FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution and Portland Timbers battled to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium in the first-ever meeting between the two clubs.
Rookie midfielder Stephen McCarthy’s first career goal gave the Revs (1-0-2, 5 pts.) an early lead in the 22nd minute, but Timbers’ (0-2-1, 1 pt.) captain Jack Jewsbury equalized in the 38th minute to help the expansion team claim its first point in MLS. The result keeps the Revolution unbeaten through three games in the 2011 season.
Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made just one change to the lineup which earned a 2-1 win over D.C. United last weekend, replacing the injured Franco Coria (L hamstring strain) with Ryan Cochrane in central defense. Coria was joined on the sidelines by fellow probable starters Ousmane Dabo (R quad strain) and Marko Perovic (L hamstring strain).
Both teams stated their intention to attack from the opening whistle, but it was the Revolution which turned its intent into the opening goal in the 22nd minute.
Sainey Nyassi had come inches from opening the scoring in the 21st minute when his mazy run down the left wing finished with a curling shot toward the far upper corner, but his effort clipped the crossbar after a minor touch from Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson.
It took just one more minute for the breakthrough to arrive, however, as McCarthy scored a memorable first career goal. Zak Boggs delivered a curling cross from the right wing which was only half cleared by Portland defender David Horst, and McCarthy latched onto the clearance to drill a full volley inside the right post past a stunned Gleeson.
Portland responded with a well-worked equalizer in the 38th minute, with Jewsbury finishing the move following buildup play from Kenny Cooper and Jeremy Hall. Cooper ignited the spark with a clever pass inside to Hall, who held the ball up with a defender on his back before laying it into the path of Jewsbury in the left side of the box. Jewsbury applied the finishing touch with a low blast past Matt Reis’ left hand.
The Timbers almost took the lead just five minutes in the second half in bizarre fashion. Rodney Wallace’s lofted left-wing cross drifted from its intended target, fooling Reis and hitting the crossbar before bouncing to safety. New England threatened in a more conventional manner just one minute later when Boggs and Nyassi combined to tee up Shalrie Joseph, but the captain’s 20-yard drive was hit straight at Gleeson.
Kenny Mansally – who arrived stateside last night following national team duty with Gambia in Equatorial Guinea – replaced McCarthy in the 58th minute as the Revs switched from a 4-5-1 formation to a 4-4-2 setup.
Despite the Revolution’s tactical switch, it was the Timbers who almost took the lead in the 70th minute. Cochrane was adjudged to have fouled Cooper 20 yards from goal, and Kalif Alhassan curled the ensuing free kick over the wall and off the base of the left post.
Mansally got involved in the 79th minute when he played Nyassi into the right side of the box. Nyassi worked his way toward goal but scuffed his final effort, which skidded across the face of goal and harmlessly crossed the line for a goal kick.
The Revs will play their second straight match against an expansion team on Wednesday, April 6, when they travel north of the border to face the Vancouver Whitecaps. Kickoff from Empire Field is set for 10 p.m. ET.
New England Revolution vs. Portland Timbers
April 2, 2011 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
NE – Stephen McCarthy (unassisted) 22
POR – Jack Jewsbury (Jeremy Hall, Kenny Cooper) 38
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Didier Domi, A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane, Kevin Alston, Sainey Nyassi, Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph (c), Stephen McCarthy (Kenny Mansally 58), Zak Boggs, Zack Schilawski
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney, Ilija Stolica, Kheli Dube, Darrius Barnes, Ryan Kinne
STATS: Shots: 10; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 5; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 14
Portland Timbers: Jake Gleeson, Steve Purdy, Eric Brunner, David Horst, Rodney Wallace, Jeremy Hall (Darlington Nagbe 66), Jack Jewsbury, James Marcelin, Kalif Alhassan, Jorge Perlaza (Brian Umony 46), Kenny Cooper
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Guppy, Kevin Goldthwaite, Peter Lowry, Ryan Pore, Eddie Johnson,
STATS: Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 6; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 14
POR – Steve Purdy (caution) 9
NE – A.J. Soares (caution) 19
NE – Stephen McCarthy (caution) 22
NE – Zak Boggs (caution) 35
POR – Rodney Wallace (caution) 57
POR – Brian Umony (caution) 83
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Assistant Referees: Eric Boria, Peter Balciunas
Fourth Official: Ismail Elfath
Weather: Cloudy, 48 degrees
- With tonight’s draw, the Revs are now 9-8-5 all-time against expansion teams in their inaugural seasons … the Revs also extended their unbeaten streak to 5-0-3 in their first meeting against expansion or relocated teams since 2005.
- Stephen McCarthy scored his first career goal in the 22nd minute, becoming the first of the Revolution’s rookies to make the score sheet in 2011.
- The Revs have now scored all four of their goals so far this season during the first half, with tonight’s tally being the latest.
- Matt Reis is now 8-2-5 in his Revolution career against expansion teams.
- Kenny Mansally entered the game as a substitute in the 58th minute after returning from international duty with Gambia in Equatorial Guinea last night.
- Ryan Cochrane – who is originally from Portland – earned his first start with the Revolution as a center back.
- Zak Boggs wore a headband throughout tonight’s match to cover the eight stitches he received on his forehead after a collision during last week’s home opener against D.C. United.