New England Soccer Today

#NERevs96: The First Home Game

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

(Editor’s note: To commemorate the Revolution’s first season – which also happened to be the inaugural year of MLS play – will be posting a brief snapshot of each of the club’s first 32 games on its respective 20th anniversary. Today, we look back at the first home game in club history.)

Apr. 27, 1996

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Twenty-six years after the floodlights on top-flight soccer went out at Foxboro Stadium, the New England Revolution flipped the switch back on.

Geoff Aunger’s late penalty set the stage for a thrilling shootout won by the Revolution, who staked a 2-1 comeback win over DC United in their first home match in franchise history on Saturday at the multi-purpose stadium, which hosted first-division soccer for the first time since the New England Tea Men called it home in 1980.

Raul Diaz Arce opened the scoring in the 69th minute before Aunger hit it true from the spot in the 79th minute. With the match level at the end 90, the locals prevailed after Eddie Pope failed to answer Darren Sawatzky’s strike during the shootout, sending the sell-out crowd of 32,864 into jubilation.

DC was the aggressor for much of the match as Revolution keeper Aidan Heaney was called upon to make 10 saves. New England, though, was antsy to get on the board as well, and were called offside eight times.

The Revolution improved their mark to 2-1-0, and will return to action on May 4 when they host the San Jose Clash.

Out of town scores for Apr. 27, 1996:

MetroStars 0, Columbus 2

American soccer news: The U.S. Men’s Olympic Soccer Team beats the USISL’s Charleston Battery 2-1 in Charleston S.C. on Apr. 24…The U.S. Women’s National Team takes a 4-1 victory over France on Apr. 26 in St. Louis…Crew striker Brian McBride’s two goals and one assist puts him into a two-way tie with Burn forward John Kerr for the league-lead on total points…


What’s going on? With the Bosnian War continuing to escalate, the Clinton administration announces that U.S. troops will remain there through the original Dec. 20 deadline…With gas prices climbing to $1.36/gallon, President Clinton orders the sale of 12 million barrels of oil from the emergency reserve…After months of off-Broadway buzz, “Rent” makes its Broadway debut…

What we’re watching: Made for TV movie “Harvest of Fire” gives Seinfeld a run for its money on the Nielsen ratings after recording a 17.5 rating, only 0.4 points behind the popular sitcom…ABC renews Muppets Tonight for a second season despite lukewarm ratings…Family Matters, Boy Meets World, Step by Step, and Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper remain staples of ABC’s “TGIF” lineup…The romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs” opens to a smashing weekend by grossing over $32 million during the Revolution’s first weekend at home…


What we’re listening to: Rage Against the Machine’s “Evil Empire” is pushing Alanis Morrisette’s “Jagged Little Pill” for the top spot on the album charts…2Pac’s “All Eyez on Me” is quickly becoming one of the best-selling hip-hop albums of all-time even as a double-disc album…

MLS pop culture creep: Have breakfast with Alexi Lalas and Tab Ramos!



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