With Sunday being Mother’s Day, Robbie Rogers couldn’t break a promise to his.
“I told my mom I was going to score for her,” he said. “I think that’s the best gift I can give her.”
It was quite a treat for the 10,197 fans in Crew Stadium as well.
Rogers scored from close range in the first minute of second-half stoppage time to lift the Crew to a 3-2 win over New England on Saturday. That he received a yellow card for taking off his shirt in celebration was of little consequence.
“It’s been a while since I’ve scored,” he said. “It feels good, especially a game winner.”
The goal was his first since Aug. 8, 2009 at San Jose but it wasn’t really a surprise with this being Mother’s Day weekend. It was nearly two years ago (May 10) that he scored twice at San Jose to give him five goals in the first seven games of the 2008 season.
However, he had just three in the following 51 games before Saturday. Despite the dry spell, he called his mother, Theresa, in California with his premonition.
In fact, he felt confident on Thursday when asked by MLSSoccer.com if he was going to score against the Revolution,
“I think I will. I’m pretty excited for this weekend,” he said at the time. “I feel strong and fit.”
He rescued the Crew (3-0-2) from what would have been a disappointing tie against a patchwork New England squad (2-5-1) that took the lead in the 29th minute when goalkeeper Will Hesmer fumbled what should have been an easy save.
“You put your team down in the hole,” Hesmer said. “You have to remind yourself at times like this it’s a team game. We’re still walking out of here with three points but I’m obviously disappointed with that goal.
“After that goal the response was great,” he added. “No one put their head down, no one pointed a finger. The guys said, ‘No problem, we’ll get it back for you.’ ”
Eddie Gaven tied the score in the 29th minute off a poor clearance by Cory Gibbs after Rogers sent the ball into the goal area.
“This is a game we knew we needed to win playing at home,” Gaven said. “We feel every game we play at home we should win and this was no different.”
Rogers was also involved in the Crew’s go-ahead goal in the 35th minute when his service to Guillermo Barros Schelotto was redirected into the Revolution net by Gibbs for an own goal.
“It’s dangerous for defenders to clear that ball. If they don’t, Guille scores,” Rogers said.
Boggs scored again in the 40th minute but the Crew would not be denied and had seven of its nine shots on goal in the second half.
“We created enough chances to get four or five (goals) and they were really, really good chances,” Gaven said. “They weren’t ones that maybe go in, maybe they don’t. They were ones we should have put away. That’s definitely a good sign for us. Now we have to do a better job of putting it in the net.”
New England goalkeeper Preston Burpo made two outstanding stops on Gaven and denied Steven Lenhart on a breakaway in the first 15 minutes after halftime. Gaven also hit the crossbar in the 90th minute with a heel shot.
“We were creating chances but at the end the ball didn’t seem to want go in the back of the net,” coach Robert Warzycha said.
It was left to Rogers to decide the match. Schelotto served a ball to Jason Garey near the right post and Garey headed the ball on goal. Defender Darrius Barnes knocked the ball off the line but Rogers was there for the rebound.
“My eyes were huge, maybe too big,” Rogers said.” That’s why I was so excited to get on the end of it and pounce on it but I knew I was going to score. You can’t miss those when it’s 2-2 in the 90th minute. That’s why you’re a professional.”
The Crew is happy to have him back in the scoring column.
“It’s great for Robbie’s confidence to put in goals,” Hesmer said. “We need him on this team if we’re going to have success again like we have in the past.”