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Revs Return Home, Pick Up Crucial Win

Sunday, April 13, 2014

 

The 2014 season had not started the way the New England Revolution had planned. They managed just four points in five games and only two goals to show for their efforts. On Saturday, they returned home to Gillette Stadium and avenged their early season problems with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo, picking up three important points in the process.

The Revolution were without Chris Tierney for the game due to injury, but more importantly were without head coach Jay Heaps who was suspended for the game after being thrown out of the game against D.C. United. The Revs were under the direction of assistant coach Tom Soehn, making the win even more impressive.

Both teams started the game very slow but the first chance of the day came off the head of Saer Sene. Sene put a header just wide of the net off a nice cross by Andy Dorman in the 16th minute. The Revs were on the attack again in the 19th minute when Diego Fagundez and Teal Bunbury played a nice back-and-forth ball to Fagundez before his shot was deflected wide of the net.

The Dynamo started to pick-up their offensive game in the 20th minute when Tony Cascio floated a shot over the top of the net from just inside the box. The Dynamo had another great chance in the 23rd minute when A.J. Cochran put a header a little to high off of a nice set piece that Boniek Garcia put on target.

The Revolution came very close to their first home goal of the season in the 25th minute when Diego Fagundez ripped a shot from inside the box but Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall made a great diving save to his right to keep the ball from going in.

The Revs then avoided disaster in the 28th minute when Kevin Alston, who was starting for the injured Chris Tierney, tried to clear a ball in the box and almost put a header in for an own goal, but it rolled just wide.

The Revs got two more good chances on Hall from Sene and Lee Nguyen, but suffered a huge blow in the 41st minute when Jose Goncalves went down with an injury. Goncalves had Ricardo Clark slide under him for a challenge which led to a leg injury for Goncalves. The Revolution captain had to be helped off the field by the training staff and did not return to the game with Darrius Barnes being subbed in. Goncalves was officially announced to have a right quad injury.

The Revs got another great chance in the 44th minute, this one again from Diego Fagundez. Fagundez took advantage of a good run up by the Revolution and blasted a shot from the left side which curled just wide on the far side over the outstretched hands of Tally Hall. Even with those chances, the Revs and Dynamo went into halftime scoreless.

After a slow start to the second half, the Revolution finally found the back of the net when Kevin Alston ripped one in from 15 yards out in the 68th minute. The goal was the first career MLS goal for Alston who was assisted by Teal Bunbury with the secondary assist going to Diago Kobayashi. "Tommy (Soehn) was just pushing me all game, just telling me that space was there, just get into the attack, get wide and just try to help out," Alston said. "I think that pushing really helped me to just be in a good spot, to start.

"Amazing, finally break the seal you know its six years later and I’m just glad it’s finally here. I can say I scored at least one in my career. It’s special being at home. This is my first game starting (at home) since March 31 last year. It’s a special game for me. Just to be back in front of the home fans and to be able to get my first goal here."

The Revs capped the win with a goal from Jerry Bengtson in the 91st minute. Bengtson came on as a substitute for Saer Sene in the 78th minute and took advantage of a Houston back line that was pressing on the attack. The assist was credited to A.J. Soares and was Bengtson's first goal with the Revs since March 9, 2013 in Chicago.

The win moves the Revolution up to seven points on the young season, with a 2-3-1 record. As a team the Revs put six shots on target while holding the explosive Dynamo offense to zero shots on target. The clean sheet marks the second time on the season that Bobby Shuttleworth and the Revs defense posted a shutout. As part of the shutout the Revs did not allow a single shot on goal for the night. The Dynamo did manage nine shots but none were considered on goal. "The defense played well, I think, from top to bottom," second-year defender Andrew Farrell said. "Teal worked hard. Outside [midfielders], Saer [Sene], Diego [Fagundez] then Jerry [Bengtson] came on and did a lot of work up top for us. Then [Andy] Dorman was great.

"Jose [Goncalves] goes out and Darrius [Barnes] comes in and it's still the same. It was a good group tonight and I think we did a great job shutting it down. A.J. [Soares] played a great game, Kevin got the goal. Huge goal. Played a great game. So I think as a whole, and especially Bobby [Shuttleworth] kept us going and he didn't have to do that much. But I think we were all, top to bottom, really solid." 

With the home win the Revs move to 1-0-1 on the young season at home. Tom Soehn said it best when talking about the win. "Well, we’re obviously at home, and we always try to treat this as our palace, and no one’s going to beat us at our home ground." The Revolution will travel to Chicago next Saturday to take on the Chicago Fire. 

 

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