New England Soccer Today

Pillars of Success

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After going winless in the past six games and with designated player Jermaine Jones on the shelf for the majority of the summer, the Revolution were in need of someone to step up.

They had plenty do just that on Saturday night in a 2-0 win over Chicago to pick up their first win since early May.

But there were two players took it upon themselves to set the tone over the past week and step up when the Revolution certainly needed it.

“To be honest, this week our tone was set by Jose Gonclaves and Andrew Farrell,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said. “They really put the work in this week and it was important for us to get three points. That was the message, we needed to tighten the screws and not let anything up.”

It was a perfect time for the two center backs to step up as the Revolution were not only in the midst of a winless streak, they have fell victim to blown leads and hadn’t recorded a clean sheet in seven matches.

“It was huge,” Farrell said of getting the shutout, noting that the team had a string of blown leads recently. ”We were tired of it, it was time for all of us to step up. Usually we have four or five guys step up but I think tonight everyone was great, the subs, Bobby [Shuttleworth] came up huge for us, everybody was playing great and it was huge to get a shutout at home and preserve lead.”

Over the last seven matches New England had surrendered 13 goals and lost leads against Orlando (2-0), Toronto (1-0), Sporting KC (1-0), DC United (1-0) and the LA Galaxy (1-0).

But there would be no losing the lead against Chicago. Diego Fagundez’s highlight volley put the home side up in the 48th minute and less than two minutes later, Charlie Davies headed home Teal Bunbury’s shot-cross to make it 2-0.

“Once we scored we have seemed to turn off for a little bit,” Heaps said of previous games. “We didn’t even hold the leads for that long, we were giving up a goal within 20-30 minutes of scoring our goal. It was really important that not only that we scored but that we continued to pushed for a second one. And then once we got the second one that we were still really tight defensively and sharp and won those second balls. A lot of the goals we’ve given up have been second balls, bouncing balls, things that we can clear and we don’t so we had to make sure we took care of those situations.”

Farrell and Goncalves, along with outside backs Chris Tierney and London Woodberry and goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, were able to shutdown Chicago’s attack, which had netted six goals in the past three games and hadn’t been shutout in six straight games. The Fire managed four shots on target but Shuttleworth was up to the task each time.

“We always feel pressure, you don’t want to give up the lead especially because of the last couple of games doing that,” Farrell said. “With it being an Eastern Conference opponent, being at home, haven’t won in six, we wanted to step up and play well. The coaching staff prepared us well and it showed tonight. Good teams find a way to dig out of slumps and I think we did that tonight.”

It was just the fourth time that Tierney, Farrell, Goncalves and Woodberry had lined up as the back four. Over the past games, Jermaine Jones and Kevin Alston have made appearances on defense. Their record is 1-1-2 with four goals against in four games.

“When we get it together, when we get it on the same page we can be a tough team to breakdown,’ Farrell said. “And when we’re scoring goals its tough for teams to put their full attack against us because they have to worry about our guys. It felt good to be out there with the guys and I think it was a great result.”

New England will look to build on its fifth shutout of the season when they return to MLS play next Saturday in a rematch against DC, a game they had a lead they lost just three weeks ago.

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