New England Soccer Today

Revolution End Skid, Defeat NYCFC 1-0

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Revolution ended a five-game losing streak on Saturday night as a Lee Nguyen goal in the 12th minute proved to be the difference maker in a 1-0 victory over the expansion side New York City FC.

Lee Nguyen’s 3rd goal of the season was all the offense needed for New England on Saturday night as the make-shift Revolution defense that was without Kevin Alston, Jose Goncalves, Darrius Barnes, and Bobby Shuttleworth held firm keeping a clean sheet against a team that had scored 14 goals in their last 7 matches.  Diego Fagundez was a terror for NYC FC all night while earning his third assist of the season.

After the game, the Revolution spoke about their mental preparation and focus in ending their drought.  “I think this was a critical moment in our season where there’s two ways: we could either take the right step as a team together or continue down this slippery slope, and we decided to take a step forward as a team today,” said Charlie Davies.

Head coach Jay Heaps also praised the team’s attitude after a pair of three-goal losses: “I was really happy with the attitude going in.  We were going in without Jose [Goncalves].  We took a tough loss with Bobby [Shuttleworth] this week mid-week, and so I felt the attitude and mindset from all the guys was really good.  We worked really hard this week on our shape, on our back four and the overall commitment between the lines.”

The early minutes of the match proved challenging for the Revs, as NYC FC started the match with a near goal from their left back, Angelico, who received a pass outside the box and fired a long range shot just past the post to Brad Knighton’s left.  Minutes later, a long pass found Patrick Mullins at the edge of the box with his face to goal with a defender on his back, but the Revolution defense prevented Mullins from getting the shot on net.

The Revolution took control of the match when Diego Fagundez and Diego Kobayashi strung together a set of passes and Fagundez led Lee Nguyen into the box.  Nguyen worked around a defender and put the Revolution’s first shot of the match into the far back corner of goal.

For the remainder of the half, NYC FC couldn’t regain their rhythm they had at the opening whistle, while the Revolution got chances from Teal Bunbury, Lee Nguyen, and Charlie Davies.  Davies had the best chance of the three, when in the 39th minute, Diego Fagundez crossed a low ball to Davies on the opposite side of goal, but Davies mishit the ball, which rolled out for a goal kick.

The second half started with a 1-0 lead in the Revolution’s favor with both teams exchanging possession and chances.  In the 50th minute, David Villa ran two-thirds of the field on a counter-attack, but couldn’t find a teammate on his cross.  Two minutes later, former Western Mass Pioneer Thomas McNamara fired a tight-angle shot knocked away by Brad Knighton.  Two minutes after that, New England passed the ball around the edge of the box, leading to a Chris Tierney blast that was knocked over the bar.

The landscape of the game massively shifted in the 55th when Ned Grabavoy clipped Daigo Kobayshi with a high studs-up challenge.  Grabavoy was shown a straight red card, and the visitors had to play a man down the rest of the match.

The Revolution began to control the game and search for their second goal.  In the 65th minute, Chris Tierney crossed the ball far post, which pulled NYC FC keeper Josh Saunders out of position and connected with Charlie Davies, who headed the ball to the center of the six-yard box.  However, Lee Nguyen slipped and was beaten to the ball sitting in front of the open net.  In the 70th minute, Davies rattled the crossbar trying to wrap a shot into the far, top corner of goal.

NYC FC pushed towards the end of the game, hoping for an equalizer, with substitute Chris Wingert ripping a long-range blast onto net, but Brad Knighton collected the ball on a short-hop, preventing the rebound. It proved to be the last challenging effort from NYC FC.

The first ever win over NYC FC for New England comes at a great time for the Revolution, who have dropped from second to sixth (entering Saturday) as a result from their losing streak.  They also score a victory over an Eastern Conference rival, who entered the weekend only three points from tying the Revolution in the standings.

“I think we all knew how hard this game was going to be and how important it was. And we definitely showed we wanted it more,” said Diego Fagundez.

The clean sheet also relives concerns about the defense after the Revolution conceded seven goals in the previous two games.  The center-back pairing of London Woodberry and Andrew Farrell also effectively marked David Villa, who came into Saturday’s match third in the MLS with 10 goals but failed to register a shot the entire match.

With the Revolution back on the right foot, the team goes back on the road to face another Eastern Conference foe, the Chicago Fire, next Saturday.

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