Revolution Update: August 9, 2010

NEW ENGLAND VS. HOUSTON SERIES INFORMATION

  • New England and Houston have met just eight times in the overall MLS regular-season series, with the Revs holding a 4-1-3 record against the Dynamo … the Revolution is 4-2-5 against the Dynamo in all competitions, including the MLS Cup playoffs and SuperLiga.
  • The Revs are 1-1-2 against the Dynamo in regular-season action at Gillette Stadium …New England’s first loss to Houston in Foxborough came on May 3, 2009, a 2-0 defeat at Gillette Stadium.
  • Saturday night’s meeting will be the first of two matches in their 2010 regular-season series … the series will conclude on Sunday, Oct. 10, at Robertson Stadium in Houston.
  • New England and Houston have met in three tournament finals in the last four years (MLS Cup 2006, MLS Cup 2007, SuperLiga 2008) … Houston won the 2006 title match in penalty kicks after extra time finished 1-1, and then one year later took the 2007 championship with a come-from-behind, 2-1 victory … the Revs won SuperLiga 2008 in penalty kicks after the teams were knotted at 2-2 after extra time.
  • Each of the last four meetings have resulted in a shutout one way or the other … the Revs earned 2-0 and 3-0 victories over the Dynamo in 2008 … Houston won the initial 2009 meeting, 2-0, and the Revs posted a 1-0 victory in the second meeting … prior to the string of four straight shutouts, the clubs played to a 3-3 draw on July 22, 2007.
  • Houston’s 2-0 win over New England on May 3, 2009, was the first time the Revs were ever shut out by the Dynamo.
  • The Revolution has been outshot by the Dynamo, 109-72, in the regular-season series, yet has outscored Houston, 11-7.

PLAYER NOTES VS. HOUSTON

  • Kheli Dube has scored two goals and added one assist to lead all active Revs against Houston … all his points have come on the road … he recorded the lone goal in the Revs’ 1-0 win in Houston last year, and had one goal and one assist in New England’s 2-0 victory in Houston on June 12, 2008.
  • Shalrie Joseph has scored two goals in seven regular-season contests and is the only Revolution player besides Kheli Dube to have scored multiple goals against Houston … he also scored the game-tying goal against Houston in extra time of the SuperLiga 2008 final, sending the match to penalty kicks.
  • Kevin Alston recorded the only assist of his young career in 2009 at Houston, picking up the second assist on Kheli Dube’s game-winning goal.
  • Matt Reis is 4-1-3 in his regular-season career against the Dynamo with a 0.88 goals against average and four shutouts … he is the only goalkeeper to ever play against the Dynamo in any competition, including regular season, MLS Cup Playoff and SuperLiga games.

NEWS & NOTES

NEW ENGLAND RIGHTS THE SHIP JUST IN TIME
Following a 5-0 loss at Real Salt Lake on July 2, the Revolution had lost three straight matches, had not scored a goal in more than a month and the club’s playoff hopes were bleak … New England then came into form during training the following week and has not lost a game since – going seven consecutive matches in all competitions without dropping a match, a record of 5-0-2 that includes a shootout win last week in the SuperLiga semifinal over Puebla F.C. … the run has included four SuperLiga matches (three wins, one draw) and three MLS matches (two wins, one draw) … the unbeaten streak is the club’s longest such run since the Revs began the 2005 season with a 7-0-4 record … New England looks to run its streak to eight at home on Saturday when the Houston Dynamo makes a visit to Gillette Stadium.

RALSTON WILL BE HONORED AT GILLETTE STADIUM THIS WEEKEND
Revolution legend Steve Ralston makes his return to Gillette Stadium on Saturday night as an assistant coach of the Houston Dynamo and will be honored in a pregame ceremony as one of the greatest players in Revolution history …Ralston played eight seasons and was a member of the Revs for part of a ninth year, before announcing his retirement on July 20 and accepting an assistant coach offer with the Houston Dynamo … Ralston is Major League Soccer’s all-time leader in assists (135), appearances (378), starts (372) and minutes (33,143) … he re-signed with the Revolution on June 8, and was one of two remaining “MLS Originals” – a player who began in MLS in 1996 and who is still active … Ralston was a seven-time MLS All-Star and three-time Best XI performer.

REVS LOOK TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HOUSTON’S PROBLEM 
Much like the Revolution was earlier this season, the Houston Dynamo is stuck in a rut … the Dynamo has not won an MLS match since May 22, when its record was a respectable 5-4-1 … since then, Houston has gone 0-5-4 in league play, going more than two months between MLS victories … if the Revs want to make a run at the 2010 playoffs, the club must take advantage and win at home … following a slow start to the season, New England has pushed its 2010 home record in all competitions to 6-5-3, including 3-0-1 in the last four matches.

