited cameo: Steve Neumann made his first appearance since Apr. 25 when he came on for Andy Dorman in the 86th minute. Last year, the central midfielder made a team-high 20 substitute appearances for the Revolution.

Open Cup action on tap: The Revolution will kick off their U.S. Open Cup tournament run on Wednesday at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium against the Charlotte Independence (USL). Kickoff for the fourth-round clash is set for 7:30pm.

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