FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A win on Saturday night would have gone a long way for the New England Revolution and the Portland Timbers, both of whom came into their encounter at Gillette Stadium on the wrong side of the playoff standings.
Instead, the sides settled for a 1-1 draw, with Charlie Davies putting New England ahead in the first half before Portland’s Liam Ridgewell equalized for the Timbers in the second stanza. The result kept both teams in sixth place in their respective conferences, with New England (8-12-3, 27 points) trailing New York by one point and Portland (7-7-10, 31 points) sitting a lone point behind Vancouver, which will play Chivas USA later on Saturday night.
Each team seemed to control a half, with the Revs heading into the break with a 1-0 lead and the Timbers coming on strong in the second to ensure their 3,000 mile journey was worth something.
New England struck first in the 27th minute. Davies ran onto a Diego Fagundez through ball in the left side of the area, hitting a first-time left-footer past the diving Donovan Ricketts and inside the far post for his second goal in as many games.
Timbers playmaker Diego Valeri wasted a golden opportunity to equalize in the 37th minute, sending a chipped effort wide of the far post after Gaston Fernandez had played him in for a 1-v-1 with New England ‘keeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
Valeri had another great chance to start the second half, collecting a pass from Will Johnson at the top of the box before pushing a shot wide of the right post.
Ridgewell made up for Valeri’s near misses in the 65th minute. The English Designated Player intercepted a Revs pass just inside midfield and charged past a slew of New England defenders, weaving his way into the left side of the box before firing a low-left footer inside the far post to knot things at 1-1. The goal was Ridgewell’s first since signing for the Timbers from English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion in June
The Timbers will resume their busy week on Tuesday, traveling from Boston to Guyana to take on Alpha United in the club’s CONCACAF Champions League opener. Portland will return to the Pacific Northwest for a Cascadia Cup clash with archrival Seattle Sounders at Providence Park next Sunday. The Revs will stay at home, welcoming Chivas USA to Gillette Stadium next Saturday.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Liam Ridgewell||Scored his first career MLS goal in fine fashion, slaloming through what seemed like half of the Revolution’s roster before tucking it home inside the far post. Played solidly in defense, to boot.|
|2||Charlie Davies||Did well to find the back of the net for the second time in as many games, coolly slotting Diego Fagundez’s through ball inside the far post to give New England the temporary lead.|
|3||Bobby Shuttleworth||Made three stops – including a big one in the 82nd minute – to preserve a key point for New England.|