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The New England Revolution face a busy stretch with a very short roster, but still return home in high spirits after a dramatic, come-from-behind victory against the Kansas City Wizards at midweek. The short rest though won’t be welcomed by the injury-wracked Revolution – especially as they face the suddenly hot Columbus Crew, who won for the first time this season when the teams played each three weeks ago in Ohio and have taken the full three points in every match since.
REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. SAR (bench): Nathan Clement; JAR (opposite): Jose Corro; 4th: Nik Bratsis
4 pm ET (FSN-NE)
MLS Career: 23 games; FC/gm: 32.6; Y/gm: 3.9; R: 7; pens: 6
Games involving Revolution: P4 W1 L3 T0; FC/gm: 37.3; Y/gm: 4.3; R: 0; pens: 0
Games involving Crew: P8 W4 L2 T2; FC/gm: 32.9; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 2; pens: 1
INJURY REPORT: NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: DF Carlos Llamosa (L knee sprain); FW Joe-Max Moore (R knee sprain); DF Rusty Pierce (R quadriceps contusion); QUESTIONABLE: DF Brian Kamler (L hamstring strain); FW Taylor Twellman (R hamstring strain) ... COLUMBUS CREW – PROBABLE: F Brian Maisonneuve (R ankle sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: CLB: Duncan Oughton, Simon Elliott (New Zealand; OFC Nations Cup); Erick Scott (Costa Rica; June 12 v Cuba)
SUSPENDED: CLB: Brian Maisonneuve (through June 6)
YELLOW PERIL: CLB: Eric Denton (8 CP in 2 gms); Frankie Hejduk (10 CP in 2 gms)
ALL-TIME (31 meetings): Crew 18 wins (4 shootout), 49 goals ... Revolution 9 wins (1 shootout), 35 goals ... 3 draws
This is the second of four meetings between the clubs this season, and the first of two at Gillette Stadium. They’ll play again twice in a three-week period later in the year, on July 17 in Columbus, then on August 7 at New England.
The Crew won their first match of the year in the first meeting, a 1-0 victory at Crew Stadium on May 15. Edson Buddle found the back of the net with a low shot through a packed penalty area for the game's only goal (41).
Here’s Greg Andrulis’s team on the night (3-4-1-2): Jon Busch – Steven Herdsman, Nelson Akwari, Chad Marshall – Frankie Hejduk, Simon Elliott, Ross Paule, Eric Denton – Kyle Martino (Duncan Oughton 79) – Edson Buddle (Michael Ritch 88), Jeff Cunningham (Erick Scott 82).
Here’s Steve Nicol’s team (4-1-3-2): Matt Reis – Jay Heaps, Brian Kamler, Daouda Kante (Richie Baker 46), Marshall Leonard – Clint Dempsey – Steve Ralston, Jose Cancela, Joe Franchino – Pat Noonan, Taylor Twellman.
A year ago, New England won two of the four meetings between the teams – once at each ground – with Columbus winning one and one draw, both of the Revolution victories coming in dramatic fashion.
The first two meetings were away victories – the Crew winning the first encounter 2-1 on April 19 at Gillette Stadium (Ralston 86 – Denton 12, McBride 53), then the Revs won 3-2 on May 24 in Columbus with a late match-winner (Paule 40, Dunseth 76 – Kamler 36, 70; Twellman 89).
The clubs played to a 1-1 draw on July 23 at Crew Stadium (Matteo 33 – Noonan 55), then New England captured a 3-2 golden goal victory to cap a remarkable comeback on home turf on Sept. 28 (J-M Moore 78, Joseph 81, Franchino 97 – Martino 41, Denton 72).
New England has won the season series each of the last two years, winning two of the four matches while seeing a fourth end in a draw, but Columbus won the series each of the first four years of league play, including winning all four meetings in 1999 (three by shootout).
The lifetime series has also been highlighted by late theatrics: Of the 84 goals scored, 25 have come in the final quarter-hour of regulation time (13 Columbus, 12 New England), and each team has scored one extra-time match-winner.
Jeff Cunningham leads current Columbus Crew players with 6 goals, 5 assists v New England, and is second in the club’s all-time scoring charts to Brian McBride. Manny Lagos had 4 goals, 3 assists against the Revs while with San Jose, while Edson Buddle has 3 goals and Eric Denton and Frankie Hejduk 2 each v N.E.
Steve Ralston leads the New England lifetime scoring charts against Columbus with 4 goals, 2 assists – and for his personal career against the Crew, he has 10 goals, 10 assists. Joe-Max Moore has 2 goals, 3 assists, while Brian Kamler has 2 goals, 6 assists v Columbus for his career (2 goals, 2 assists while in New England). Taylor Twellman has 3 goals, 1 assist.
