Somehow, the New England Revolution escaped Toyota Park on Saturday with a point. A point that nearly slipped through their grasp.
Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth made a game-saving stop on Juan Luis Anangono's stoppage-time penalty try to preserve a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire.
The Fire were awarded the penalty in the 90th minute after Kevin Alston was whistled for handling on the goal line, leading to what should have been the go-ahead goal for the Fire. But Shuttleworth guessed correctly on Anangono’s undercooked shot to smother it well before the line.
Fire forward Quincy Amerikwa opened the scoring in the 16th minute after he received a defense-splitting pass from Harry Shipp and slipped it past Bobby Shuttleworth. Lee Nguyen brought it back to level terms in the 31st minute when he converted from the penalty spot after Alston was fouled by Patrick Nyarko inside the box.
Chicago was forced to play shorthanded for the final 17 minutes after Amerikwa was red-carded in the 73rd minute after he was awarded a second yellow card for a studs-up challenge on Andy Dorman. Amerikwa was issued his first yellow for simulation in the 34th minute.
With the draw, the Revolution record goes to 2-3-2 (8 points) while the Fire’s sixth straight draw gives them a share of the MLS record for consecutive ties with the 2011 Chivas USA.
What it means: At a venue where the Revolution have historically encountered struggles (2-7-2), it wasn’t surprising to see them come out flat. With the Fire bossing possession and completing their passes, Amerikwa put the Fire on top inside of 16 minutes in a game that had all the hallmarks of a Chicago win. While Nguyen was able to level it from the spot following the foul on Alston, the Revolution’s struggles in possession continued, and the execution in the final third was non-existent. Amerikwa’s second yellow and subsequent ejection essentially handed the Revolution a lifeline, but they’d have to sweat it out after referee Sorin Stoica awarded a penalty to the Fire in stoppage time.
After all that transpired, it’s safe to say that Saturday’s draw will feel like a win for the Revolution.
Stat of the match: Unable to assert themselves for extended stretches, the Revolution collected a season-low three total shots on Saturday.
Heaps back on the bench: Revolution coach Jay Heaps returned to the technical area after serving a one-game suspension for his ejection during the Revolution’s 2-0 loss at D.C. on April 5. Assistant coach Tom Soehn guided the Revolution in last week’s 2-0 win over the Dynamo.
Goncalves out: Reigning MLS Defender of the Year Jose Goncalves missed Saturday’s match due to the right quad injury he suffered in the 41st minute of last week’s contest against Houston. Goncalves’ absence from the lineup marked the first time the Portuguese international was forced to miss a MLS match due to injury.
Dorman dons the armband: With Goncalves unable to go, and left back Chris Tierney nursing a hip injury, Revolution holding midfielder Andy Dorman was appointed captain for the first time in his MLS career. Dorman has spent a total of six seasons between two stints (2004-07, 2013-present) with the Revolution.
Fagundez comes off at the half: Revolution midfielder Diego Fagundez, who had a lackluster first half, was substituted for Chris Tierney at the start of the second half. In 45 minutes, the teenage midfielder collected only 14 touches and did not record a shot on goal.
Next up: The Revolution return home next Saturday to host last year’s playoff foe, Sporting Kansas City. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Last year, the Revolution went 0-1-1 against Kansas City, who went on to knock New England out of the conference semifinals.