REVOLUTION WINS IN A CLOSE ONE
For the second time this season and first time since May 29, the Revolution came out on the winning end of a one-goal game, when the club defeated D.C. United, 1-0, on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium … the Revs are now 2-5-0 in one-goal games, picking up the other win courtesy of a 3-2 victory over the New York Red Bulls on May 29 … New England is now 2-2-0 at Gillette Stadium in one-goal games, but 0-3-0 on the road in those close matches.

SET PIECE SUCCESS
Pat Phelan became the first member of the New England Revolution not named Marko Perovi? to score on a set piece this regular season when he re-directed Chris Tierney’s 42nd-minute free kick from the bottom of the center circle into the back of the net for the game-winning goal on Saturday night … New England has now scored four of its 17 goals on set pieces … Perovi? scored on free kicks on April 24 in a 2-1 loss at home to the Colorado Rapids, on July 10 in a 2-0 win over the LA Galaxy at Gillette Stadium, and on July 31 to salvage a 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park … the Revolution’s four goals from set pieces already doubles the team’s total output from 2009, when it scored its last two goals of the regular season on free kicks.

DEFENSE ROUNDS INTO FORM
Since the Revolution defense surrendered five goals in a shutout loss at Real Salt Lake on July 2, the club has only conceded two goals in its last seven matches in all competitions, a 0.29 goals against average in those games … during the current seven-match unbeaten run, the team has set a club-record 390-minute shutout streak and kept five of those opponents scoreless … the only goals conceded since July 2 were during the SuperLiga semifinal penalty shootout win over Puebla last week and a Philadelphia Union goal on the road on July 31.

NEW ENGLAND HOPES TO AVENGE LOSS FROM DYNAMO’S LAST VISIT
The last time the Revolution met the Houston Dynamo at Gillette Stadium, the Revs lost their first-ever match to the Dynamo on their home turf … New England did gain some form of payback by winning at Houston later in the season last year, but winning at home is of the utmost importance … the Revs are now 4-1-3 in regular-season play against Houston, including 1-1-2 at Gillette Stadium … New England seems to play better against Houston away from Foxborough, posting a 3-0-1 record and a plus-four goal differential (5 GF, 1 GA) … conversely, the Revolution owns a plus-one goal differential at home in four matches (7 GF, 6 GA).

REVS LOOK TO GET EVEN FOR LAST YEAR’S HOME LOSS TO HOUSTON
Although the Revolution has posted an impressive 4-1-3 mark in the regular season against the Houston Dynamo, the lone loss came in the form of last year’s 2-0 defeat at Gillette Stadium …. New England dropped only four regular-season decisions at home last year – to Houston, LA, Kansas City and Columbus … the Revolution has already defeated the Galaxy, 2-0, last month, and will play Columbus on Sept. 25 and Kansas City at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 16.

A PHELAN FIRST LIFTS REVOLUTION TO VICTORY
Pat Phelan scored his first career MLS goal and it proved to be the game-winner in Saturday night’s 1-0 victory over D.C. United … Phelan’s first goal came in his 48th career appearance and during his third MLS season … traded to the Revolution from Toronto during the 2008 season in exchange for the rights to one of New England’s international roster spots through 2010, Phelan’s first goal arrived in the same season of his first career assist … he picked up the assist on a Zak Boggs goal when the Revs dropped a 3-2 decision at Columbus on May 8.

SPREADING THE WEALTH
Pat Phelan became the sixth Revolution player to find the back of the net this season, joining the likes of Zack Schilawski, Marko Perovi?, Sainey Nyassi, Zak Boggs and Kenny Mansally on the New England tally list … Phelan was the first Revolution player other than Perovi? to score in a league game since Nyassi put the Revs ahead, 2-0, on July 10 against the LA Galaxy … Phelan joins Perovi? and rookies Schilawski and Boggs as the Revolution players who have scored their first MLS goal this season.

RECENT SIGNEES SEE FIRST REVOLUTION ACTION
New England announced the signing of two players on Friday, July 30, and it took a little more than a week to get the newest members of the Revolution onto the field … forward Ilija Stolica was the first of the duo to make an appearance when he came on in the 73rd minute for Zack Schilawski, and Roberto Linck came on in the 80th minute in the midfield for Khano Smith in Saturday’s 1-0 win over D.C. … Stolica received his U.S. P-1 Visa late last week and touched down in New England Friday evening, just 24 hours before he was put into his first MLS match … Linck joined the Revs last week and was on the sideline for New England’s penalty shootout win over Puebla in the SuperLiga semifinal last Wednesday, but did not see the field until the D.C. game.

