News & Notes: May 13, 2014

Revs head to Philadelphia looking to extend unbeaten streak to six games

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Looking to extend its five-game undefeated streak, the New England Revolution will travel to face the Philadelphia Union this Saturday, May 17. Kickoff at PPL Park is set for 7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet will televise the game, while 98.5 The Sports Hub will have the call on the radio.

The Revs enter Saturday’s match undefeated in their last five games (4-0-1), a streak that has seen them rise into a first-place tie in the Eastern Conference with Sporting Kansas City heading into this week’s schedule. 

The Revs (5-3-2, 17 pts.) earned Sunday’s win over Seattle Sounders FC at Gillette Stadium behind two goals from Diego Fagundez, as well as strikes from Patrick Mullins, Teal Bunbury and a Seattle own goal. Bobby Shuttleworth posted his fourth shutout of the season with a season-high six saves.

Philadelphia (1-5-5, 8 pts.), who faces Kansas City on the road on Wednesday night, is currently looking to snap a nine-game winless streak (0-5-4) that dates back to mid-March. Philadelphia’s only win so far this season came against the Revs on March 15 at PPL Park.

Saturday’s match will be the second of three meetings between the two clubs and the second meeting at PPL Park. Philadelphia earned a 1-0 victory in the first meeting on March 15, 2014. The teams will wrap the three-game series on June 28 at Gillette Stadium.

Following this Saturday’s match against Philadelphia, the Revs return home to host D.C. United on Saturday, May 24, in the second of two meetings between the clubs this season. D.C. earned a 2-0 win at RFK Stadium on April 5, when the two teams last met.

TEAM NOTES

Back to the City of Brotherly Love
The Revs will make their second trip to Philadelphia this Saturday, May 17 … Saturday’s match will be the second of three regular-season meetings against the Union … Philly earned a 1-0 victory when the teams first met at PPL Park earlier this season on March 15 … the Revs are winless in six previous visits to PPL Park, posting a 0-4-2 record, including four straight one-goal losses … the two teams are scheduled to play at Gillette Stadium on June 28 to close out the regular-season series.

Five-goal outburst
The Revs offense broke through in a big way on Sunday, posting a 5-0 win over league-leading Seattle Sounders FC … Sunday’s match marked the first time the Revs scored five goals in a game since August 25, 2013, a 5-1 win against Philadelphia at home … Diego Fagundez led the way with his first two goals of the season … Patrick Mullins and Teal Bunbury each added a goal for the Revs, while Seattle also scored an own goal … Mullins has scored in consecutive games, while Bunbury has two goals and one assist in the last three games.

Diego opens 2014 account in style
Diego Fagundez scored his first two goals of the 2014 season against Seattle Sounders FC in Sunday’s 5-0 win … Fagundez opened his account in the 29th minute when Chris Tierney played him into the 18-yard-box where he beat Stefan Frei to the near post with a right-footed shot … Fagundez’s second goal came in the 41st minute when he chested down Teal Bunbury’s 35-yard, cross-field  pass and ripped a low shot inside the far post past Frei … that goal is one of five nominated for AT&T Goal of the Week … Fagundez now his 19 career goals, moving him into a tie for ninth place on the Revs’ career scoring chart.

Impressive unbeaten streak extended
With Sunday’s win over Seattle, the Revs extended their unbeaten streak to five games, including three straight wins … the Revs’ current three-game winning streak is tied for the second-longest streak in MLS this season (with previous three-game streaks from Columbus and Dallas) … Sunday’s win snapped Seattle’s league-best five-game winning streak (April 12 – May 7) … the Revs’ last three wins have come against some of the league’s toughest outfits:

Opponent Record Then Conf. Rank Then Record Now Conf. Rank Now
April 26 vs. Sporting Kansas City  3-1-1  T-First 5-2-2* T-First
May 3 at Toronto FC 3-3-0 Sixth 3-4-0 Seventh
May 11 vs. Seattle Sounders FC 7-2-1 First 7-3-1 First 

 *SKC hosts Philadelphia on Wednesday, May 14

Winning formula continues
It’s been a pretty simple formula for the Revs this season; score first and win … the Revs are a perfect 4-0-0 when scoring the game’s first goal … Colorado (3-0-0) is the only other team in MLS with a perfect record when scoring first … when they’ve allowed the first goal in a game, the Revs are a very respectable 1-3-1 – a .300 winning percentage – tied for sixth best in MLS.

