TORONTO FC vs NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
BMO FIELD, Toronto, Ont.
August 30, 2013 (WEEK 27, MLS Game #242)
7 p.m. ET (SNet 360; CSN-NE)
A crucial match in the Eastern Conference is ahead on Friday night as the New England Revolution travel to take on Toronto FC at BMO Field. The Revolution have pulled into a tie for fifth place in the East and hold the final playoff position following their comprehensive 5-1 win against Philadelphia last weekend. Toronto FC are still alive in their bid for a first ever postseason berth, but need wins in a hurry, coming off a 1-1 draw at D.C. United last weekend.
REFEREE: Fotis Bazakos. AR1 (bench): Philippe Briere; AR2 (opposite): Scott Kachmarik; 4th: Ted Unkel
MLS Career: 19 games; FC/gm: 24.8; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 1; pens: 5
DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: TOR: Richard Eckersley, Matias Laba
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: TOR: Gale Agbossoumonde, Darren O’Dea, Darel Russell, Doneil Henry, Reggie Lambe, Justin Braun … NE: Lee Nguyen, Juan Toja, Kelyn Rowe, Andrew Farrell, Dimitry Imbongo
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (15 meetings): Toronto FC 4 wins, 16 goals … Revolution 5 wins, 24 goals … Ties 6
AT TORONTO (6 meetings): Toronto FC 2 wins, 11 goals … Revolution 0 wins, 8 goals … Ties 4
5/25: NE 2, TOR 0 (Fagundez 23; Agudelo 93+)
8/4: NE 0, TOR 1 (Laba 2)
• The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Goals from Diego Fagundez and Juan Agudelo gave the Revolution a 2-0 victory on May 25 at Gillette Stadium, then Matias Laba scored the game’s lone goal after two minutes for a Toronto FC victory Aug. 4 in Foxborough.
• The Revolution have never won at BMO Field, with two losses and four draws in six all-time visits.
• The first meeting victory snapped a five-game Revolution winless streak vs. Toronto FC. Since a 4-1 Revs win April 10, 2010 at Gillette Stadium. TFC won two of the five games in between.
• Coaches record: Ryan Nelsen v NE: P2 W1 L1 D0 … Jay Heaps vs. TOR: P4 W1 L2 D1
Highlights: NE 0, TOR 1
• The game's only goal came after just two minutes. Matias Laba won possession at midfield and surged into the Revolution half. His deft hitch inside the penalty area created room to shoot, but Scott Caldwell charged down his effort. But he stuck with his task and thumped home the rebound.
• TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik was called upon to make two saves in keeping the clean sheet and ensuring the first back-to-back wins for Toronto this season.
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Andrew Farrell, Stephen McCarthy (Chad Barrett 74), Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney - Scott Caldwell - Saer Sene, Lee Nguyen, Juan Toja (Kelyn Rowe 60), Diego Fagundez - Dimitry Imbongo.
• TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Richard Eckersley, Doneil Henry, Steven Caldwell, Ashtone Morgan - Reggie Lambe, Jonathan Osorio, Matias Laba, Bobby Convey (Darel Russell 90) - Jeremy Brockie (Jeremy Hall 80), Andrew Wiedeman (Justin Braun 69).
Toronto FC stopped their losing slide after two games, coming back for a 1-1 draw with D.C. United on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. TFC sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 21 points from 25 matches.
• United took the lead in the 10th minute. Receiving a ball from Perry Kitchen from the midfield circle, Dwayne De Rosario cut into the center then let loose on a wicked right-footed curling shot that beat TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik into the right upper corner from well outside the area.
• But the leveler came on the hour when winger Reggie Lambe sent a low, hard cross into the area that found Bobby Convey making a secondary run, and he turned it home from the penalty spot.
Highlights: DC 1, TOR 1
• TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen made three changes to the team that fell 2-0 to the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Reggie Lambe and Jeremy Hall came into the midfield for Alvaro Rey and Matias Laba, and Andrew Wiedeman started up top in place of Robert Earnshaw.
• TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Richard Eckersley, Doneil Henry, Steven Caldwell, Ashtone Morgan - Reggie Lambe, Jonathan Osorio (Darel Russell 34), Jeremy Hall, Bobby Convey (Alvaro Rey 88) - Jeremy Brockie, Andrew Wiedeman (Robert Earnshaw 55).
• Toronto FC were able to get a result for the second time in the last three matches away from BMO Field, finishing off their two-match road swing.
• “These guys have to learn to get results away from home. We’re a very young team and we kept a good shape and we’re obviously disappointed that we didn’t take all three points today because I think we deserved it,” said TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen. “I think that with the chances that came, we probably deserved it, but the guys came back from 1-0 down away from home and that’s good. It’s good for the future.”
• Bobby Convey scored his first goal since coming to Toronto FC from Sporting Kansas City midway through the season, his first goal since last May 12.
• “I thought Bobby was really good today, coupled by a goal. He’s been knocking at the door a few times but it was a lovely, controlled finish and it was what the team really deserved at that stage,” Nelsen said.
