New England forward Khano Smith scored in the 74th minute to give the Revolution Reserves (1-1-0, 3 pts.) team a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire Reserves (1-2-2, 5 pts.) at the Lower Practice Field at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. The match saw the debut of midfielder John Thorrington with the Fire, but also saw the exit of goalkeeper Matt Pickens after the netminder suffered an apparent groin injury late in the match.
The effects of a rare May nor'easter made for cold, blustery conditions and, in turn, a choppy first half that concluded without any clear scoring chances for either team. The Fire Reserves came out in the second half with the wind at their backs, which they used to their advantage to create several chances. Chicago's best scoring opportunity came in the 56th minute when Thorrington played a cross from the right flank to forward Nate Jaqua, who was unmarked in the box. Jaqua's header from seven yards sailed just over the crossbar and out of danger to keep the game scoreless.
The complexion of the match changed in the 71st minute, when Chicago defender Gonzalo Segares was ejected by referee Erich Simmons after receiving his second yellow card of the match. Segares was whistled on the play for taking down Smith on a run towards goal just outside the penalty area.
It only took three minutes for the Revolution to capitalize on their manpower advantage. In the 74th minute, Fire defender Jared Montz misplayed a ball that was sent into the Chicago defensive third by Revs midfielder Connally Edozien, a mistake that put Smith in one-on-one against Pickens. Smith placed a left-footed across the face of goal that beat Pickens and tucked into the side netting at the far left post to give the Revolution the 1-0 lead.
Things went from bad to worse for the short-handed Fire in the 88th minute, when Pickens left the match after suffering what appeared to be a right groin injury while taking a goal kick. Pickens will be evaluated by team doctors in Chicago this afternoon, at which point a timeframe for the netminder's return will be determined.
NE- Khano Smith (unassisted) 74
Chicago Fire Reserves: GK-Matt Pickens (David Mahoney 89), D-Jared Montz, D-Jack Stewart, D-Gonzalo Segares, M-John Thorrington, M-Logan Pause (Captain), M-Scott Buete, M-Ryan Futagaki (Kenneth Robinson 64), F-Will Johnson, F-Nate Jaqua (Chris Rolfe 79), F-Chad Barrett.
Substitutes Not Used: Adam Jones, Hemir Niebles.
New England Reserves: GK-Doug Warren, D-Jeff Larentowicz, D-Luke Vercollone, D-Easton Wilson, M-Ryan Latham, M-Jose Cancela, M-Marcos Romaneiro, M-Cassio (Felix Brilliant 58), M-Connally Edozien, F-Jamie Holmes, F-Khano Smith (T.J. Tomasso 89).
CHI- Gonzalo Segares (caution, reckless foul) 28
NE- Easton Wilson (caution, reckless foul) 36
CHI- Ryan Futagaki (caution, reckless foul) 55
NE- Connally Edozien (caution, reckless foul) 65
CHI- Gonzalo Segares (ejection, second caution - tackle from behind) 71
CHI- Will Johnson (delaying a restart) 71
CHI- Chad Barrett (caution, reckless foul) 75
Referee: Erich Simmons
Weather: Cloudy, Windy and 43 degrees