Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Revolution 3, Rapids 0
By Brian O'Connell
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For the first time in nine tries, the New England Revolution beat their opponent to the board -- albeit with a little bit of help from the Colorado Rapids -- en route to a 3-0 win at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday.
A 10th-minute Drew Moor own goal -- which came off a deflection of a Lee Nguyen shot -- gave the Revolution their first lead since Patrick Mullins opened the scoring in a 2-1 win May 24. No help was needed in the second half as Nguyen scored in the 75th minute, while Kelyn Rowe collected his first of the season in the 78th minute.
The Rapids finished the match with 10 men after Thomas Piermayr picked up his second caution and was sent off in the 74th minute.
The win snapped the Revolution's eight-game losing streak, one shy of tying the club record. The loss for Colorado kept the Rapids from collecting maximum points for the fourth time in five tries.
What it means: So that's what a Revolution win looks like. And an emphatic one, at that. The home supporters could be forgiven if Wednesday's victory felt unfamiliar. After more than two months passed without a win in league action, some wondered aloud what it would take for the Revolution to get back in the win column. The apparent answer: an own goal. We'll never know if Nguyen's shot would have found the back of the net even without Moor's intervention, but it was all the same for the Revolution. Not only did the goal put them up early, it also allowed them to turn the tables and tighten the grip defensively as the game progressed. With Colorado pressing, the Revolution exploited the gaps left behind, as evidenced by the lead-up to Nguyen's free-kick blast and Rowe's subsequent strike. The victory will leave the Revolution feeling much better about their current condition, to be sure. But it'll be interesting to see if they can turn it into something more as the season progresses into August.
Stat of the match: With the win, the Revolution improved their record to 7-0-0 when scoring the first goal of the game. They remain the only club in MLS with a perfect record in that department.
Scoreboard watch: The win puts the Revolution into a three-way tie with Columbus and Toronto for third place, pending the outcome of Wednesday's late game between New York and Salt Lake.
Heaps makes two changes to XI: With Chris Tierney out due to an MCL sprain, Kevin Alston was given the start at left back. Up top, Boston College alum Charlie Davies earned his second start of the season in place of Patrick Mullins.
Old mates meet again: Wednesday's matchup marked the first time Jay Heaps coached against first-year Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni in regular-season action. The two were teammates when both played for the now-defunct Miami Fusion from 1999 to 2001, and Heaps told the media on Monday that he and Mastroeni were roommates at one point during their time in Miami.
Different duds: For the first time this season, the Revolution sported their white uniforms at home during a league match. The switch was due to the fact that the Rapids, who donned their royal blue uniform, do not have a white or light-colored jersey in this year's set. As a result, the Revolution were forced to go with white duds rather their usual navy blue home uniforms.
Taking it on the road: The Revolution will head to the tri-state area on Saturday to face the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. On June 8, the Revolution dropped a 2-0 decision to the Red Bulls at Gillette Stadium.