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RAPIDS 2 – REVOLUTION 2

Posted on 25 July 2011 by Matty Jollie

Photo Courtesy of MLSSoccer.com

Commerce City, CO – Playing their second game in four nights, the New England Revolution (4-9-8, 20pts) fought to a wildly entertaining 2-2 draw with defending champion Colorado Rapids (7-6-10, 31pts) on Saturday night.  Coupled with their victory over D.C. United on Wednesday, the Revolution put together their best road trip of the season, and vaulted themselves out of the basement of the Eastern Conference and into seventh place, and only six points back of fourth place Sporting Kansas City.

Revolution head coach Steve Nicol once again opted for the 4-3-3 formation, playing Benny Feilhaber and Zack Schilawski up top with Rajko Lekic for an added offensive spark.  The three man midfield mirrored the one seen earlier in the year, with veterans Shalrie Joseph and Pat Phelan joined by rookie Stephen McCarthy. The only change seen in the back line was Darrius Barnes, replacing the injured Ryan Cochrane, who returned to Boston to have his injured foot examined by the team medical staff.

It was Colorado who began the game on the front foot early, creating good possession and pace throughout the first ten minutes.  Kosuke Kimura almost found the scoresheet in the just the second minute, creating his own opportunity by exploding down the right flank and cutting inside to the top of the box before firing on net, but it was once again Matt Reis to the rescue, as his athletic save kept the Revs level.

Despite having the edge in possession early on, Colorado found themselves trailing in the 25th after Benny Feilhaber scored his first goal for New England on a great hustle play.  Right-back Kevin Alston employed the long throw-in deep in Colorado territory, which found the head of McCarthy who used his height to flick the ball on to Feilhaber, who buried the chance  into the back of the net past Matt Pickens.

The 1-0 scoreline almost instantly inspired Colorado, as the Rapids increased the pace of play through their speedy flank midfielders.  Once again it was Matt Reis keeping the Revolution ahead, stopping Sanna Nyassi after the Gambian used his speed to get to the Revolution penalty area.  Colorado could only muster one other opportunity through Brian Mullan late in the half, but his full-fledged volley whistled just by the goal-frame, and Colorado went into half time trailing.

After absorbing most of the pressure late in the first half, it was New England who came out the aggressor when the match restarted.  After dominating possession through the first few minutes, an occurrence not too familiar, Shalrie Joseph unleashed an audacious, curling attempt on net that just barely missed the net in the 51st minute.

After a fairly timid ten minutes following the Joseph effort, the direction of the match took an unexpected twist, when Chris Tierney was judged to have taken down Sanna Nyassi from behind in the box. Nyassi received the ball in the box after a clever one-two pass, and got in behind the Revolution defense before Tierney left his feet and took down the Rapids’ striker. It was a straight red-card for the left-back, and not only was Matt Reis faced with a penalty kick, but now the visitors were a man down.

Caleb Folan stepped to the spot for the subsequent penalty kick, and as calm as you’d like, beat Matt Reis, leveling the match, and instantly gaining all of the momentum for the hosts.

Much to his credit, Steve Nicol didn’t fall back into too much of a defensive shell, making good substitutions late on in the match, most noticeably bringing on Kenny Mansally for Rajko Lekic, a move that would come into the spotlight later on.  The match also saw the inclusion of Franco Coria to shore up some defensive holes, and finally Sainey Nyassi, which, in turn, marked the first time the Nyassi twins has ever shared a pitch in MLS.

New England kept control of the match for most of the remainder of the match, staying organized defensively and moving forward when presented the opportunity, but unfortunately it would be the strangest goal seen in some time that would be their undoing.  It was Kimura again who controlled down the right flank, and when the Japanese midfielder played the ball into space in the Revolution box, ‘keeper Matt Reis came out to cut off the pass, only the ball took the biggest of bounces, and hopped directly over Reis and into the net.  Certainly the play can be described as a howler from the goalkeeper, but it deserves to be said the bounce the ball took was incredibly awkward, however each goal counts the same, and it was New England down not only a man, but now a goal as well.

Despite being down, New England continued to push and probe the Colorado defense late in the match, and in the dying moments, the Revolution struck gold.  Second half substitute Kenny Mansally found space at the top of the box and wriggled free, and was then judged to have been taken down by Scott Palguta inside the box.  New England was awarded a penalty kick in the 90th minute, and it was captain Shalrie Joseph who stepped to the spot and buried the late equalizer, giving the Revs their fourth point on the road trip.

