June 14, 2011
THE OTHER GAME IN TOWN
Revs host TFC on Wednesday night
If two teams play soccer and no one is there to see it, do the points count? That might well be the case on Wednesday, when the New England Revolution host Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium (8:00 pm. CSN), directly opposite Game 7 of the beloved Bruins’ quest for their first Stanley Cup since 1972.
|Matt Reis is poised to make his 200th appearance in goal for the New England Revolution.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
An air of desperation hangs heavy over Wednesday’s match, with the Revolution struggling to break a four-game losing streak and the Reds winless in their last six. Toronto, at least, has points to show from their last four outings, all draws.
New England is still smarting over last Friday’s 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls, a nightmare-inducing outing especially for defender Ryan Cochrane, who staked the Red Bulls to a 1-0 lead with an own goal in the 37th minute, then was victimized by Red Bulls Designated Player Thierry Henry for the game-winner in the 50th. Shalrie Joseph also had a forgettable moment for the Revs, failing to convert a penalty kick in the 33rd minute. The match was not without positives for the Revolution, however. Zak Boggs’ 54th-minute half-volley was New England’s first goal from the run of play in six games, and first goal of any kind in 168 minutes. The Revs are at the bottom of the league scoring table, with only 11 goals in 14 games.
Rajko Lekic had an energetic, if unproductive, night on offense against the Red Bulls, putting the ball into the net only to have the play whistled dead for offside. Joseph continues to pace the Revs on offense, with four goals and a team-leading 10 shots on goal and two game-winning tallies.
Although the Revs trail Toronto in the standings and in offensive production, they do have the edge in defense, giving up an average of 1.29 goal per game, to TFC’s 1.67. Goalkeeper Matt Reis has a 1.09 goals-against average, and two shutouts in 11 appearances. If, as expected, he starts on Wednesday night, it will be his 200th appearance for the Revolution.
Toronto FC is fresh off a morale-boosting 2-2 draw with the powerhouse LA Galaxy. The match was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time, before the teams traded stoppage time goals. Alan Gordon earned a league goal of the week nomination for his 2-2 equalizer in the closing seconds. Gordon scored both goals for the Reds against his former teammates, but Maicon Santos leads the team in overall scoring with five goals. It was the fourth draw in a row for Toronto, who are tied for sixth in the MLS East.
Wednesday is the first of two home matches for the Revolution this week, and the start of a run of three games against Eastern Conference opponents. They also host the Chicago Fire on Saturday night. The team has had good results against conference foes so far this year at Gillette Stadium, not only winning both previous matches (against DC United and Sporting Kansas City), but scoring five goals in the process.