New England Soccer Today

Revolution Fall to League’s Worst

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

The New England Revolution continued their late season slump with a 3-1 loss to the last place Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill on Saturday night. Needing just a draw to clinch their spot in the playoffs, the Revolution got off to a great start taking a 31st minute lead through Juan Agudelo, but collapsed in the second half allowing goals in the 51st, 59th, and 85th minute to David Accam, Harry Shipp, and Gilberto, respectively.

The loss kept the Revolution winless in their last three matches, which were all against teams with losing records at the time New England faced them. The Revolution (13-11-8, 47 points) now sits in third place in the East, while the Fire (8-18-6, 30 points) continue to hold the league’s worst record, despite the win.

Head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the line-up that drew 1-1 with the Philadelphia Union at Gillette Stadium last weekend. Agudelo got the start over Charlie Davies, making just his second start since July 11, while Kevin Alston replaced Jeremy Hall for his second start since July 4.

New England was on the front foot early with Jermaine Jones forcing goalkeeper Jon Busch into a diving save with a shot from 30 yards in just the second minute. Shortly after a long range shot from Kelyn Rowe was just high of the net.

Chicago began coming into the match as it went on and Gilberto threatened three times to score in quick succession starting the 29th minute. First got himself in a dangerous spot, cutting through the Revolution defense and unleashing a powerful shot in the box that forced Bobby Shuttleworth into a difficult save. Seconds later, Gilberto saw a shot clang of the post. Finally, in the 30th minute, the ball fell to him at the far post, but his shot beat Shuttleworth and rolled tantalizing wide of the far post.

But it was the Revolution who would strike first in the 31st minute as the team pushed forward. Chris Tierney got down the left flank and swung in a cross that Agudelo got on the end of to head past Busch for his seventh goal of the year.

Rowe threatened to double New England’s lead in the 44th minute after the Revolution passed it around at the top of the box and found Rowe on the right side. From a seemingly difficult angle, Rowe attempted a shot that clanged off the crossbar.

The Fire came out in the second half looking to equalize and forced Shuttleworth into a tough save in the 51st minute. A minute later, Chicago found their goal through David Accam, who got into the right side of the box and somehow beat a flatfooted Shuttleworth at the near post from a tight angle to knot it at 1-1.

Chicago would then take the lead through Harry Shipp in the 59th minute after a misplayed ball from Farrell led to one-on-one opportunity. Shipp slotted it past Shuttleworth to make it, 2-1.

New England would have a pair of chances to draw level in 66th and 67th minutes. First Agudelo got the ball in the box and found Rowe with space on the right side of the box. Rowe, perhaps too unselfishly, opted not to shoot and instead passed back to Agudelo, who from close range sent his shot right to Busch.

Rowe then had another opportunity to shoot after a Nguyen cross found him again in the right side of the box. This time Rowe attempted a volley, but Busch dove to push the effort wide.

The Fire nearly pushed further ahead in the 71st minute with Gilberto again the catalyst of a dangerous attack, but he was denied by the woodwork for the second time on the night.

Only Shuttleworth kept it from going 3-1 in the 85th minute after another giveaway when Patrick Nyarko got free in the box and blasted a shot on frame. Shuttleworth dove to make a big save and to keep the game within one.

A minute later the fire would have their third however, when some more disastrous defending saw the ball sneak through the box to Gilberto, who volleyed it home from close range.

New England has next weekend off before facing the resurgent Montreal Impact at Gillette Stadium on October 17.

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