New England Soccer Today

Watson’s Dismissal Dooms Revs

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Je-Vaughn Watston’s early dismissal put the New England Revolution in a ditch they couldn’t climb out of as they fell 3-0 to the Chicago Fire on Saturday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.

Watson, who earned his first start of season, was sent off in the 27th minute after he earned a second caution for a hard challenge on Luis Solignac. His first yellow came six minutes earlier.

With the guests down to 10 men, Bastian Schweinsteiger took center stage and scored in the 45th minute. The Fire cushioned the lead right out of the break when Nemanja Nikolic pounced on a loose ball inside the box to beat a helpless Cody Cropper in the 47th minute. Nikolic added another in the 73rd minute on a ball from David Accam, who used his trademark speed to stretch the Revolution defense on the scoring sequence.

Saturday’s loss left the Revolution on seven points (2-3-1), and snapped their three-match unbeaten run. The victory for Chicago upper their total to 11 points (3-1-2).

What it means: Any inroads the Revolution wished to make on their road form were dashed due to Je-Vaughn Watson’s dismissal. With only 10 men to defend a resurgent Fire selection, the Revolution had no answer for the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Nemanja Nikolic, who both made their presence felt in Saturday’s match. For the Revolution, the loss had to feel like a punch to the gut because a result seemed possible given the form they were in during the weeks leading up to their encounter with Chicago.

Stat of the match: With only 10 men for over an hour, the Revolution were outpassed by the Fire 731-233.

Fagundez dropped, Rowe returns to midfield: Aside from Watson’s return, the biggest surprise on Saturday was the curious absence of Diego Fagundez from the XI. Fagundez, who started the Revolution’s first six games of the season and was praised by Jay Heaps for his work ethic last week, eventually saw action as a 52nd minute substitute as Scott Caldwell and Kelyn Rowe manned the wings.

Turnstyle at left back? Revolution coach Jay Heaps employed his third different starting left back in as many matches with Watson getting the start on Saturday. The 33-year-old veteran defender assumed the role after Kelyn Rowe was stationed there against Houston. Chris Tierney, who entered Saturday’s match as a 57th minute sub, got the nod two weeks ago at Portland.

Mid-week action on tap: The Revolution will attempt to kickstart their next unbeaten run on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium against the San Jose Earthquakes. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm. In their lone meeting of 2016, the MLS Originals settled for a 0-0 draw at Avaya Stadium.


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