With a bit of momentum on their side, New England now travels to Sporting Kansas City for what can be easily described as a huge six-point match on Saturday night. New England, fresh off their four point week, trail SKC by six points in the standings, and a victory over the Midwest club would pull them even closer to fourth place.

******************************

 

New England Revolution at Colorado Rapids

July 23, 2011 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Commerce City, Colo.)

New England Revolution 2, Colorado Rapids 2

 

Scoring Summary:

NE – Benny Feilhaber (Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston) 25

COL – Caleb Folan (penalty kick) 65

COL – Kosuke Kimura (unassisted) 82

NE – Shalrie Joseph (penalty kick) 90

 

New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston, Stephen McCarthy (Sainey Nyassi 68), Shalrie Joseph ©, Pat Phelan, Benny Feilhaber, Rajko Lekic (Kenny Mansally 75), Zack Schilawski (Franco Coria 66)

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Ryan Guy, Diego Fagundez, Zak Boggs

STATS*: Shots: 6; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 1; Offside: 6; Fouls Committed: 9

 

Colorado Rapids: Matt Pickens, Drew Moor, Scott Palguta (Andre Akpan 91+), Marvell Wynne, Kosuke Kimura, Wells Thompson (Omar Cummings 46), Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Brian Mullan (Ross LaBauex 86), Sanna Nyassi, Caleb Folan

Substitutes Not Used: Steward Ceus, Joseph Nane, Mike Holody, Tyrone Marshall

STATS*: Shots: 7; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 1; Corner Kicks: 5; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 12

 

* Note that all statistics are unofficial

 

Misconduct Summary:

NE – Chris Tierney (ejection) 64

NE – Sainey Nyassi (caution) 82

 

Team Records:

New England Revolution – 4-9-8, 20 pts.

Colorado Rapids – 7-6-10, 31 pts.

 

Referee: Geoff Gamble

Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Brian Poeschel

Fourth Official: Silviu Petrescu
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 95 degrees

Attendance:  12,273

 

NOTES

-With the draw, the Revs moved to 11-18-9 all-time against Colorado, including a 3-12-4 mark in games played in Colorado

-The draw was the second of the season between the two teams after the clubs played to a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium on May 7

-The Revolution is now winless against Colorado in its last eight games (0-3-5) since the team’s last win against the Rapids, which was a 1-0 victory at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 29, 2007

-The draw allowed the teams to split the season series for the seventh time in league history (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009)

-The tie extended the Revs’ winless streak in games played in Mountain or Pacific time zones to 15 games, dating back to September 2009 … during that span, the Revs went 0-10-5, with their last win coming on Sept. 20, 2009 – a 1-0 victory at Seattle

-The Revs’ two goals are the team’s most scored in Colorado since the 2006 season when they fell, 3-2, at Invesco Field on July 4 behind goals from Clint Dempsey and Taylor Twellman

-Darrius Barnes returned to the starting lineup after spending two games on the bench to start the game … however, tonight he made his start at central defense – his preferred position – for the first time in 2011 … he has previously started games at left back and right back this season, but not his natural position

-Benny Feilhaber returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday’s win in D.C. while serving his mandatory one-game red-card suspension

-With his start tonight after drawing the starting assignment in D.C. on Wednesday, Zack Schilawski has started back-to-back games for the first time since April 9 vs. Real Salt Lake and April 17 at Houston

-Benny Feilhaber scored his first goal of his MLS career in the 25th minute … he entered the game with a team-high three assists … it took Feilhaber 10 games to score his first goal

-Stephen McCarthy recorded his first-career MLS assist with his headed flick to Benny Feilhaber for the Revs’ first goal … he came into the game with two goals, including the game-winning goal on Wednesday in D.C.

-Kevin Alston recorded his first assist of the 2011 season and his first assist since Sept. 4, 2010 in a 3-1 win against Seattle at Gillette Stadium … Alston how has three career assists, one in each of his three professional seasons so far (2009-present)

-Benny Feilhaber’s goal snapped a 175-minute scoreless streak for the Revolution at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park … the last goal the team scored came in the 29th minute on Oct. 3, 2009 from Kheli Dube off a Kenny Mansally free kick

-Tonight’s game marked just the third time this season – in 21 games – the Revs have led at the half, and just the second time on the road

-Chris Tierney’s red card ejection in the 64th minute was the first of his career and just the third card of any kind – yellow or red – in his four-year career spanning 63 games

-Tierney’s red card was the team’s sixth of the season (in just 21 games), and tied the club’s single-season record for red cards … in 1998, the Revolution were shown six red cards in the 32-game season

