Saturday, April 27, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Revs 2, Union 0
By Ryan Lanigan, Special to ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Eighteen-year-old Diego Fagundez scored his first goal of the season in the 61st minute and Lee Nguyen added an insurance goal 10 minutes later as the New England Revolution held off the Philadelphia Union for a 2-0 win at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.
Nguyen took a pass in the attacking midfield from Rowe and carried toward the goal, returning the ball to a streaking Rowe, who took a touch before finding a wide-open Fagundez in the middle of the area. The third-year player’s right-footed shot beat Zac MacMath for New England’s third goal of the season (and only second goal scored by a Revolution player).
Nguyen added a second goal for the Revolution 10 minutes later, sending a through ball to striker Saer Sene inside the area. Sene’s attempt was saved by MacMath but the rebound fell right to Nguyen inside the six-yard box and he calmly doubled New England’s lead.
With the victory, the Revolution snapped a five-game winless streak and pick up their second win of the season (2-3-2). Philadelphia had their three-game unbeaten streak snapped and stand at 3-3-2.
* What it means: After having scored just two goals in their first six games -- one of which was an own goal by New York’s Brandon Barklage -- the Revolution tacked on two tallies in their second meeting with the Union. New England hadn’t scored a goal of their own since Jerry Bengtson’s header against Chicago in the season opener. It’s the first time the Revolution have had two goals in a game by their own players since a 3-3 tie on Aug. 29, 2012 against Chivas USA. It’s also the Revolution’s fourth shutout of the season.
* Lineup tweaks: The Revolution made some changes in the lineup from last week’s 4-1 road loss to New York. Stephen McCarthy replaced A.J. Soares at center back after Soares left last week’s game in the 18th minute with an injury. Ryan Guy replaced Andy Dorman, with Guy shifting to the outside in New England’s 4-5-1 lineup. Rowe slid into the middle of the midfield and Bengtson played as the lone striker.
* Rowe thrives in role: Kelyn Rowe has played on the outside flank for the majority of his year-plus career with the Revolution, but when he was moved into the middle against the Union, a different player emerged. Rowe found himself with a golden chance in front of goal just 10 minutes into the game, but an unfortunate bounce sent Rowe’s shot well over the net. Then in the second half, it was a smart, quick-thinking pass that set up New England’s first goal. Instead of forcing a bad angle shot, Rowe played a horizontal ball into the area to an open Fagundez. Rowe could become a permanent option in the central midfield going forward for New England.
* Sene playing meaningful minutes: It hasn’t been a secret that the attack has been better when Sene has come on in a sub in the second half of the last few games, but Saturday marked the first time Sene had a hand in a goal. Although he didn’t pick up an assist, his run into the area allowed for a good shot, which was saved by MacMath. The rebound fell to Nguyen, who buried home the insurance goal. As Sene continues to get closer to 90-minutes fit, the attack will surely benefit.
* Next up: The Revolution will now travel cross-country for a Thursday night affair with the Portland Timbers. The game is set for a 10:30pm ET kickoff.