New England Soccer Today

Revolution Take First

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution won their sixth straight match to move into first place in the East, defeating the New York Red Bulls, 2-1, in front of 10,997 at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday evening. Diego Fagundez gave the Revolution a second minute lead, but Mike Grella would equalize for New York four minutes later. A blown offside trap by the Red Bulls defense then aided Kelyn Rowe in giving the Revolution a 64th minute lead that they’d hold for the victory.

“It was a fight from the opening whistle,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “Two teams that were desperately trying to leave their mark on the game and it was almost more of a fight than a football match and that happens because you’ve got two teams that play very similar styles and they don’t want to give away anything. I don’t think there was one player on the field for both teams that didn’t work as hard as they possibly could to get the result tonight.”

The win saw the Revolution (13-9-7, 46 points) jump from fourth to first in the East, though the Red Bulls (13-8-6, 45 points) have two games in hand on all the other teams in the tight top four.

Heaps made five changes to the team that won 3-1 in Toronto over the weekend. London Woodberry and Kevin Alston replaced Jeremy Hall and Chris Tierney at full back, while Daigo Kobayashi replaced the suspended Jermaine Jones in midfield, Kelyn Rowe returned to start over Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo played up top over Charlie Davies.

“I was really proud of our guys because we were able to rotate our roster enough to make sure that we had some legs,” said Heaps. “I thought in a game like that after we had only two days rest and they had four days rest, we needed to insert some life into our line-up and I thought the guys that did, did an awesome job.”

New England grabbed the lead just over a minute into the match when Juan Agudelo one-timed a through ball off a Lee Nguyen free kick to Diego Fagundez. A flat-footed Matt Miazga allowed Fagundez to run free into the box and hit a shot on frame. Fagundez’s shot was near Luis Robles, but the Red Bulls keeper didn’t react and it deflected off him and in for his sixth goal of the season.

“We were just trying to get the ball quick and play,” said Fagundez, who tied a personal record by scoring in four straight games.. “When Lee played it to Juan I think he was trying to take it down. Maybe it was a good through ball; I don’t what it was, but then all I saw was a chance for me to shoot and once I took the shot the ball went in.”

Four minutes later the Red Bulls equalized after Kemar Lawrence sent a cross into the box and Jose Goncalves attempted to redirect, but instead hit it off of his own crossbar. The ball fell to Mike Grella just inside the box, who rocketed it into the upper corner to knot the score at 1-1.

New York had a decent chance to take the lead in the 19thminute when Bradley Wright-Phillips got the ball at the top of the box, turned, and hit a shot on frame, but didn’t get enough power on it to beat Bobby Shuttleworth.

Two minutes later it was the Revolution with a chance when Lee Nguyen was dragged down just outside the box. Nguyen took the free kick and curled a shot on frame that had Robles beat, but Dax McCarty ran back to clear it off the line.

The Revolution had another opportunity just before the break when Fagundez brought down a long throw from Kevin Alston in the box. Agudelo took the ball off him and dribbled forward than hit a shot on frame that Robles saved.

The home side would retake the lead 20 minutes into the second half when the Red Bulls struggled to clear a corner kick. The ball fell to Scott Caldwell who played a ball to a wide open Kelyn Rowe, who was kept onside by Kemar Lawrence after the rest of the Red Bulls defense pushed forward, at the top of the six yard box. Rowe volleyed it home from close range to give New England a 2-1 lead.

“I saw that everyone was kind of dropped off, I just kept in line with that,” said Rowe. “Scotty  I knew was either going to put it in the box again or try to have a hit, it was kind of an inbetweener and it was able to find my foot. It was one of those where you’re checking the sideline the whole time saying ‘please don’t call me off[sides]’.”

The Red Bulls nearly had another quick response in the 74th minute off a Sacha Kljestan corner that McCarty powered on frame with a diving header. His effort beat Shuttleworth, but was cleared off the line by Fagundez.

“I’m just doing my job backing up Bobby,” said Fagundez. “I think it was a cross. Dax was open. Once he headed,  I needed to make sure that the ball didn’t go in, so I just put my body in front, cleared it, and we got a foul off it.”

From there, the Revolution held on for the victory. The team returns to action on Saturday with a trip to face the Montreal Impact.

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