-The Revs surrendered a penalty kick for the second consecutive game and for the sixth overall time this season … New England’s opponents are five-for-six from the spot this season with the only miss coming on Wednesday night when Charlie Davies sent his attempt high

-When Sainey Nyassi came into the game in the 68th minute, it marked the first time that the Nyassi identical twins (Sanna plays for Colorado) faced each other … in five previous meetings (two each in 2009 and 2010 while Sanna was with Seattle, and earlier this year on May 7 when Sanna did not travel with the Rapids to Foxborough), they never were on the field at the same time … they came the closest in 2009 in Seattle when Sainey came off the field and Sanna went on two minutes later

-Shalrie Joseph scored his team-leading sixth goal in the 90th minute … three of his six goals have come from the penalty spot … with his successful penalty attempt, he extended his club record penalty-kick mark to 11

-Tonight’s game is the second of two straight road games … the Revs traveled to Colorado directly from Washington, D.C., and spent an extra day in Colorado … the D.C.-Colorado trip is the team’s only multiple-game road trip of the 2011 season

-After kicking off on Wednesday being 91 degrees with a dew point in the mid-70s, tonight the teams kicked off at 95 degrees, despite being much less humid … this marks the first time in Revs club history that they’ve kicked off back-to-back games in 90+ degree temperatures

-Ryan Cochrane, who started the trip in D.C. with the Revs, did not travel to Colorado after returning home on Thursday to have his left foot further examined … Cochrane left the game in the 22nd minute on Wednesday against United with persistent pain in the foot.

-The Revolution wore white tops with blue shorts and white socks for just the second time this season in a uniform that paired items from their standard primary and back-up unis … the last time the team work the white/blue uniform was on April 2 in a home game against Portland … in that game, the referees determined the Revs’ primary home blue uniforms were too close a match to Portland’s primary green uniforms and the Revs needed to switch tops less than one-hour before kickoff… tonight, Colorado’s primary uniform includes white shorts, so the Revs needed to switch to their dark shorts, however those uniform assignments were noted well before game night

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Revolution 0 – Rapids 0

Posted on 08 May 2011 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution held the MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids to a scoreless draw last night in Foxboro in a game that New England clearly dominated the run of play, but could not find the right scoring combination.

The result was a semi-positive one for the Revs, who were able to keep a clean sheet for just the first time this season. However, in a game that had very few clear cut scoring chances for either side, New England were left feeling they should have done better against a Colorado team that was clearly struggling to generate any momentum.

New England started 4-3-3 formation with Benny Feilhaber moving to an outside left wing position. Kenny Mansally got the start on the right flank, as Zak Boggs was a late scratch due to illness. Rajko Lekic was the lone striker up front, with Shalrie Joseph playing right behind him in an attacking midfielder role. Joseph was backed by rookie Stephen McCarthy and Revolution new signing Ousmane Dabo, who made his first league start for the team. Chris Tierney got the start at left back for the injured Didier Domi, and was joined by AJ Soares, Ryan Cochrane, and Kevin Alston. Goalkeeper Matt Reis also returned to the starting line up, having sat out the previous week against Chivas.

Colorado, having just played the previous Wednesday night in Houston, fielded a slightly different lineup. Usual starters Omar Cummings and Conor Casey were injured, so the Rapids went with Caleb Folan and Quincy Amerikwa up top. The midfield featured team captain Pablo Mastroeni and former Revs Jeff Larentowicz and Wells Thompson, with defender Kosuke Kimura playing in the right midfield spot. The back line featured Drew Moor, Scott Pagluta, Tyrone Marshall, and Marvell Wynne, all who started for Colorado on Wednesday, with the exception of Wynne, who came on as a late substitution. Matt Pickens once again was between the posts for the visitors.

The game got off to a slow start with neither team gathering any momentum, until the 15th minute when Lekic was fouled by Colorado’s Wynne, setting up a free kick opportunity for Chris Tierney. Tierney’s ball had the right quality and pace, but was headed off the crossbar and out of play by Revs defender Ryan Cochrane. Tierney had another free kick opportunity just minutes later after Kenny Mansally was fouled by his former teammate Wells Thompson in the 18th. Tierney’s delivery this time was on frame, but punched away by Pickens. Tierney then picked up a yellow card when he fouled Marvell Wynne, preventing Marvell Wynne.