Defense puts forth another solid effort
Bobby Shuttleworth and the Revs defensive unit shut down the league’s top attack on Sunday … with the 5-0 shutout victory, the Revs were the first team to shut out the league-leading Sounders offense this season … following Sunday’s performance, the Revs are now third in MLS in goals against average (1.00).

Team  Goals Against Average
Sporting Kansas City 0.67
LA Galaxy 0.86
New England Revolution 1.00
Columbus Crew  1.10

 Shutting the door at home
Through week 10 of the 2014 season, the Revolution is the only team in MLS that has yet to concede a goal at home … the club’s current 360-minute home shutout streak is the club’s second-longest to open a season in club history.

Year Shutout Streak
2005 501 minutes
2014 360 minutes
2007 135 minutes
2002 124 minutes

Off to a good start
The Revs have surged to the top of the Eastern Conference in recent weeks after starting the season 0-2-1 ... in the club’s last seven games, the teams has posted a 5-1-1 record and are currently tied for first in the East ... the hot streak has the Revs in at least a tie for first place at this point in the season for the first time since 2008 ... in 2008, the Revs had the best record at the All-Star Game break (9-4-3), but finished the regular season in third place in the East (12-11-7).

Springing into May
The month of May has been kind to the Revs so far, with the club picking up wins over Seattle and Toronto to open the month after a solid April … after falling on the road in D.C. to start the month of April, the Revs have surged into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference behind a five-game undefeated streak (4-0-1), picking up home wins over Houston (April 12), Kansas City (April 26) and Seattle (May 11), a draw on the road at Chicago (April 19) and a win at Toronto (May 3) … last season, the Revs also enjoyed a successful month of May, going 2-1-2 in five games.

Central Powers
The central defense tandem of A.J. Soares and Andrew Farrell has proven extremely stingy this season in their time together … in the 499 minutes the duo has played centrally together this year, the Revolution has gone 4-1-1 with a goals against average of 0.54 – allowing just three goals in that span, including two shutouts … while Soares has played exclusively at center back in each of his four professional seasons, Farrell has transitioned centrally as needed this year, his second pro season … Farrell first appeared at CB on March 15 at Philadelphia, and has also played the team’s last 409 minutes (spanning five games) at center back in place of the injured Jose Goncalves.

Matches Together at CB Minutes GA Result
March 15 at Philadelphia 90 1 L
April 12 vs. Houston 49 0 W
April 19 at Chicago 90 1 T
April 26 vs. Kansas City 90 0 W
May 3 at Toronto 90 1 W
May 11 vs. Seattle 90 0 W

Bunbury heating up
Teal Bunbury has reaped the benefits of a tactical switch by head coach Jay Heaps in recent weeks … Bunbury, who typically lines up as a target man in the forward position, has started the last three matches on the right wing in the team’s flexible 4-1-4-1/4-3-3 system … in the most recent three games, the first-year Rev has scored two goals and added one assist, helping the team go 3-0-0 in those matches.

Back-to-back for Mullins
Patrick Mullins has started as the team’s central forward the last two weeks and has scored a goal in both games … Mullins added his second goal of the season – which was the game-winning goal – against Seattle on Sunday … the rookie scored his first career goal against Toronto at BMO Field on May 3, which was nominated for Goal of the Week and finished second to Portland’s Gaston Fernandez by less than 1.5 percent of the vote.

Tierney finds his first helper
Chris Tierney recorded his first assist of the season in Sunday’s 5-0 win over Seattle … Tierney played Diego Fagundez into the 18-yard-box and the 19-year-old did the rest in the 29th minute … Tierney now has 22 career assists – all with the Revs – and is eighth on the team’s career assist chart … the Wellesley, Mass., product has now recorded at least one assist in each of his seven seasons in MLS.

Encouraging sign for Rowe
After missing six games with a hamstring injury, midfielder Kelyn Rowe returned to the field on Sunday for the first time since March 22 … Rowe came on in the 70th minute against Seattle, playing 20 minutes as a second-half substitute in the central midfield … Rowe started the season opener at Houston on March 8 before missing the second match of the season – at Philadelphia on March 15 – with hamstring tightness … he returned against Vancouver on March 22, before leaving the match late with a hamstring issue in the other leg.

