Preview: East climbers New England, TFC set to collide
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs TORONTO FC
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
July 14, 2012 (WEEK 19, MLS Game #174)
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; TSN2)
A pair of clubs making moves up the Eastern Conference table in recent weeks meet at Gillette Stadium when the New England Revolution take on Toronto FC on Saturday evening. The Revs extended their undefeated run at home last weekend in a 2-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls. Toronto FC come off a thrilling midweek home win, a last-gasp 3-2 victory against Vancouver, as they continue their turnaround under former New England assistant Paul Mariner.
REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. SAR (bench): Paul Scott; JAR (opposite): Kevin Klinger; 4th: Niko Bratsis
MLS Career: 69 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 14; pens: 11
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION -- OUT: GK Tim Murray (L knee menisectomy); FW Alec Purdie (L ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: FW Zak Boggs (R ankle sprain); MF Shalrie Joseph (L knee sprain); FW Jose Moreno (L ankle sprain)
- TORONTO FC -- OUT: GK Stefan Frei (L lower leg); QUESTIONABLE: FW Nicholas Lindsay (L knee surgery recovery); DF Ty Harden (R adductor strain); DF Adrian Cann (R knee sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: NE: Kelyn Rowe (through July 15)
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Chris Tierney ... TOR: Ryan Johnson, Torsten Frings
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Benny Feilhaber ... TOR: Ashtone Morgan, Julian de Guzman, Richard Eckersley
ALL-TIME (12 meetings): Revolution 4 wins, 22 goals ... Toronto FC 2 wins, 14 goals ... Ties 6
AT FOXBOROUGH (6 meetings): Revolution 4 wins, 14 goals ... Toronto FC 0 wins, 3 goals ... Ties 2
- The teams are meeting for the second time in three weeks. A last-gasp goal from the Revolution's Diego Fagundez left the teams in a 2-2 draw at BMO Field on June 23.
- The teams played to a pair of draws last season, the second consecutive year they've split the season series.
- The road team has never won in the series. The teams have played to four draws in six meetings all-time at BMO Field.
- Coaches record: Jay Heaps v TOR: P1 W0 L0 T1 ... Paul Mariner vs. NE: P1 W0 L0 T1
LAST MEETING (MLS)
6/23: TOR 2, NE 2 (Koevermans 4; Johnson 42 -- Brettschneider 71; Fagundez 94+)
- Toronto got off on the right foot after just four minutes, when Danny Koevermans shed his defender to head home a long cross from the left sideline by Ashtone Morgan.
- The Reds struck again in the 42nd minute, again off a long cross from the left by Morgan. Koevermans sprawled for the header, drawing the New England defense and leaving an unmarked Ryan Johnson at the far post to nod home for a 2-0 lead.
- The Revolution began their march back in earnest in the 71st minute when substitute Blake Brettschneider put back a rebound from a tough angle off a Benny Feilhaber blast from the top of the box.
- And after seeing a couple of quality chances go begging, the Revs found the equalizer in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Chris Tierney headed home Florian Lechner's cross, sending New England home with a point.
- TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Milos Kocic - Jeremy Hall, Doneil Henry, Richard Eckersley, Ashtone Morgan - Terry Dunfield, Torsten Frings (Logan Emory 67), Julian de Guzman (Reggie Lambe 82), Eric Avila (Luis Silva 59) - Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston (Florian Lechner 40), A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Kelyn Rowe, Clyde Simms (Blake Brettschneider 63), Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen - Saer Sene, Diego Fagundez (Fernando Cardenas 70).
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution stretched their unbeaten streak to five games, defeating the New York Red Bulls 2-0 on Sunday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 22 points from 17 games.
HIGHLIGHT: Revs keep NE hex alive for Red Bulls
- The Revolution capped a fine start by taking the lead after 24 minutes through Lee Nguyen. Receiving a return pass from Chris Tierney just outside the area, Nguyen stepped into the space and swerved a shot around two defenders and inside the left post.
- Revolution debutant Jerry Bengtson doubled the lead six minutes from time. Shalrie Joseph sent Saer Sene in alone on the New York goal, and 'keeper Ryan Meara did well to repel Sene, but he could do nothing to stop Bengtson from collecting the rebound and coolly slotting it home from close range.
- Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that played to a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC at Gillette Stadium. Kevin Alston came into the back four for Florian Lechner, Kelyn Rowe came into the midfield for Shalrie Joseph, and Bobby Shuttleworth started in goal for Matt Reis.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-3-1-2): Bobby Shuttleworth - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Kelyn Rowe (Diego Fagundez 89), Clyde Simms, Lee Nguyen - Benny Feilhaber (Shalrie Joseph 73) - Blake Brettschneider (Jerry Bengtson 60), Saer Sene.
Box-to-Box: Toronto FC
- New signing Jerry Bengtson score on his MLS debut to help the Revs ice the game against New York.
- "He was all by himself on an island with one striker and Saer (Sene) out wide just to open up the defense," said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. "But I think you're going to see more goals like he scored where it's a poacher's goal. He's offside on the first part of the buildup, but then he comes back onside and he fights off the goalkeeper and scores. Those are his kind of goals and we need someone who puts those away."
- Said midfielder Lee Nguyen: "Jay put him on for that exact reason: to help us go forward and try to get a second goal. You can tell they were trying to press us, and it made them vulnerable to the counterattack. With his pace, he was able to get by the defense and get the second goal. It was crucial."
