Revolution 1, Wizards 0
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Shalrie Joseph scored his fourth goal in the last five games and goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth made four saves to record the first shutout of his MLS career, as the New England Revolution closed its 2010 home schedule with a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
With the win, the Revs (9-15-5, 32 pts.) put together back-to-back league victories for the first time since mid-August and finished the season with a home record of 7-5-3. Meanwhile, the loss officially eliminated the Wizards (10-13-6, 36 pts.) from playoff contention and clinched a postseason spot for the Colorado Rapids.
Kansas City outshot New England by a margin of 22-7, but Joseph’s 31st-minute effort was the only shot which found the back of the net as the Revolution captain seized on a mistake by Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen to score the decisive goal.
The win was the Revolution’s first over the Wizards since April 9, 2008, snapping a winless streak of six league games (0-5-1) against the Eastern Conference opponent.
Forced into an extensive lineup shuffle once again, head coach Steve Nicol made four changes to the Revolution side which earned a 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo last weekend. Defender Cory Gibbs and midfielder Pat Phelan were both suspended because of yellow card accumulation, replaced in the lineup by rookies Seth Sinovic and Jason Griffiths, respectively. Meanwhile, Gambian wingers Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi returned from national team duty to reclaim their starting spots, sending Khano Smith and Kheli Dube to the bench.
Shuttleworth retained his place in the starting lineup for a second straight game after Matt Reis was ruled out for the final two games of the season following right ankle surgery.
The Revs almost got off to a perfect start in the third minute when Joseph combined with Marko Perovic on a give-and-go at the top of the box, unlocking the Wizards’ defense. Joseph found himself free 20 yards from goal and unleashed a low drive, but his shot kicked off the right post and bounced to safety.
After surviving the early scare, the Wizards began to assert themselves and created a series of half chances in the opening stages. Kei Kamara sent a glancing header wide of the right post in the 14th minute, then set up Josh Wolff for a tight-angle shot two minutes later only to see Shuttleworth make a comfortable save.
Kansas City was left to rue its wastefulness when Joseph capitalized on a mistake by Nielsen to give the Revs a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute. Chris Tierney’s long, bouncing ball out of the back drew Nielsen out of his box as he rushed to claim, but he was late arriving and Joseph calmly headed the ball around the goalkeeper before finishing into an empty net.
Davy Arnaud had a chance to pull the Wizards level in the 43rd minute when Kamara’s left-wing cross found him at the top of the box, but Arnaud’s lunging shot drifted wide of the right post and the Revs maintained their slender lead into the halftime break.
In need of multiple goals to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Wizards pushed forward from the start of the second half and threatened to strike in the 59th minute. It was Kamara once again, this time rocketing a 30-yard free kick just wide of the right post as Shuttleworth was at full stretch.
Kansas City came close again 10 minutes later when Teal Bunbury used a series of feints to elude Griffiths in the box, but the rookie’s left-footed shot caromed off the outside of the left post and out for a goal kick.
The game took on a physical tone in the closing stages and although the Wizards desperately threw bodies forward in search of goals, they never really looked breaking through the Revolution backline and Shuttleworth claimed the clean sheet.
The Revs will close out the 2010 season on Thursday, Oct. 21, when they visit the New York Red Bulls. Kickoff from Red Bull Arena is set for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be televised live nationally on ESPN2.
New England Revolution (9-15-5, 32 pts.) vs. Kansas City Wizards (10-13-6, 36 pts.)
October 16, 2010 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
NE – Shalrie Joseph (Chris Tierney) 31
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth (GK), Seth Sinovic, Emmanuel Osei, Darrius Barnes, Chris Tierney, Kenny Mansally, Shalrie Joseph ©, Jason Griffiths, Sainey Nyassi, Marko Perovic (Kheli Dube 90), Ilija Stolica (Zack Schilawski 75)
Substitutes Not Used: Tim Murray, Khano Smith, Nico Colaluca
STATS: Shots: 7; Shots on Goal: 2; Saves: 4; Corner Kicks: 3; Offside: 4; Fouls Committed: 20
Kansas City Wizards: Jimmy Nielsen (GK), Roger Espinoza, Matt Besler, Shavar Thomas (Chance Myers 75), Michael Harrington (Jonathan Leathers 41), Josh Wolff, Jack Jewsbury (Graham Zusi 69), Craig Rocastle, Davy Arnaud ©, Kei, Kamara, Teal Bunbury
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Kronberg, Korede Aiygebusi, Birahim Diop
STATS: Shots: 22; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 1; Corner Kicks: 5; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 7
KC – Jack Jewsbury (caution) 29
KC – Roger Espinoza (caution) 68
NE – Kenny Mansally (caution) 78
NE – Emmanuel Osei (caution) 91+
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee’s Assistants: Peter Balciunas, Jason Cullum
Fourth Official: Jeff Gontarek
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 49 degrees
- The win improved the Revolution’s record against the Kansas City Wizards to 12-20-8 all time, and 6-10-5 at home – including 2-7-5 at Gillette Stadium since the facility opened in 2002.
- The Revs win over KC was the club’s first against the Wizards at home since Aug. 2, 2007.
- New England finishes its 2010 home slate with a 7-5-3 record in MLS play (9-8-4 overall).
- New England recorded its first win over Kansas City since April 9, 2008, breaking a string of six matches without a victory … the Revolution was 0-5-1 against the Wizards during that span.
- Pat Phelan and Cory Gibbs were suspended for the match because of an accumulation of yellow cards.
- Rookie Jason Griffiths started in Pat Phelan’s place.
- Bobby Shuttleworth made his fourth start of the season and the fourth of his career.
- Shuttleworth recorded the first clean sheet of his MLS career, along with his third career victory.
- Shalrie Joseph put the Revs ahead, 1-0, with his fourth goal of the season and fourth in his last five games.
- Chris Tierney picked up his fourth assist of the year on Shalrie Joseph’s 31st-minute goal, a career high in helpers.
- No red card was issued for only the second time in the last seven meetings between the two clubs.