Caldwell closing the door
Although Scott Caldwell hasn’t found himself in the starting 11 this year as much as the 2013 season, his value off the bench has been huge for the Revs … in the six matches in which Caldwell has come on as substitute, the Revs have posted a 5-0-1 record:

Date Opponent  Minute subbed on Result
March 22 Vancouver 89 T, 0-0
March 29 San Jose 70 W, 2-1
April 12  Houston 71 W, 2-0
April 26 Kansas City 71 W, 2-0
May 3 Toronto 57 W, 2-1
May 11 Seattle 63 W, 5-0

Another clean sheet for Shuttleworth
Bobby Shuttleworth recorded six saves in Sunday’s 5-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC, picking up his fourth shutout of the season … Shuttleworth is tied for second in MLS (with Houston’s Tally Hall and Colorado’s Clint Irwin) in shutouts and is the only goalkeeper who has yet to concede a goal at home … Kansas City’s Eric Kronberg leads the league with five shutouts, and is second with a goals against average of 0.67 to rank second in MLS … Shuttleworth now has 17 career shutouts, and ranks second in club history.

Bengtson to join Honduras Sunday
Jerry Bengtson, who was named to Honduras’ preliminary World Cup squad last week, will meet up with Honduras in St. Lauderdale, Fla., on Sunday, May 18, following the Revs’ match at Philadelphia on Saturday … Bengtson is looking to make his World Cup debut next month, after he and Honduras play three tune-up matches in the U.S.: vs. Turkey (May 29 in Washington, D.C.), vs. Israel (June 1 in Houston) and vs. England (June 7 in Miami) … Bengtson, who has 19 goals in 41 appearances for Honduras, was one of 23 players called into the pre-tournament camp by Honduras technical director Luis Fernando Suarez.

Revs waiting for days gone “Bye”
With their designated bye weekend coming in Week 22 of the schedule (Aug. 9-13), the Revolution will be the last team in MLS who will enjoy a bye weekend outside of the league’s World Cup break … with the exception of Portland – who does not have an in-season bye week in their schedule besides the World Cup break – every other team in MLS will have enjoyed at least one bye weekend before the Revs sit out Week 22 of the schedule … this year’s schedule is a stark change from the 2013 slate that saw the Revs have two bye weeks in the first six weeks of the schedule: Week 1 and Week 6.

Opponents doing it on their own
So far this season, the Revolution’s opponents have scored two own goals for New England … San Jose Victor Bernardez added one on March 29 in the Revs’ 2-1 win, while Seattle’s Chad Marschall scored one for the Revs on May 11 in New England’s 5-0 win … the two own goals received this year is the second-highest total in club history already (with 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2012) – with 24 games still remaining … in 2005, opponents scored three own goals, the most the Revs have ever received in one season.

New MLS & U.S. Soccer TV deal announced
On Monday, Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer announced a new television and media rights partnerships with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes, reaching eight-year agreements with the networks to televise MLS and U.S. Soccer matches in the U.S. through the end of 2022 … the deal includes designated days for nationally-televised league matches, including Fridays on Univision’s family of networks, and Sunday with 5 p.m. ET kickoffs on ESPN’s networks and 7 p.m. ET kickoffs on Fox’s channels … the league’s digital streaming out-of-market package will also move to ESPN3’s platform.

Portugal and Mexico set to meet at Gillette
Before the Mexican and Portuguese national teams make their way to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, they’ll face off in an international friendly at Gillette Stadium … on June 6, Cristiano Ronaldo will lead Portugal against Javier Hernandez and Mexico in a final tune up before the World Cup … kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m., and tickets are on sale and start at $40.

July 12: New England’s Fitness Event of the Year
International fitness star Shaun T – the creator of best-selling fitness programs INSANITY, Focus T25 and Hip Hop Abs – will make a special appearance at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, July 12, when he leads a live workout on the field before the New England Revolution hosts the Chicago Fire later in the evening … special ticket packages start at $85 and are on sale now through revolutionsoccer.net/shaunt … packages include a spot in the live workout, a Q&A session with Shaun T after the workout, a meet & greet and group photo session with Shaun T, access to a reserved tailgate area between the workout and the Revs match, and a midfield seat for the Revolution match … special package options are available for fitness fans who want to be closer to Shaun T and work out in the first 10 rows.