TIERNEY SHOWS VERSATILITY IN VICTORY
Third-year utility man Chris Tierney has done a little bit of everything for the Revolution this year, and Saturday night was another example of that statement … with regular free kick taker Marko Perovi? sidelined with an injury for Saturday’s match against D.C., Tierney stepped in to fill another role for the Revolution in addition to the five different positions he has already played this year – facilitator … Tierney lined up to take a free kick from the bottom of the circle in the 42nd minute and dropped a beautiful lob into the box for a waiting Pat Phelan, who re-directed the blast for his first career goal and a game-winning tally … the helper was Tierney’s fifth of his career and second this season.

TIERNEY MAKING A HABIT OF HELPING AGAINST D.C.
Chris Terney’s 42nd-minute assist against D.C. United was his second game-winning assist of the year against United … Tierney also assisted on the game-winning goal in D.C. on April 3 on what was the Revolution’s first goal and first win of 2010 … Tierney now has five career assists against three teams, two each against Toronto and D.C. and one against Chivas USA … the left-footed midfielder tallied one assist against TFC in 2008 and 2009, one against Chivas USA last season, and both of his 2010 assists against D.C. United.

REIS’ GAA STARTING TO PLUMMET
The Revolution hit a low point in 2010 after a 5-0 loss to Real Salt Lake in Sandy, Utah … keeper Matt Reis started and played the full 90 minutes in goal in the Revs worst loss of the season … Reis had recently come back from offseason knee and shoulder injuries, played in two MLS matches (both losses), and had a 3.00 goals against average – more than double his career average … then, the club tightened up its defense, started to score goals and win games – and Reis’ goals against average started to plummet … following New England’s 2-0 shutout win over LA on July 10, Reis’ GAA fell to 2.00, then to 1.75 after a 1-1 draw at Philadelphia on July 31, and now, after another clean sheet against D.C., his GAA has fallen to 1.40 in 2010, just above his 1.27 career average … if Reis records his third shutout of the season on Saturday against Houston, his GAA for 2010 will drop to 1.17 … additionally, Reis has recorded three clean sheets during the Revs’ SuperLiga run, giving him five in eight matches in all competitions for the season in just a little more than one month of play since he returned between the pipes full-time on June 27.

SUPERLIGA FINAL TO BE PLAYED AT GILLETTE ON SEPT. 1 
The New England Revolution will look to become the first-ever two-time winner of SuperLiga when the club hosts Monarcas Morelia in the championship match of SuperLiga 2010 on Wednesday, Sept. 1, at Gillette Stadium … kickoff is set for 7 p.m., and Telefutura will televise the game nationally in Spanish … the Revs won a penalty shootout over semifinal qualifier Puebla F.C. last Wednesday, and Morelia defeated Houston, 1-0, on Thursday night in the other semifinal … the final will be a rematch from earlier in the tournament as the Revolution claimed a 1-0 victory over the Mexican side in the group stage on July 20 at Gillette Stadium.

INJURY BUG BITES REVOLUTION AGAIN
The Revolution faced a rash of injuries in the first half of the 2010 season, and the second half has not changed the club’s luck for the better … the Revs were without forward Kheli Dube, forward/midfielder Marko Perovi? and defender Kevin Alston for Saturday night’s match with D.C. United – three regular starters in coach Steve Nicol’s lineup … Dube has now missed two league games with a right MCL sprain, Perovi? missed his first game in a Revolution uniform because of injury, and Alston, who missed only his second match of 2010, was leading the team in minutes played before the D.C. game and now currently sits third on the team with 1,303 minutes played behind Sainey Nyassi (1,367 minutes played) and Cory Gibbs (1,350 minutes played).

THIS WEEK IN REVOLUTION HISTORY: Aug. 9-Aug. 15

  • Aug. 13, 1997: Acquired F Giuseppe Galderisi and M Ivan McKinley from the Tampa Bay Mutiny in exchange for F Chiquinho Conde and M/D Sam George.
  • Aug. 15, 1998: Acquired F Damian Alvarez from the Dallas Burn in exchange for M Oscar Pareja.
  • Aug. 13, 1999: Acquired M Leonel Alvarez from the Dallas Burn in exchange for F Ariel Graziani … acquired M Jeff Baicher from the San Jose Clash in exchange for M Jair.
  • Aug. 10, 2005: M Steve Ralston and F Taylor Twellman called into U.S. National Team camp for World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago on Aug. 17, in Hartford, Conn.
  • Aug. 11, 2005: MLS announced Revolution head coach Steve Nicol as coach of the MLS Select Team to face Real Madrid on Aug. 23 in Spain.
  • Aug. 15, 2008: Traded allocation table considerations to Toronto FC in exchange for allocation money.