FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The weight increased with every defeat and each passing moment without a goal. There were occasional signs of life from the New England Revolution in the attacking third during that period, but the drought had lasted for four games, covering the entire month of August.
It took just 12 minutes into September for relief to finally sweep through. Juan Agudelo provided the salvation required to end a 374-minute scoreless streak and set the Revs on course for a cathartic 2-0 triumph over Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
Most of the credit arrives from the awareness, the mobility and the precision from a throw-in. Chris Tierney played the ball quickly and watched the players in front of him go to work. Gershon Koffie and Lee Nguyen combined to play Agudelo through the line. Agudelo poked his effort off the far post to claim the Revs’ first goal in MLS play since Teal Bunbury struck in the 4-1 defeat to Toronto FC on Aug. 6.
“A couple of us were concerned [about the drought], but we knew the players we had and we knew the ability that we had,” Agudelo told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “We were able to show it tonight.”
Agudelo’s early goal supplied the boost required to produce opportunities consistently, even without the absent Kei Kamara, and secure a first win since July 23. Nguyen hit the post twice in the first half as he mined the available spaces and worked neatly with Agudelo, while Tierney slotted home the killer second just after the interval to complete an intricate move and dispel any doubt about the result.
The entire performance – particularly the fluidity going forward with Kelyn Rowe playing tucked behind Agudelo and Nguyen offered a respite from the frustrations of the past month. It also supplied some hope of the revival required to close the gap on D.C. United for the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference.
“It’s a huge game next weekend,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “We’ll look at the positives from this one and we’ll spend some time making sure everyone comes through from an injury standpoint, but we don’t have time to relish anything. Right now, we’re onto the next game. I’ve already written it on the board on the locker room: NYCFC.”