With a little more then 20 minutes left in the half, Colorado started to pressure more in the New England end of the pitch. Caleb Folan won a corner kick in the 27th minute, picking up a groin injury at the same time. After the corner was taken and headed over the bar by Tyrone Marshall, the Rapids subbed off Folan in favor of Harvard alum Andre Akpan, who had an immediate impact on the game. In the next 15 minutes, Akpan registered three shots, the first of which was a long range scorcher in the 3nd that forced the only save of the night from Matt Reis, who had to dive to his right to parry the ball away. Minutes later in the 38th Akpan was able to collect a loose ball just outside the box and dribble around Kevin Alston to get off his shot, which went across the face of the goal and out for a goal kick.

In the 40th minute, Mansally and Thompson would contest for the same ball again, with Mansally picking up the foul on this occassion just outside the Revs 18 yard box. Jeff Larentowicz lined up a free kick but drove it right into the wall. Akpan would get one more chance just before halftime, but he could not find the frame, and both teams went to the locker room scoreless.

The second half started with only one substitution from New England, as Sainey Nyassi came into the game replacing Stephen McCarthy. This pushed Kenny Mansally to his preferred left side and shifted Benny Feilhaber to a more central position.

The change appeared to have a positive impact as the Revolution proceeded to boss the midfield for the next 30 minutes. In the 54th minute Nyassi did well to navigate through the middle of the field and take a shot with his left foot through the left channel, but his effort sailed way over the cross bar and into the stands. Minutes later Nyassi and Lekic linked up to win the Revs a corner, which Shalrie Joseph managed to win with his head at the far post, only to be denied by Pickens.

Nyassi again was involved in the Revs next attack, as he was quick to pressure Thompson in the corner and forced a turnover. Benny Feilhaber won the ball and tried to slot a pass across the face of the goal, but could not get past Pickens, who was well positioned. Feilhaber and Nyassi would have another opportunity in the 74th minute, when Nyassi was able to find Feilhaber in front of the net, but Benny’s one-timer deflected off the cross bar.

Colorado subbed off Wells Thompson for Jamie Smith in the 73, and the Revs subbed off Dabo in the 74th for Darrius Barnes, moving Chris Tierney to the midfield. The move did not produce the offense the Revolution needed however, as the last shot attempted by the Revolution was in the 81st minute by Mansally. Colorado’s substitution had better results. Smith had two chances with a shot in the 84th minute going wide left, and another shot in the 89th sailing high. Despite 5 minutes of extra time, neither team could get the lead, although Sainey Nyassi nearly broke through two minutes into stoppage time. Nyassi on a breakaway found some space on the flank, and had Lekic in a scoring position in front of the goal, but he could not connect with the Danish forward (who may have been offside) as the ball was deflected out for a corner by Tyrone Marshall.

After the game, Head Coach Steve Nicol had mixed emotions. “We didn’t create enough with the bit of ball we had in their final third”, said Nicol. “That’s disappointing. We have to do better. We’re not going to win games unless we do better with the ball in the final third. ..The positive is we didn’t lose a goal.”

Revs captain Shalrie Joseph also saw some positives in the performance, but is still waiting for his offense to kick in. “It’s been years since we had a good forward since Taylor retired and had that concussion. We need a goal scorer.” Joseph said “Rajko is still learning a little bit – learning how to play with each other. Not just him but all of us in general … it’s all about finishing our chances. Possession-wise we looked good tonight. We’re moving the ball. There’s stuff we still need to work on and try to improve on but it’s looking positive and we can take a lot from tonight.”

The Revs will look to get on the scoreboard next Saturday when they host the expansion team Vancouver Whitecaps. The Revs last faced the Whitecaps just over a month ago when they traveled to Vancouver and managed a 1-1 result.

New England Revolution 0, Colorado Rapids 0

Scoring Summary:

None

New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane, Kevin Alston, Stephen McCarthy (Sainey Nyassi 46), Shalrie Joseph ©, Ousmane Dabo (Darrius Barnes 74), Benny Feilhaber, Rajko Lekic, Kenny Mansally

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Franco Coria, Kheli Dube, Zack Schilawski

STATS*: Shots: 7; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 1; Corner Kicks: 3; Offside: 5; Fouls Committed: 12

Colorado Rapids: Matt Pickens, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Scott Palguta, Kosuke Kimura, Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson (Jamie Smith 73), Caleb Folan (Andre Akpan 30), Quincy Amarikwa (Ross LaBauex 85)

Substitutes Not Used: Stewart Ceus, Danny Earls, Joseph Nane, Anthony Wallace

STATS*: Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 1; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 6; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 15

* Note that all statistics are unofficial

Misconduct Summary:

NE – Chris Tierney (caution) 19

COL – Scott Palguta (caution) 62

COL – Jeff Larentowicz (caution) 80

Referee: David Gantar

Assistant Referees: Darren Clark, Brian Poechel

Fourth Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Cloudy and 55 degrees

Attendance: 11,755

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TMR Episode 33 – The Midnight Ride vs The Back to Reality Crash

Posted on 06 May 2011 by Hank Alexandre

In this episode Hank is joined by American Soccer News correspondent Matty Jollie to discuss the debacle in Chivas, and the upcoming game against MLS Cup Champions Colorado.

