New EnglandNE
Wed, Sep 5
8:00 PM ET

Preview: Crew aim to keep magic going in trip to New England

GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
September 5, 2012 (WEEK 27, MLS Game #257)
8 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; FS-OH)
The New England Revolution will need to cool off the surging Columbus Crew if they are to take the three points they desperately need in the Eastern Conference playoff chase when the clubs meet Wednesday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are 17 points behind the final playoff spot – held by the Crew – with seven games to be played, after last weekend’s scoreless draw with Philadelphia. The Crew have ridden a four-game winning streak into a spot in the top five, winning a second consecutive game in stoppage time with a 2-1 win against Montréal at the weekend.
REFEREE: Geoff Gamble. AR1 (bench): Bill Dittmar; AR2 (opposite): Scott Kachmarik; 4th: Niko Bratsis
MLS Career: 17 games; FC/gm: 23.5; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 2; pens: 9
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: MF Sainey Nyassi (R adductor strain); FW Saer Sene (L knee sprain); GK Bobby Shuttleworth (L knee sprain); DOUBTFUL: MF Blair Gavin (L disc irritation); PROBABLE: DF A.J. Soares (whiplash)
COLUMBUS CREW – OUT: FW Tommy Heinemann (L knee surgery); GK William Hesmer (R hip surgery); MF Bernardo Anor (L knee ACL tear); DF Carlos Mendes (R hamstring strain); DOUBTFUL: DF Rich Balchan (sports hernia rehab); QUESTIONABLE: MF Danny O'Rourke (L ankle sprain); FW Jairo Arrieta (R ankle contusion); PROBABLE: GK Andy Gruenebaum (low back strain)
NE: Jerry Bengtson (Honduras)
CLB: Chris Birchall
NE: Kevin Alston, Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares
CLB: Bernardo Anor, Tony Tchani, Sebastian Miranda, Dilly Duka
ALL-TIME (55 meetings): Revolution 16 wins (1 shootout), 69 goals … Crew 29 wins (4 shootout), 91 goals … Ties 11
AT NEW ENGLAND (28 meetings): Revolution 10 wins (0 shootout), 36 goals … Crew 13 wins (3 shootout), 34 goals … Ties 5
2012 (MLS)
6/16: NE 0, CLB 0
8/25: CLB 4, NE 3 (Higuain 26, 43; Arrieta 32, 86 – Guy 17; Bengtson 23; Nguyen 81)
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Two weekends ago, the Crew got a second goal from Jairo Arrieta late in the match – after Federico Higuaín scored twice from free kicks – to snatch a 4-3 win at Crew Stadium. The teams played to a scoreless draw June 16 at Gillette Stadium.
  • The Revolution’s last win in the series came Oct. 25, 2009 at Crew Stadium, a 1-0 win.
  • The Crew have come away with points on their last six trips to Gillette Stadium. Since New England’s last home win in the series – a 1-0 win Oct. 14, 2006 in Foxborough – the Crew have won four of the last seven games at New England, with three draws.
  • Coaches' records: Jay Heaps v CLB: P2 W0 L1 D1 … Robert Warzycha vs. NE: P10 W5 L2 D3
  • The Revolution jumped into the lead after just 17 minutes, when a deflected strike from Ryan Guy from outside the area found the bottom corner. Six minutes later it was 2-0 as Saer Sene rounded Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum at the corner of the area and rolled the ball off the post and into the goal.
  • But the Crew were level with two goals inside six minutes. In the 26th minute, Federico Higuain let fly with a free kick from 28 yards, putting it over the wall into the upper right corner past a diving Matt Reis. Then the Crew tied the match on a well-struck ball by Jairo Arrieta after a slick pass from Milovan Mirosevic sprung him behind the Revs’ backline.
  • Two minutes before halftime, the Crew nosed in front on another stellar free kick from Higuain. The second a bit further out on the left, but just as powerful a drive, and Reis was once again unable to stop the ball as it hugged the near post.
  • The Revolution pulled back level nine minutes from the end when substitute Julius James pulled down Diego Fagundez in the box as the pair battled for the ball, and Lee Nguyen calmly converted from the spot.
