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Revs come back to defeat Seattle

Posted on 27 September 2009 by mclaypool

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After failing to win in their past three games, the New England Revolution were getting desperate for a victory, especially needed given the tight playoff race in the East and a difficult schedule looming at the end of the season (away games at Dallas and Colorado, as well as games versus Chicago and Columbus twice). With their injury list finally getting down to a manageable level, the Revs were looking to beat Seattle for the second time in about a month. Seattle, however, was also looking for a result on the road, needing points to stay in the thick of the playoff hunt in the West.

At game time, the evening New England air had cooled from summer warmth to a noticeable Fall chill. But with little wind and no rain, it was a perfect evening for soccer, for players and spectators alike.

The Revs starting lineup featured:

Keeper: Matt Reis
Defenders: Emmanuel Osei, Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston, Jay Heaps
Midfielders: Wells Thompson, Jeff Larentowicz, Shalrie Joseph, Sainey Nyassi
Forwards: Steve Ralston, Edgaras Jankauskas

The Revs were under pressure early after a goal in the sixth minute by Seattle striker Fredy Montero. Montero made a quick run through the middle past several defenders until about 25 yards out, where he launched a wicked strike that hit the bottom part of the crossbar and went in. Revs keeper Matt Reis was left standing flat-footed, and the crowd stunned. The pressure on the Revs mounted as captain Steve Ralston went off with a kneed injury in the 20th minute. Kheli Dube came in as a replacement. Half-time saw the Revs still down 1-0.

The second half saw the Revs start quickly, and a cross by Sainey Nyassi resulted in a hand-ball in the box and a penalty kick opportunity. With Ralston, who usually takes the penalty kicks for the Revs, out, Shalrie Joseph stepped up to the line. His blast to the left side was nearly touched by Seattle keeper Kasey Keller, but the power behind the kick left little doubt it was going in.

The Revs kept the pressure up for most of the half, but with less than 10 minutes to go, the game seemed like it might be heading for a draw. That was until a beautifully placed crossing ball by Jeff Larentowicz found Joseph on the far side of the box, whereupon Joseph powered a header to the far post past a diving Keller.

The Revs did a good job of killing the last few minutes of the game, with Kheli Dube and Kevin Alston taking the ball into the corner and holding off multiple Seattle defenders several times. A last desperate push by Seattle, resulted in the only yellow card of the match to Nate Jaqua.

Final score: New England Revolution 2, Seattle Sounders 1

Ratings for the Revolution players on a Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), ranked from best to worst:

Shalrie Joseph: 8
Strong at holding the ball in the mid-field, but did lose the ball several times more often than he usually does. Transitioned well to forward in the second half. Solid PK and beautiful beast of a header boost his rating.

Emmanuel Osei: 7
Good positioning, aggressive play and good footwork shut down many Seattle attacks.

Jay Heaps: 6
Secured the left flank well for most of the night, winning balls in the air, too.

Jeff Larentowicz: 6
Good defensive pressure in the mid-field, and perfectly placed cross to Joseph setting up the game winning goal.

Sainey Nyassi: 6
Played well on the wing, with less speedy runs than in previous games but more control. Several dangerous crosses in, but a few errant ones as well.

Kevin Alston: 6
Shut down Seattle attackers on the left side several times during the night. Did not come forward as often as he has in previous games, but did have one near-breakaway shot on goal.

Darrius Barnes: 6
Held the back-line well, keeping dangerous attacks out of the middle.

Kheli Dube: 5
Less threatening than in pervious games, but still made a menace of himself at times with quick runs and opportunities to strike. Failed to hold the ball a few times when he needed to.

Edgaras Jankauskas: 5
Battled hard up top for most of the night, willing to take knocks while winning and holding balls. Had an onside pass he failed to pull the trigger on, thinking he was offsides.

Matt Reis: 5
Did not have to make many saves for most of the game, but did so when he had to. The early goal by Seattle caught him just off the line and standing and watching.

Wells Thompson: 5
A bit less sharp than in previous games, but hustled well forward and back.

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