FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England defender Darrius Barnes fired an unexpected warning shot at the New York rearguard during the first half of Saturday night's 1-1 draw at Gillette Stadium.
Barnes may not have scored in a MLS match prior to the Red Bulls' visit and may have waited until the last possible moment to secure it on this night, but he showed he could place himself in the right spot to do so when he pushed his open header wide after 21 minutes.
“I thought Lee [Nguyen] hit a good free kick in,” Barnes told MLSsoccer.com. “I jumped too early. I didn't time it as well as I could have. It was a definite opportunity. I thought we were going to get a goal off a set piece or a cross with the way the balls were coming in. I guess it foreshadowed the goal a little bit.”
A goal at that stage may have avoided the need for Barnes' late heroics. New England probably could have found itself a goal or two ahead entering the late stages if not for a slice of bad luck here and a few Bill Gaudette stops there. Instead, the Revs fell behind to an opportunistic Joel Lindpere header one minute into second-half stoppage time.
Lindpere's apparent winner prompted Barnes to join the Revolution surge up the field and try to find the right spot to carve out a second opportunity. The opportune moment came seconds before the final whistle when a second ball deflected out to Kelyn Rowe on the right flank.
“Initially, I made the run forward,” Barnes said. “I think the first ball might have come from Bobby [Shuttleworth] off a goal kick or a ball back. I wanted to get up and flick it on. It went out wide to Kelyn [Rowe], so I recycled my run. He laid it back to Ryan Guy. I was just trying to cause havoc in the box. It came in a perfect spot and I was able get in front of the goalkeeper and put in the back of the net.”
Barnes' first goal in 88 MLS appearances extended the Revolution's unbeaten run over the Red Bulls at Gillette Stadium to 16 regular-season games and prompted the versatile defender to jokingly wonder whether he should add another position to his list after his late equalizer
“I keep telling Jay I'm a target forward,” Barnes said. “He doesn't believe me.”