Click here to listen

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Rocky Mountain clash ends in dismal 1-1 draw

Posted on 26 September 2010 by Patrick McShane

It was another fascinating installment of the Rocky Mountain Cup Saturday night, as Real Salt Lake came back in added time to steal a 1-1 draw from the Colorado Rapids. It has been a contentious relationship between both rivals over the years, particularly last season as RSL eliminated Colorado’s playoff hopes on the final match of the season while simultaneously sealing their own playoff dreams. Add to the equation that many key RSL players used to ply their trade with the Rapids, and it makes every meeting between both teams personal and filled with bad blood.

Thanks to the sordid history between both clubs, matches are typically not very entertaining and often end up being a physical, scattered affair. Saturday night was no different, as neither team could get any sort of rhythm early in the match and both were trying to play chances over the top with the long ball. RSL in particular appeared to struggle with their tactics as they fielded a largely unconventional lineup of role players in order to rest their starters for their CONCACAF meeting between Toronto FC on Tuesday. This meant that usual starters Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson, Alvaro Saborío, and Robbie Findley were all watching the match from the bench, while Javier Morales and Jamison Olave weren’t featured in the game day 18.

Because of the lack of cohesion between teammates, the match had little-to-no offensive production, with much of the match being played in the middle of the pitch. While RSL produced a couple of chances early on, it was Colorado that struck first with Conor Casey heading home the opening goal off of a brilliant cross from Kosuke Kimura. While the finish was class and Casey easily beat stand-in center defender Rauwshan McKenzie, the goal was completely against the run of play and surprised both the Rio Tinto fans and RSL. Noted RSL coach Jason Kreis after the match: “I’m pleased with everything except for 15 seconds in the first half when we gave away that goal. I thought that was a play completely against the run of play.”

Hoping that the infusion of typical starters would jumpstart a rally, Kreis inserted Beckerman, Saborío, and Johnson early in the second half. Though these substitutions produced a better looking display of soccer, both teams continued to struggle to create substantial chances in the final third. As regular time came to an end, it appeared that Colorado defender Marvell Wynne committed a blatant handball in the box. While referee Ramon Hernandez initially awarded the penalty kick to RSL, he later changed his call after consulting with his linesman and instead ruled a surprising drop ball. With the reversed call it felt like RSL’s lone chance to earn an underwhelming draw had passed, until Borchers came to the rescue with an unexpected goal off the back of his head to secure the 1-1 draw and the continuity of RSL’s undefeated home streak.

RSL will now turn their attention to a chaotic upcoming schedule, playing 6 matches in 18 days between MLS and CONCACAF Champions League play. While the draw to Colorado is disappointing, the possible positive outcome of resting so many starters could be actualized on Tuesday if RSL were to beat or tie Toronto FC and earn their way into the Championship Stage. “We’re going to put all our cards on the table for [the game in Toronto],” noted Kreis. “I feel like that is the one we have to get a result in to wrap up this Champions League stuff so that we can turn our focus to the Supporters Shield and the playoffs.”

REAL SALT LAKE (13-4-9, 48 pts.) v. COLORADO RAPIDS (10-7-8, 38 pts.)
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM – SANDY, UT

Scoring Summary:
COL — Conor Casey 11 (Kosuke Kimura 1, Brian Mullan 1) 36
RSL — Nat Borchers 1 (Andy Williams 6) 93+

Misconduct Summary:
COL — Conor Casey (caution; Reckless Foul) 10
COL — Marvell Wynne (caution; Reckless Foul) 16
RSL — Pablo Campos (caution; Tactical Foul) 32
RSL — Fabian Espindola (caution; Dissent) 66
RSL — Collen Warner (caution; Dissent) 78
COL — Anthony Wallace (caution; Delaying a Restart) 82

Colorado Rapids — Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace (Scott Palguta 89), Brian Mullan (Wells Thompson 63), Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith, Macoumba Kandji (Ross LaBauex 73), Conor Casey. ?

