Sunday, August 4, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Toronto FC 1, Revs 0
By Brian O'Connell, Special to ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For the second straight game, the Revolution conceded an early goal, but this time they couldn’t dig themselves out of the hole in a 1-0 loss to Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.
Matias Laba’s second-minute strike was the earliest goal the Revolution have conceded all season, while Joe Bendik made a pair of saves to help give ninth-place Toronto (4-10-8, 20 points) its second straight win.
The loss drops the Revolution back to .500 at 8-8-6 (30 points), sending them back to sixth place in the Eastern Conference after Houston beat Columbus on Saturday.
What it means: It wasn’t for lack of effort that the Revolution failed to claim points at home for the second time in as many games. After Laba’s strike, the Revolution attack staked a number of chances to level it in the first half, as a pair of sure strikes from Diego Fagundez were cleared off the line by Toronto defenders. New England’s offense wasn’t as effective in the second frame, although it took a bold save from Bendik at the near post to keep Lee Nguyen’s close-range effort in the 90th minute out of the net. But in the end, timely defending and stout goalkeeping were enough to keep the Revolution from claiming the three points they should have gotten over four-win Toronto.
Stat of the game: Despite only having 36.2 percent of the possession, Toronto was able to hold off the Revolution, who were handed a shutout loss for the first time since March 30 when FC Dallas beat them, 1-0.
Toja gets surprise start: Midfielder Juan Toja, who hadn’t started the Revolution’s last two games, got his first start since the club’s 2-1 loss at Colorado on July 17. The Colombian midfielder helped the attack create a handful of chances in the first half before coming off in the 60th minute for Kelyn Rowe.
Next up: The Revolution return to the road on Saturday to face Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.