Coaches record: Steve Nicol vs. CLB: P8 W3 D2 L3 ... Greg Andrulis v NE: P10 W4 D4 L2
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution ended their four-match winless run with a stunning result at midweek, scoring twice in the final five minutes against the league’s top defense to claim a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against the Kansas City Wizards. The Revolution are still in last place in the Eastern Conference, with nine points from nine matches, but are now just two points behind the fourth-place Columbus Crew.
Pat Noonan brought the injury-racked Revolution back from the dead, scoring twice in the final five minutes to cap a hat trick in the victory. Noonan gave the Revs a 16th-minute lead when he headed home a Steve Ralston cross, but the Wizards scored goals four minutes apart to take the lead.
Josh Wolff's mis-hit shot from close range pulled the home side level on 33 minutes, then Davy Arnaud was quickest to an ill-advised back pass, looping it over New England 'keeper Matt Reis.
But Noonan stunningly struck back in the 86th minute for a Revolution side that added marksman Taylor Twellman to its injury ranks last week, finally pounding the ball home from a goalmouth scramble that saw no fewer than four attempts at goal.
Then just on the stroke of 90 minutes, Noonan powerfully turned home a Shalrie Joseph cross to give the Revolution the match-winner, just their second victory on the campaign and snapping the Wizards eight-match home league unbeaten streak.
“It definitely wasn't a game for the ages,'' New England goalkeeper Matt Reis said. “But we showed a lot of heart, something we haven't shown on the field lately.''
Revolution coach Steve Nicol made two changes to the team that lost 1-0 to D.C. United the previous weekend, both due to injury. Avery John came in at the center of the back three, for the injured Brian Kamler, while Felix Brillant made his first start after Taylor Twellman suffered a hamstring injury as well.
That required a shakeup of positions, with Clint Dempsey moved forward from his holding midfield role into attack, Joe Franchino moving from left wingback to the center of midfield, Steve Ralston switching to the left flank and Brillant coming in on the right.
Here’s Nicol’s team (3-4-1-2): Matt Reis – Jay Heaps, Avery John, Marshall Leonard – Felix Brillant (Richie Baker 76), Shalrie Joseph, Joe Franchino, Steve Ralston – Jose Cancela – Clint Dempsey, Pat Noonan.
But the team’s response to the injury crisis hitting the club – then the late fightback on the road – gained Nicol’s admiration. "We showed we can stick with it and we can play," he said. "This is a team that never gives up. It's heart and soul and guts. It doesn't matter how good you are, it's the passion for the game, the hard tackles. The easy things anybody can do, but the hard part is to keep going, and keep going for the team and everyone around you."
Defender Carlos Llamosa had surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Wednesday and will be out another 6-8 weeks.
The resurgent Columbus Crew won for the third consecutive week – and extended their unbeaten run to five matches – with a 1-0 home victory against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night. But with the victory, the Crew merely kept pace with the remainder of the Eastern Conference who all won, remaining in fourth place with 11 points from eight matches, two out of the first-place tie between the MetroStars and Chicago Fire.
The Crew continued their home dominance of the San Jose Earthquakes with the victory. Jeff Cunningham's goal against the run of play was the only goal of the game, neatly heading home from an Eric Denton cross from the left touchline in the 69th minute.
The Crew also ended San Jose’s four-match unbeaten streak and again sent the Earthquakes away from Columbus without a point. The Crew have won the last 11 matches at home between the two teams, dating back to the 1996 season, an MLS record for home winning streak against one team.
‘‘We got outplayed. We played maybe 10 minutes. There’s 80 minutes we need to improve," said Crew forward Jeff Cunningham.
Crew coach Greg Andrulis made two changes to the team that won 3-1 away to Chicago Fire the Sunday before. Brian Maisonneuve made his first start in four matches, coming into central midfield for Simon Elliott, who was away on international duty. Michael Ritch made his first career MLS start, coming into attack for Erick Scott.
Here’s Andrulis’s team (3-4-1-2): Jon Busch – Steven Herdsman (Nelson Akwari 46), Robin Fraser, Chad Marshall – Frankie Hejduk, Brian Maisonneuve (Manny Lagos 66), Ross Paule, Eric Denton – Kyle Martino (Chris Wingert 88) – Michael Ritch, Jeff Cunningham.
The Crew have recorded clean sheets in three of their last five matches, and with the shutout of San Jose, Jon Busch was credited with his 12th with Columbus, surpassing the previous club record total of 11 set by Brad Friedel. "The team defense has been outstanding," Andrulis said. "It’s a new team with new guys. They have a never-say-die attitude."
Herdsman was forced off at halftime with a right knee sprain, his status still unknown for the weekend. As well, Maisonneuve will be suspended for caution point accumulation.
Scott has also been called into the Costa Rican national team for their World Cup qualifiers against Cuba on June 13 and 20. He made his senior debut last year and played for Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Simon Elliott and Duncan Oughton both played for New Zealand in their first two Oceania Nations Cup games, Elliott started both the victory against Australia and the win against Solomon Islands, Oughton starting the first and coming on as a substitute in the second – but he scored within a minute of coming on against the Solomons.