Real Salt Lake — Kyle Reynish, Tony Beltran, Rauwshan McKenzie, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Andy Williams, Jean Alexandre (Kyle Beckerman 56), Collen Warner, Ned Grabavoy (Will Johnson 70), Pablo Campos (Alvaro Saborío 62), Fabian Espindola.

Referee: Ramon Hernandez?
Referee’s Assistants: Ian Anderson; Paul Scott?
4th Official: Yader Reyes?
Weather: Clear and 76 degrees / ?Attendance: 18,317

All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

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Colorado Spoils Revs’ Return Home

Posted on 24 April 2010 by Hank Alexandre

It was a battle against old teammates tonight for both sides as the New England Revolution faced off against the Colorado Rapids.

Former Revs-now-Rapids Jeff Larentowicz and Wells Thompson started against their former team in the two clubs first match up of the season.  Preston Burpo and Cory Gibbs, acquired by the Revs in the trade that sent Thompson and Larentowicz to Colorado, made their fourth consecutive starts for the Revs.

Captain Joseph is sorely missed by the Revs ©ASN

The Revs, without the services of their captain Shalrie Joseph once again, looked to assert themselves in the center of the field with Pat Phelan partnering up with Joseph Niouky.  However, Colorado quickly put their stamp on the game and took control early.

After some back and forth play in the opening minutes,  the Revolution looked likely to be the first to find the back of the net with.  Phelan played the ball out to the left side to a wide open Seth Sinovic, who sent a perfect cross into the Colorado box for Kheli Dube.  Dube’s first touch sent the ball skyward however, and it was easily collected by Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens.

Colorado was quick to counter however with some quick distribution from Pickens, and Rapids midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy capitalized with his first goal of the season.  Finding plenty of room in the midfield, Ballouchy ran past Pat Phelan and unleashed a strike that swerved to the right of Preston Burpo. “I was trying to peek left,” said Burpo. “As soon as he hit it, the ball was swerving to my right, and I was way off of it.”

But the Revolution soon equalized. Sainey Nyassi was brought down outside the box and referee Jair Maruffo awared the free kick.  Marko Perovic who started at left midfield for Chris Tierney tonight took the kick and curled a beautiful,    well-struck ball into the back of the net in the 18th Minute.

Colorado had the majority of the chances in the first half, and nearly scored on multiple occassions.  After Jeff Larentowicz failed to capitalize on a free kick, Ballouchy found himself again with the ball.  With his back to goal, Ballouchy turned a bicycle kick over the Revs’ defense but found woodwork.  The ball fell to the feet of Conor Casey, who struck but was blocked by Burpo.  Casey tried to capitalize on the rebound but the ball was cleared away.

The first half ended with both sides at one, with the Revolution finding some success moving the ball down the flanks, but unable to connect in front of the goal.

The second half, the Revs again came out strong, and looked to gain the advantage.  The Revs stepped up their play and did well to win the ball in the midfield, thanks to stronger play from Joseph Niouky and Pat Phelan.  Phelan nearly found net with a blistering strike on goal, but Pickens was well positioned to make the save.

In an attempt to shake up the defense, Steve Nicol shuffled the lineup by taking off rookie Zack Schilawski in the 62nd minute in favor of Edgaras Jankauskas, who made his first appearance of the season.  In the 70th minute, Khano Smith came on for Kheli Dube, sliding Marko Perovic more to the middle of the field.

The Revs started to press more, with both Phelan and Niouky getting into the attack.  However, it was Colorado that would finally win the upper hand.  Wells Thompson did well down the left side to win the ball and find Conor Casey in front of the net.  He held the ball up long enough to find Pablo Mastroeni, who struck the ball perfectly past the Revs defense and into the back of the net.

In an attempt to salvage a draw, Steve Nicol subbed off defender Seth Sinovic in favor of forward Kenny Mansally, and switched to a 3-5-2 formation.  The Revs, however, despite their efforts, failed to find any kind of chemistry and left the field on the wrong end of the score sheet.

The Revs have two more games at home before they head out on the road.  They host FC Dallas next Saturday, and Chivas USA just 4 days later on the following Wednesday.  Steve Nicol will most definitely be looking forward to the return of Shalrie Joseph to the lineup, and pressuring his side to bring home maximum points over the next 10 days before they head to Columbus on May 8th.