  • Yet five minutes later the Crew found the game-winner when Arrieta ran onto a clipped ball from Tony Tchani and slotted it past Reis.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-2): Andy Gruenebaum (Matt Lampson 46) - Sebastian Miranda, Carlos Mendes (Julius James 40), Chad Marshall, Josh Williams - Eddie Gaven, Milovan Mirosevic, Danny O'Rourke, Dilly Duka - Federico Higuain (Tony Tchani 72), Jairo Arrieta.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Kelyn Rowe, Clyde Simms (Lee Nguyen 62), Benny Feilhaber (Fernando Cardenas 80), Ryan Guy - Saer Sene (Diego Fagundez 65), Jerry Bengtson.
The New England Revolution had their winless run extended to a club record 10 games, playing to a scoreless draw with Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 25 points from 27 games.
  • The closest either team came to scoring was header off the crossbar by Union's Amobi Okugo a minute before halftime.
  • Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis was credited with seven saves on the evening, while Union 'keeper Zac MacMath registered three for the match.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made five changes to the team that reached a 3-3 draw with Chivas USA at Gillette Stadium. Florian Lechner and Darrius Barnes came into the back four for A.J. Soares and Chris Tierney, Fernando Cardenas and Benny Feilhaber came into the midfield for Kelyn Rowe and Ryan Guy, and Diego Fagundez started up top for Saer Sène.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Florian Lechner, Stephen McCarthy, Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston - Fernando Cardenas (Kelyn Rowe 59), Clyde Simms (Ryan Guy 50), Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen - Jerry Bengtson, Diego Fagundez (Dimitry Imbongo 75).
  • The Revolution saw their winless streak extended to 10 games, the longest in the club’s 17-year history. They had gone winless over nine games on four separate occasions. The league record is an 18-game winless streak by Real Salt Lake over the end of the 2005 season and start of 2006.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps ran out a revamped back four. Florian Lechner made his first start since Aug. 4 at right back, while Darrius Barnes also made his first start since that game.
  • “I think it was a big deal that we got the clean sheet tonight after the past couple of games when we've given up a total of seven goals in the past two games,” Barnes said. “It picks up our confidence in the back. We just have to pick it back up offensively. We weren't as sharp offensively in keeping the ball tonight. It was one of our sloppier nights with the ball going forward. That happens from time to time. We got the clean sheet, we got the point. We have to try to pick it up from here.”
  • Goalkeeper Matt Reis was credited with seven saves – his season high – in recording his first shutout since July 21, also a scoreless draw (against Sporting Kansas City).
  • “Some guys stepped in there and did well,” Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber said. “It was Flo's first time playing back there in a while, Darrius' first time [in a while]. Kevin and Macca helped them out. It's good to see Matty saving us quite a few times there. For those five in the back, it was huge for us. It was good to see that, especially after the number of goals we've given up in the past few games.”
  • Chirs Tierney had started every league match since the second game of the season, March 17 vs. Sporting KC, before that string was ended in the Philadelphia match. A.J. Soares missed just his second match of the season.
  • “A.J. Soares was out with concussion-like symptoms because he was elbowed in the back of the head that wasn’t called … and A.J. had to miss the game because of that,” said Heaps. “And Tierney was an injury as well. Tierney had a little bit of tightness. But both those guys have played a lot of minutes.”
  • With Saer Sène lost for the season after suffering a knee injury in the Chivas USA match, Diego Fagundez made his first start since June 23, and just his second of the season.
  • “(Saer Sene’s) our leading goal scorer, an offensive threat at all times. That’s what he does: he puts the ball in the back of the net. He’s a class finisher, so we’re definitely going to miss him,” said Barnes. “That just leaves opportunity for Dimitry (Imbongo) and Diego (Fagundez) to try and put their stamp in the game and put some balls in the back of the net. Jay (Heaps) has been talking to us all about opportunities and hopefully somebody steps up and takes it.” Said Fagundez: “I think my confidence will be even better. I know (Jerry Bengtson’s) going to be gone so I’m going to have to be hungry these next two days for training. I’m going to show Jay (Heaps) that  I’m hungry and that I want to play.”
