Saturday, August 18, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Fire 2, Revolution 1
By Sean Donahue
The Revolution recovered from surrendering a 5th-minute penalty kick goal with Fernando Cardenas' 11th-minute strike, but were eventually overpowered by the Chicago Fire, falling 2-1 at Toyota Park on Saturday night.
The Fire -- who would outshoot the Revs 22 to 7 -- opened the scoring with Chris Rolfe's 5th-minute penalty, after Rolfe was taken down by AJ Soares in the box. Six minutes later, New England responded through Cardenas' tap-in after the Fire defense failed to clear a cross from Saer Sene on the left flank.
Goalkeeper Matt Reis made several big saves, but the Revs didn't support him with much offense.
The Revolution's time on equal terms was short-lived as Dutch striker Sherjill MacDonald, who joined the Fire as a Designated Player early last month, scored the game winner with his first MLS goal in the 25th minute. Goalkeeper Matt Reis prevented the deficit from getting worse with four key saves, but the Revolution never looked like they were recovering.
The loss dropped the Revolution to 6-13-5 (23 points), keeping them tied with Philadelphia for eighth in the Eastern Conference. The Fire improved to 12-7-5 (41 points), jumping into third place in the East and solidifying their playoff hopes.
Scoreless streak ends: Cardenas' 11th-minute goal wasn't pretty, but it was the first Revolution goal since the 12th minute of a 2-1 loss to Philadelphia on July 29 -- a scoreless streak of 269 minutes.
Losing run continues: With the loss, the Revolution have fallen in four straight games and are now winless in seven straight (0-6-1), extending their longest winless streak of the season. The Revolution have just three goals in the past seven matches. The Revolution are also winless at Toyota Park (0-6-1), having played seven games at the stadium since it opened in 2006.
Fouls reversed: In the team's six-game string of poor form leading up to the match, the Revs had been outfouled by an average of 13.3 to 8.3 -- a frequent talking point for head coach Jay Heaps. On Saturday, the Revolution defense struggled with the Fire's speedy attack and outfouled their opponents 11 to 8.
Benny benched: The Revolution's highest-paid player, Benny Feilhaber, found himself on the bench to start the match for the first time since April 28, when he was recovering from a left peroneal strain. Feilhaber, who had been substituted out of each of the Revolution's past two games in the second half, entered against the Fire at halftime for Lee Nguyen. Feilhaber has a goal and an assist in 20 games this season.
Blake's back: After not appearing for the Revolution since July 21 and not starting since July 14, second-year striker Blake Brettschneider was back as a starting striker Saturday night. He recorded no shots before being substituted out for Designated Player Jerry Bengtson in the 57th minute.
Next up: The Revolution remain on the road with a trip to face the Columbus Crew for the second time this season on Aug. 25. The game is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET. On June 16, the Revolution played to a scoreless draw with the Crew at Gillette Stadium.