Match Facts

Scoring Summary:
COL — Mehdi Ballouchy 1 (unassisted) 14’
NE — Marko Perovic 1 (unassisted) 18’
COL — Pablo Mastroeni 1 (Conor Casey 1) 73’

Misconduct Summary:
NE — Pat Phelan (caution; Reckless Tackle) 48’
COL — Pablo Mastroeni (caution; Reckless Foul) 66’
COL — Conor Casey (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 90’

Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee’s Assistants: Thomas Supple; Brian Poeschel
4th Official: David Gantar
Attendance: 8,142

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Revs take on Colorado

Posted on 24 April 2010 by Hank Alexandre

After playing 3 of their first 4 games on the road, The New England Revolution kicks off a three-game home stand over the next twelve days starting with the Colorado Rapids this Saturday.

The Rapids are 2-1-1 this season, with both their wins coming against bottom dwelling teams.  The Rapids opened their season with a 1-0 win over Chivas USA, before drawing against Chicago and sufffering a loss against red hot Kansas City.  Colorado’s leading goal scorer Conor Casey accounts for three of the Rapids six goals this season, but all three have come from the penalty spot.

Joining the Rapids this off season are former Revolution midfielders Jeff Larentowicz and Wells Thompson.  Larentowicz, who scored the goal that secured New England’s place in the playoffs last season, scored in the 3-1 win over Toronto last week off of a free kick.  Thompson,  who has been primarily used as a substitute this season, drew the foul that set up Larentowicz’ goal.  However, Thompson,  did feature in a US Open Cup match up against Kansas City, in which he scored both goals in the Rapids win.  New England Fans will remember Thompson’s game winning goal against FC Dallas in the 2007 US Open Cup Final.

The Revolution are looking for some strength in the midfield.   Team captain Shalrie Joseph is listed as probable and could make the start.  If not, the Revs will be looking for stronger play from midfielders Joseph Niouky and Pat Phelan.  Phelan, who has yet to score for New England, needs to assert himself against his former teammate Larentowicz and drive the ball forward to the likes of wingers Chris Tierney or Sainey Nyassi, or attacking midfielder Marko Perovic.

Although the Rapids hold a slight lead in all time matchups, The Revolution have had the edge over the Rapids at home.  Prediction for Saturday’s match: 2-1 Revolution.

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RSL rock Rapids for MLS Playoff berth, Rocky Mountain Cup

Posted on 25 October 2009 by Patrick McShane

Just a week ago it seemed as if RSL’s hope for a second consecutive playoff appearance appeared out of reach. They had just suffered a crushing 1-0 defeat on the road against Toronto FC and were heading home to face Rocky Mountain rivals, Colorado Rapids, in a must-win match. And yet, everything somehow came together Saturday night as RSL routed Colorado 3-0, in a one-sided, dominant affair. Coupled with Toronto’s breakdown against New York , D.C. United’s late draw against Kansas City, and Seattle victory over Dallas, RSL now find themselves as the 3rd or 4th seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Needing at least a two-goal victory to claim the rivalry-based Rocky Mountain Cup, RSL knew that they had to be the aggressors from the opening whistle. It took RSL just 15 minutes to get on the scoring sheet after a bright offensive start to the match. After a close attempt on a free kick outside of the box, Andy Williams collected the ball and placed a perfect cross into the box to Fabian Espindola. Rather than challenge Colorado keeper Preston Burpo, Espindola chipped the ball back in front of goal for Robbie Findley to head home. The 18,675 fans in attendance erupted as their playoff hopes seemed revitalized due to some keen watching of the other crucial matches taking place simultaneously.

Though many felt optimism after the opening goal, the lead felt tenuous as both teams were chippy and physical in their play. Rather than buckle under surmounting pressure as they have over recent weeks, RSL responded with a second goal in the 35th minute as Williams again found a wide-open Findley with a pass over the top. Findley still had to some work to do with a sublime chip over Burpo for a casual left footed goal. Colorado seemed deflated entering half time and continued that mentality into the second half as they struggled to break down an energized RSL backline. Substitute Yura Movsisyan added an insurance goal in the 85th minute on a dazzling counter-attack, leaving the fans and team to celebrate another season series victory over Colorado as well as the hope of a playoff appearance.

While the victory and their aggressive play was crucial, RSL’s biggest victory of the evening came two hours after their match against Colorado, when Seattle Sounders defeated FC Dallas 2-1 at home. With the victory RSL is guaranteed a playoff spot as they now await the result of the New England/Columbus match this afternoon to determine their seeding and eventual opponent. Colorado will also be closely watching, as their playoff dreams rest on a New England defeat. Playoff pairings will be announced later this evening with RSL potentially facing reigning MLS Cup champion and Supporter’s Shield winning Columbus Crew or the enigmatic Chicago Fire at home next week. In the meantime, however, RSL will savor an impressive victory and a sweet ending to a tumultuous season.