  • Ryan Guy came off the substitutes’ bench for the first time since the second match of the season (ending a streak of eight consecutive starts). Fernando Cardenas and Kelyn Rowe continued their rotation of the last four matches, with Cardenas starting before being replaced by Rowe for the final quarter-hour.
  • “(Fernando Cardenas) was supposed to be a little bit wider, but he kept drifting inside. Unfortunately, when they’re playing five midfielders and all of a sudden we’re loading our midfield up, we wanted him to be a little bit wider. And you could see the game open up when Kelyn (Rowe) came in because there was width,” said Heaps.
The Columbus Crew won a second consecutive game in dramatic fashion and extended their winning streak to four games, getting a late winner for a 2-1 win against the Montréal Impact on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew sit in a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points from 26 games.
  • The game's opening goal came after 77 minutes. Montreal substitute Sanna Nyassi beat three defenders down the left side and served a ball in the box which Felipe knocked to Di Vaio waiting on the right side of the box. Di Vaio calmly used a classy chip to beat Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum charging off his line.
  • The Columbus response came seven minutes later on a set piece by Federico Higuain which found Chad Marshall, who rose up from a crowd to head home over Montreal 'keeper Troy Perkins from the center of the area.
  • The Crew then hit for winner in stoppage time. From the left flank, Higuain came up with another pinpoint delivery, finding Emilio Renteria at the penalty spot, who flicked a glancing header past Perkins.
  • Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made two changes to the team that defeated Philadelphia Union 2-1 at PPL Park. Andy Gruenebaum returned between the posts in place of Matt Lampson, and Nemanja Vukovic came into the back four for the suspended Josh Williams.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): Andy Gruenebaum - Sebastian Miranda, Danny O'Rourke, Chad Marshall, Nemanja Vukovic - Chris Birchall (Cole Grossman 88), Milovan Mirosevic - Eddie Gaven, Federico Higuain, Dilly Duka (Justin Meram 63) - Jairo Arrieta (Emilio Renteria 77).
  • The Crew won their fourth consecutive match, the club’s longest since winning four in a row May 8-23, 2010. The club record is eight in a row, set in the inaugural season of 1996; since the end of the shootout era, the Crew haven’t won more than five in a row.
  • “Playing our sixth game in the short period of time, I think the guys were a bit tired, but we have players who can change the game and they showed us in these last few games,” said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. “I think that being down 1-0 with 20 minutes to go we showed character and these three points were very important for us.”
  • Federico Higuaín recorded his second successive two-assist game. In his first five games in Major League Soccer, Higuaín has three goals and six assists, and has been involved in at least one goal in each contest.
  • “Federico is a quality player. He’s a player that the Crew needed in the midfield. People like myself, [Jairo] Arrieta and all the forwards here, need a player like him who plays balls where they are needed, who is always ready to give assistance from the midfield. It’s almost inexplicable but he’s a great player who is able to feed you great balls,” said Emilio Rentería.
  • Added Chad Marshall: “He brings a lot of energy on the field and, as I’ve said before, he has that class and is capable of changing the game at any moment. You saw it tonight, two beautiful services, and we get out with three points.”
  • Marshall scored his first goal since April 7, and Rentería scored his first since May 26.
  • The Crew scored the winner in stoppage time for a second consecutive match, after Eddie Gaven’s goal five minutes into added time in the win against Philadelphia. It’s the first time in Crew club history they’ve scored goals in stoppage time in back-to-back games.
  • “It’s the confidence we have,” Higuaín said. “The coaching staff is giving us a lot of information to prepare and a lot of confidence. Also, the players are starting to believe. We never stop fighting. We never give up and luckily we’ve been able to win games.”
  • Said Marshall: “I think we’re doing well. It’s been a tough stretch with a lot of games in a short amount of time, but guys are stepping up. I know guys are tired but we have that ‘Never say die’ attitude and we’re somehow managing to get three points which is nice.”
  • After missing a match with a lower back injury, Andy Gruenebaum returned between the posts. He had Nemanja Vukovic in front of his at left back for the first time since July 8.
  • “I think we have been playing until the last minute. Like I said, we showed character, playing for the fans, for the club and for ourselves,” said Warzycha. “I think everybody is working hard. You’re not going to be rewarded every time for the hard work, but the guys understand each other and it was just great.”
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