• Said Convey: “It seems like whenever we play here it’s like being at a track meet, it’s a pretty big field with a lot of chances created. For us, it’s always good to get a point on the road, but we’re a little disappointed we didn’t win as we created a lot of chances.”
• With Matias Laba sidelined for 4-6 weeks with a fractured toe, Jeremy Hall slotted into the holding midfield role in the center of the park.
• “Jeremy Hall played there and played really well at the start of the season,” Nelsen said. “He continued to play well even when Matias arrived in Toronto. So there are no problems there. He knows the system and he will fill in while we try and get Matty healed and ready.”
• Jonathan Osorio started his seventh consecutive match, but was forced off just after the half-hour with an injury.
• “Jonathan had a sore ankle that he tweaked yesterday and then he aggravated it early in the game,” Nelsen said. “He never looked over at the bench and he wanted to work through it, which is youthful enthusiasm. However, when [De Rosario] got that ball, he channeled into where Jonathan should take over the defensive pressure and he just couldn’t get there with his ankle.”
• Reggie Lambe returned to the first team after coming off the substitutes’ bench the week before in New England and contributed his first assist of the season.
• “Reggie Lambe, another very young guy, worked his backside off and it’s a shame with [Jeremy Brockie] having to leave as we’re going to miss his efforts, his energy and his enthusiasm,” said Nelsen.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution won for a second successive match in impressive fashion, strolling to a 5-1 defeat of Philadelphia Union 0 on Sunday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 36 points from 25 matches.
• The Revolution took the lead after 26 minutes. Chad Barrett found Kelyn Rowe with an inch-perfect pass in midfield, and he subsequently lashed a stellar strike from distance inside the far post.
• Union mustered a response in the 51st minute to draw level from a well-worked team goal. A sequence of tidy touches led to a Conor Casey pass for Danny Cruz to chase behind the Revs' line, and he beat goalkeeper Matt Reis to the ball and tucked it into the vacated net.
• But after two apparent Union goals were ruled out, the Revolution scored four goals inside 15 minutes to put the match away. Just short of the hour mark, Juan Agudelo saw his blast from inside the box diverted by Union defender Amobi Okugo past his own goalkeeper.
Highlights: NE 5, PHI 1
• Rowe uncorked another fine effort from distance for his second and his side's third goal on the night, on 65 minutes, then Diego Fagundez corralled a Scott Caldwell pass and tucked away the fourth after 71 minutes. Agudelo then his scored his second goal on the night with a clever clipped finish two minutes later to complete the rout.
• Okugo completed a difficult night for Union when he was shown a second yellow card in second-half stoppage time by referee Allen Chapman.
• Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made no changes to the team that defeated the Chicago Fire 2-0 at Gillette Stadium.
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Matt Reis - Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney - Scott Caldwell - Chad Barrett (Dimitry Imbongo 56), Lee Nguyen (Andy Dorman 73), Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez - Juan Agudelo (Charlie Davies 80).
• The Revolution scored five goals for a second time this season in the victory vs. Philadelphia, also netting five in a 5-0 win vs. the LA Galaxy on June 8.
• “We need points. Statement is when you make the playoffs and do well in the playoffs,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “So for us we are trying to get points. We need to continue to get points at home and right the record at home. We’ve felt like we let games slip away here and we need to right that ship.”
• Juan Agudelo scored two goals vs. Union, his second career two-goal game, also scoring two goals for the New York Red Bulls, vs. Toronto FC on June 6, 2011. Agudelo has three goals in the last two games.
• “We were itching to score some goals and we had guys coming back, like Juan (Agudelo) who scored last week again. I think for us, we expect to score as many goals as possible in every game,” said Kelyn Rowe.
• Rowe had his first career two-goal game, both goals coming on stunning strikes from long distance.
• “We got them running a little bit,” Rowe said. “That killed them off and opened them up a little bit toward the end of the second half. That's when the floodgates opened. We started scoring those goals because Diego [Fagundez] was able able to come inside and find those gaps and Dimitry [Imbongo], when he was in there, was able to come inside. For us, finding those gaps is where we love to get goals.”
• Matt Reis allowed his first goal in four starts this season, making a second in a row after going nearly five months between league appearances. It was his first goal conceded since last Sept. 15, ending a 347-minute personal shutout streak.
• “It feels great [to get back-to-back starts.] The body is holding up well, so it’s kind of a thing with this team: we have great players all over the place and Bobby (Shuttleworth) is a great player. It pushes us to be at our best day in, day out and that’s great for the team,” Reis said.
• Diego Fagundez was credited with his second two-assist game this season and his career, the first coming in the June 8 rout of the LA Galaxy.
• After making five changes for the Chicago match, Heaps kept his side intact for the Philadelphia contest, the Revolution’s fourth win in the last six games.
• “For certain guys, we wanted an uptick in a certain position, we wanted a little bit of energy in a certain position. Some of it was tactical and what we saw on the film against Chicago. And a lot of it is feel,” said Heaps. “You see it where guys are fighting every day. Sometimes, they are a little bit better than the guy ahead of them and you have to reward that. Ninety percent of the stuff we do is out here on the practice field. It really matters.”