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June 30, 2012
Fagundez lifts Revs into tie with Sounders

By Adam Burrows
New England Soccer News Contributor

Diego Fagundez played the hero for New England on Saturday night, scoring in stoppage time to salvage a 2-2 draw with Seattle.
Diego Fagundez played the hero for New England on Saturday night, scoring in stoppage time to salvage a 2-2 draw with Seattle.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ---For the second straight week, the New England Revolution left it to very, very late, this time teen sensation Diego Fagundez scoring the equalizer deep into stoppage time to give the New England Revolution a 2-2 draw against the visiting Seattle Sounders in the only 2012 meeting between the two sides.

As the four minutes of added time wound down, it appeared that a first-half Eddie Johnson brace would negate an early New England (5-7-4, 19 points) goal from Saer Sene and give the visiting Sounders (7-5-5, 26 points) their first win since May 9.

But much like the late heroics at BMO Field in Toronto last week, the Revolution massed forward with the clock ticking.

Last week it was Flo Lechner finding Chris Tierney with a cross. This week, Fernando Cardenas sent the cross into the box that the diminutive crowd favorite Fagundez was able to head into the back of the net for his first goal of 2012, keeping the Revolution’s six-game home unbeaten streak alive and sending Gillette Stadium into delirium.

The Revolution applied the game’s early pressure and earned their reward in the twelfth minute when Sene touched in a short Blake Brettschneider cross from near the end line after initiating a give-and-go combination.

It was the eighth goal of the season for the golden-crested Frenchman, and Brettschneider’s first assist.

Referee Edwin Jurisevic ignored the Sounders’ appeals for offside, although replays showed they had an excellent argument.

Seattle capitalized on a Lechner turnover to equalize in the 22nd minute, as Mauro Rosales found Johnson making a run into the box behind A.J. Soares. The former US International headed the floated delivery sharply past flat-footed 'keeper Matt Reis.

The flow of the game then turned Seattle’s way and Johnson, who returned to MLS this season after four years in Europe, put the visitors ahead in the 35th minute with his seventh goal of the campaign.

Lechner left Marc Burch unmarked in the left corner and the Seattle left back had time to pick out Johnson with a spot-on cross to the far post that Johnson headed home as Reis and Soares spun in a mid-air dance of futility.

The Revolution got back on the front foot after surrendering the second goal but couldn’t find an answer.

Brettschneider came closest as he forced a diving save from Seattle goalkeeper Andrew Weber after turning and firing low from the edge of the box. Weber, who was shaken up on the play, left the game at intermission, replaced by Bryan Meredith.

The Revolution squandered a chance to equalize three minutes from the break, when Tierney found Sene open near the spot, but the Frenchman skied his left-footed attempt well high, much as he had after pouncing on a loose ball in the game’s opening minutes.

Seattle had a chance to put the game out of reach in the 69th minute, when Johnson reached the end line and crossed to Alonzo racing toward goal, but the Cuban’s header popped over the bar.

Sene had another chance on the stroke of 85 minutes, but his header from point-blank range off of a deflection scraped just over the crossbar.

Heaps called on rookie Kelyn Rowe in the 64th minute and Cardenas in the 71st, then rolled the dice in the 81st, sending in Fagundez for Lechner to wild applause from the 15,264 fans in Foxborough.

It took nearly fifteen minutes, but eventually the gamble paid off handsomely.

With Clyde Simms and Shalrie Joseph available together for the first time since May 12th, Heaps tweaked the conventional Revolution 4-4-2, pairing Simms and Joseph in deep midfield positions, keeping Benny Feilhaber in an attacking midfield role, and trialing a 4-5-1 formation.

Heaps withdrew Sene to the right side of the midfield and set Brettschneider, who had put New England on the scoreboard in Toronto after entering as a second-half substitute, alone up top.

Lechner, who was effective supporting the attack after coming on for Kevin Alston late in the first half against Toronto, delivering the game tying cross to Tierney, got his second start at right back as Alston remained sidelined with hamstring tightness, but was unable to unable to repeat his success of a week ago.

The Sounders entered the game winless in its last seven games after getting off to a 7-1-1 start and made the trip east without their dynamic striker and scoring leader Fredy Montero, suspended after drawing a stoppage time red card last week in Seattle’s Cascadia Cup loss to arch-rival Portland.

Head Coach Sigi Schmid went with Johnson as a lone striker, adding Andy Rose and Alex Caskey to the Sounder midfield in a 4-5-1 formation.

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