FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution knew that in order to break an eight-game losing streak, it was imperative to strike first when the Colorado Rapids visited Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, something the Revolution had not done in more than two months.
Just 10 minutes in, a Lee Nguyen strike deflected off Drew Moor for the club’s first lead since May 24, all set up by the two players that Jay Heaps trusted to fill holes in the lineup. In a bang-bang play, Kevin Alston perfectly one-hopped a long throw-in to Charlie Davies who, while standing in the penalty area with his back to goal, found the streaking Nguyen with a canny flick.
“Once that ball hit the back of the net it was just, 'Oh my god, the chains are off, we can finally play without pressure,' and it showed,” said Davies, making his second start in three games. “Then for the next five minutes there was a burst of energy from everybody.”
The opening goal was far from Alston's and Davies' only contribution to the game, as the pair provided a solid spark at both ends of the field.
Alston (pictured at right), making his first gameday appearance since May 3, started in place of the injured Chris Tierney, defended well down the left side and showed no rust in logging a full 90 minutes at left back.
“I was really happy that Kevin was able to go tonight,” said Heaps. “He shows what he can do. No one can get by him. His pace is unmatched in this league when he’s on his game.”
Davies, in his second start of the year, had the attack rolling early thanks to some solid hold-up play in which he was able to get underneath the covering defenders and hold his ground until he found the proper pass or lane to shoot.
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“Charlie was incredible tonight,” said Kelyn Rowe. “Charlie held the ball really well, had that great pass to Lee for the goal. He was getting in behind the defense in the second half – a great result for Charlie tonight.”
A great result for the entire team, whose collective relief was epitomized by Rowe's “monkey off my back” celebration after his game-icing goal.
“We got good pressure and good commitment from everyone on the field,” said Heaps. “It was a hard-fought match, but I think we got what we deserved.”