New England Soccer Today

Rowe-ing Their Way to the Top

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – With first-place on the line, the Revolution got off to a racing start and tallied again just after the hour to overtake the top spot in the conference after beating the Red Bulls 2-1 on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium.

The hosts jumped on the board in the second minute when Lee Nguyen played a ball forward to Juan Agudelo, who chipped it through for Diego Fagundez inside the box. The outside midfielder made no mistake and promptly buried it.

However, lead was short-lived after Mike Grella pounced on a wayward Jose Goncalves clearance that clanked off the woodwork and one-timed it from the edge of the area in the sixth minute.

The match settled down shortly thereafter and went into halftime level. But in the 64th minute, Scott Caldwell played a ball inside the box ahead to Kelyn Rowe, who hit his point-blank effort true to extend the Revolution’s unbeaten streak to eight (7-0-1).

With the victory, the Revolution now have a conference-best 46 points, one more than DC United and the Red Bulls, who were unable to build off their 3-2 victory over Chicago last weekend.

Quick analysis: Mike Grella may have put the kibosh on any idea that the Revolution would run away with Wednesday’s match following Diego Fagundez’s second minute strike, but the locals were patient in their approach in the wake of the early fireworks. After the match settled down, both sides were essentially evenly matched on possession, passes and shots. But just as they did on Sunday, the Revolution pounced when opportunity presented itself, as Kelyn Rowe put himself in the right place at the right time when Scott Caldwell played it ahead for him following a Daigo Kobayashi corner kick. The fact that a makeshift lineup – which didn’t include Jermaine Jones due to suspension – was able to rise to the occasion in such a meaningful match only strengthened the Revolution’s playoff credentials with five games left in the regular season.

Stat of the match: Nguyen’s assist on Diego Fagundez’s goal gave him 10 on the season, making him the first Revolution player to reach double-digits in that category since Steve Ralston collected 14 in 2007.

Changes aplenty for Revs: Revolution coach Jay Heaps made five changes to his lineup from Sunday’s win at Toronto. London Woodberry, Kevin Alston, Kelyn Rowe, Daigo Kobayashi and Juan Agudelo all got starts in place of Jeremy Hall, Chris Tierney, Teal Bunbury, Jermaine Jones (suspended), and Charlie Davies.

Onto to Montreal: The Revolution will play their third game of the week on Saturday against the Impact at Stade Saputo. Kickoff is set for 8:00pm. During their last encounter, the sides settled for a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium on Mar. 21.

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