- Bengtson had just three training sessions with the club before the New York match, so Heaps kept him on the substitutes' bench for the opening hour.
- "It's not an easy transition," Heaps said. "He literally signed his contract and joined our team in less than 12 hours. I think we have to manage expectations and make sure he acclimates well. He's done that -- he's come in and he's getting to know the team. To throw him out there for more than that would have been unfair to him."
- The Revolution are now unbeaten in their last seven league games at Gillette Stadium, with a 5-1-2 home record. "I love that our team works hard at home, plays well at home and makes it hard for teams to play against us here," Heaps said. "But in the end, we still have room for improvement, aren't satisfied at all and don't want to use last year as any type of measuring stick."
- Bobby Shuttleworth was given his first league start of the season, after Matt Reis had started the first 16. Shuttleworth played in the Revolution's Open Cup loss to Harrisburg.
- "I take a hard focus on reserve games and Bobby's had a really good run in those," said Heaps. "And so it was a combination of things with Matt. First of all, we wanted to get him a rest. This is the longest he's gone without a break. But also Bobby's been playing well enough to get out there and we also wanted to shore up some air balls. We all know the few games we've given up some poor goals and we wanted to have a little more."
- After recording just one defensive shutout over the first 12 games, the Revs have posted clean sheets in three of the last five games.
- "I thought overall, they had a lot of the ball but we kept them in front and limited them to a few half chances. Cooper hit the bar -- that was a good chance - but otherwise I thought we were good, we were solid," said Chris Tierney.
- On Wednesday, midfielder Kelyn Rowe was suspended for one match after a decision by the MLS Disciplinary Committee.
- "We like Kelyn to be in the fold," Heaps said. "In the [New York] game, he worked tirelessly, up and down, up and down. The play it came on -- and the reason I think we were so shocked about the decision -- it was an attacking play. It was a goalscoring opportunity. Kelyn is trying to get there and, at the last second, the goalkeeper comes out. Not having Kelyn for a game like that is going to be hard. It's a difficult decision not to have him."
Toronto FC won for the second time under head coach Paul Mariner in dramatic fashion, getting a late winner for a 3-2 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday evening at BMO Field. TFC is in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, with 13 points from 18 games.
HIGHLIGHT: Dunfield seals wild win for TFC over 'Caps
- Vancouver took the lead in the 50th minute when Darren Mattocks broke free to the right of the goal and forced a save from TFC 'keeper Milos Kocic. But with Kocic and defender Logan Emory still down, Mattocks recovered the ball and slipped it into the far corner from a tight angle.
- TFC tied it up in the 68th minute when Luis Silva got a foot down to redirect Ashtone Morgan's cross from the left into the far corner of the net.
- The home side then took the lead four minutes later. Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon parried a cross from the left and it came all the way out to Torsten Frings, who drove home a low shot from outside the area through traffic and past Cannon.
- But Vancouver, and Mattocks, hit for a second to level terms just as the 90 minutes ticked over to stoppage time. A lofted cross was sent in by Jordan Harvey and after Kocic missed a punch, Mattocks hung in the air to nod the ball home.
- Yet with almost the final touch in stoppage time, Terry Dunfield found himself in the center of the box and rose highest to get his head to a corner from Frings for the game-winner.
- TFC head coach Paul Mariner made two changes to the team that fell 3-0 to Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Julian de Guzman and Luis Silva came into the midfield for Reggie Lambe and Eric Avila.
- TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Milos Kocic - Jeremy Hall (Doneil Henry 29), Logan Emory, Richard Eckersley, Ashtone Morgan - Terry Dunfield, Julian de Guzman (Eric Avila 60), Torsten Frings, Luis Silva - Danny Koevermans, Ryan Johnson.
Logan Emory goes to Prom
- The win was the second for head coach Paul Mariner after taking over, the first since winning 3-0 at Montreal on June 27.
- "I didn't think we played that well, I think we had a bit of rust in us from our travels but the crowd were fantastic and got behind us amazing," said Mariner. "I thought we played our best football in the last 10 minutes and you can see what a response I got from these lads; I asked them for a big effort and they gave it to me."
- Terry Dunfield's first goal of 2012 came against the club from which he was dealt midway through last season.
- "I'd be lying I didn't say if there was one team I could score the winner against, it would be Vancouver. And in extra time like that, the script is written maybe, I don't know," Dunfield said. " ... That's my style. I can't stop smiling now, it really is incredible. It's going to be tough to stay grounded and get ready for New England this weekend."
- Luis Silva made his first start since May 26, vs. Philadelphia, but the rookie took advantage with his first professional goal
- "I don't want to dig old stuff up but he was hurt by what happened, and he really wants to do well and playing on the right hand side of midfield is hard, he has never really played there," said Mariner. "He has always played underneath or as a center midfielder and tonight I thought he was excellent."
- Said Silva: "That is my goal, to start. I have been working really hard in practice, the coach has been talking to me and showed his confidence in me to start. The team worked hard, we got the win, and that is what is important."
- Torsten Frings scored his second goal of the season, and now has two goals and two assists on the season -- all in the last five matches (since Mariner has taken over).
- Toronto FC have now gone four league games at BMO Field without a loss, and have three consecutive home games coming up following the trip to New England.
- "The one thing we wanted to do when we embarked on this journey, we wanted to put some pride back into the shirt and for our fans to go away with a good feeling. I think they were intelligent enough to realize we were running out of fumes a bit, but the effort ... was heartwarming if you're a non-football fan," said Mariner.