Added coach Jason Kreis after the match: “We take satisfaction, we’re proud of this match. We can hold our heads high about coming out of this match and what we’ve done, and what we’ve done at home this season. It’s a real accomplishment.”

PLAYER ASSESSMENTS:

Rimando – While the offense for RSL was clicking, Rimando kept them in the match throughout the first half with a number of stellar saves. He’s been “Mr. Consistency” for RSL all season long.

Wingert – Played within the flow of the match and didn’t try to do too much. This is probably the best I’ve seen Wingert perform in over two months.

Borchers & Olave– After being announced as the team MVP and Defensive Player of the Year respectively, Borchers partnered with Olave to lead their best overall performance of the year. Both players silenced Conor Casey & Omar Cummings with physical, yet composed play. If they keep this impressive play up throughout the playoffs, RSL could be a dangerous team.

Beltran – I started out the year indifferent towards Tony, and have now ended the year a big fan. His defensive positioning and overall energy has improved throughout the year and he is showing signs of growth. Having just celebrated his 22nd birthday, Beltran still has a number of years ahead of him to have an impact in the league.

Williams – Fans have been clamoring for Williams to replace Mathis in the lineup for weeks now, and this time it paid dividends. Williams logged two assists (which he again predicted earlier this week on his Facebook page) and was the driving force on offense.

Johnson – While I’ve been critical of Johnson’s tangible results this season, his energy and work on the pitch are unmatched. Last night was the perfect example of how Johnson can influence a match without a earning a goal or assist.

Beckerman – I always laugh when I think how I used to hate Kyle Beckerman when he was on the opposing team in this rivalry. Now, I can’t imagine an RSL team without their all-around leader and organizer

Morales – Still struggling a bit in terms of offensive, but it’s been his defensive commitment in recent weeks that’s been most notable.

Espindola – Rather than disappoint fans with missed chances this week, Espy decided to be the provider of the first goal. I’ve always liked a two-man strike core with him and Findley and hope that coach Kreis continues this formation into the playoffs.

Findley – MOTM honors in my book. 12 goals for the season, 1st in goals for RSL, and third place in the MLS Golden Boot race. What an incredible season for Findley after many thought he was a one-trick pony just a season ago.

SUBS
Grabavoy
– I was pretty underwhelmed when the sub was made as I felt it decreased our offensive prowess. In the end, however, it was a sly substitution as it gave us more possession in the middle of the pitch and helped control Colorado’s offensive pressure.

Movsisyan – Despite the drama that came along with Yura’s pending departure, I for one can’t imagine a player with more game changing potential. I’m excited to see him produce more “Movsisyan Magic” in the playoffs.

Mathis – Please, Jason Kreis. Please keep Mathis as a late sub. His performance over the final 18+ minutes was the best I’ve seen Mathis play in recent weeks.

MATCH Facts

Colorado Rapids (10-10-10) vs. Real Salt Lake (11-12-7)
October 24, 2009 — Rio Tinto Stadium

Scoring Summary:
RSL — Robbie Findley 11 (Fabian Espíndola 3, Andy Williams 5) 15
RSL — Robbie Findley 12 (Andy Williams 6) 33
RSL — Yura Movsisyan 8 (Javier Morales 5) 85

Colorado Rapids — Preston Burpo, Drew Moor, Julien Baudet, Cory Gibbs (Pat Noonan 69), Jordan Harvey (Facundo Diz 87), Kosuke Kimura, Mehdi Ballouchy, Pablo Mastroeni, Nick LaBrocca, Conor Casey, Omar Cummings.

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Tony Beltran, Andy Williams (Ned Grabavoy 62), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Robbie Findley (Yura Movsisyan 62), Fabian Espíndola (Clint Mathis 72).

Misconduct Summary:
COL — Julien Baudet (caution; Tactical Foul) 18
RSL — Andy Williams (caution; Reckless Tackle) 25
RSL — Nat Borchers (caution; Reckless Tackle) 35
COL — Conor Casey (caution; Reckless Foul) 39
RSL — Kyle Beckerman (caution; Reckless Foul) 58
RSL — Yura Movsisyan (caution; Shirt Removal) 86

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee’s Assistants: Chris Strickland; Greg Boles
4th official: Ramon Hernandez
Attendance: 18,675/ Weather: Cloudy -and- 53 degrees

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