The New England Revolution showed their progress under manager Jay Heaps and hosted a great rivalry we haven’t seen in months. The two teams last met at the end of April, a match that ended in a 1-0 victory for the Red Bulls with a goal by Theirry Henri. Revs goalkeeper Shuttleworth got some playing time today, starting instead of Matt Reis. He was very attentive on set pieces, not letting the Red Bulls make use of their corners.
The first half started out slow as the Revs got pummeled by various RBNY players. From the 15th minute onwards, however, New England dominated the pitch in style. Bret Schneider headed the ball towards the upper corner of the net and missed by about a foot. Sene passed the ball to Benny Feilhaber, whose shot narrowly missed the lower corner. Bret Schneider was at the center of most of the Revs’ attempts. The Revolution had great possession in the first half and opened the score on the 24th minute with a curved ball in from Nguyen. The 1-0 lead was no surprise – New England are infamous for scoring early and conceding later on, so it was tough to say whether they’d be able to win. Fortunately, the team made use of their home field advantage. The Revs created some brilliant moments in the box. Sene couldn’t get to Brettschneider’s cross on the 36th minute, but kept finding space on the left flank. A free kick by the Revs proved a great goal-scoring opportunity, and RBNY defenders got the ball away from the net in the nick of time. It was tough to stop the motivated New England side, so the Bulls resorted to a lot of fouling. The referee went easy on the Red Bulls in most occasions. Miller was booked in stoppage time, but the reckless challenge may have gotten him sent off with a different official.
The Revs kept up the initiative in the second half, though they did give away a few more corners to the Red Bulls. Brettschneider got Sene’s cross but kicked the ball high above the net. It was an inaccurate attempt, and he was subbed off six minutes later, but the Revs continued to come full force. Jay Heaps’s team saw back-to-back corners and another great run by Sene on the right flank. The referee continued to pardon the Red Bulls; he would have had to book the entire team, and a loss away was probably more than enough punishment. The Red Bulls kept trying to put pressure on the Revolution and opening up in the process. Shuttleworth did not get tested often, though he kept clearing set pieces. Bengtson doubled the score on the 84th minute. Sene had a great run on the right and went through the middle, passing to Joseph, getting the ball back, and outplaying Meara. Jerry Bengtson had one and only one job; he calmly rolled the ball into the net.
The New England Revolution now have a five-match unbeaten streak and occupy sixth place in the MLS standings, three spots below the Red Bulls. Their next game will be against last-place Toronto FC, while the Red Bulls face off against Western Conference giants Seattle Sounders.