New England Soccer Today

Fagundez Strike Gives Revs Win

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Diego Fagundez’s 25th career MLS goal—making him the youngest player to reach that total at 20 years old—was all the New England Revolution needed to leave PPL Park in Chester, Pa. with an important three points. Fagundez’s strike gave the Revolution a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute and that score line would hold up the rest of the way.

The win leaves the Revolution (10-9-7, 37 points) in fifth place in the East, while the Union (7-14-6, 27 points) remain out of the playoff spots in ninth place in the conference. The Revolution also extended their winning streak to three games and their unbeaten streak to five.

Revolution head coach Jay Heaps sent out the same starting eleven that beat Houston in Foxboro two weeks ago. It was the first time this season the Revolution had an unchanged line-up.

The Revolution had their first good opportunity of the match in the seventh minute when Charlie Davies used his pace to get through several Union defenders to the end line. Davies sent a pass back to Fagundez at the penalty spot, but the Leominster, Mass. native hit his shot well high of the net.

A minute later it was the Union who probably should’ve taken the lead with Swiss International Tranquillo Barnetta sending C.J. Sapong being the defense. Sapong dribbled to the end line before sending a pass back into the box. Revolution defender Jeremy Hall stopped the pass, but deflected it right to Barnetta who attempted a shot from ten yards, but sent it wide of the net.

Barnetta led another Union attack in the 22nd minute, this time putting a low shot from distance on frame. Revolution keeper Bobby Shuttleworth parried it wide, but Barnetta got it again and crossed it through the box where it found Sapong. Shuttleworth was quick off his line to pushed it out for a corner before Sapong could get a shot off.

Shuttleworth came up big again in the 38th minute when Sebatien Le Toux got the ball from Barnetta and found space in the box. Le Toux hit a shot on frame, but it was too close to Shuttleworth, who made the save.

While neither team could find the breakthrough in the first half it took New England less than six minutes into the second to grab the lead. Davies redirected a throw-in into the path of an onrushing Fagundez, who charged forward with two defenders closing and dribbled just outside the box before finding space to hit a low shot into the far corner to give the Revolution a 1-0 lead. The goal was the 25th of Fagundez’s career making him—at just 20 years old—the youngest player in MLS history to reach that mark.

The Union nearly struck back a minute later on a corner kick, but Sapong’s header from close range was just high of the net.

Lee Nguyen made a run forward with Philadelphia’s defense stretched in the 78th minute to the top of the box, but sent his shot just wide. Two minutes later Nguyen had another chance, this time putting a powerful effort on frame that the Union’s Andre Blake made an impressive diving stop on.

The Union had several late chances to find an equalizer, but poor shooting continued to waste their chances. Union substitute Fernando Aristeguieta, in particular, had two great chances for Philadelphia in stoppage time from close range that he sent wide.

Substitute Juan Agudelo had a chance to put the game away in the 93rd minute when Scott Caldwell played a perfect pass to put him behind the defense. Agudelo ran in on goal, but Blake was quick off his line to narrow the angle and block his shot.

The Union then went down a man in the last minute of stoppage time when Cristián Maidana was send off for a shove from behind of Nguyen. From there the Revolution held on for the win.

New England returns home to Foxboro to face expansion side Orlando City SC on Saturday, Sept. 5.

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