FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution claimed its first defensive shutout of the season but was similarly stonewalled by the Colorado Rapids as the clubs played out a scoreless draw on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
Goalkeeper Matt Reis was forced to make just one save to help the Revs (2-3-4, 10 pts.) claim their eighth point from five home games, while the Rapids (4-3-2, 14 pts.) are now unbeaten in their last three games (1-0-2) after suffering three straight losses.
Although the Revolution was outshot by the Rapids, 9-7, it was the home side which generated the more dangerous attacking chances. Both Ryan Cochrane and Benny Feilhaber hit the crossbar, while Shalrie Joseph had a point-blank header stopped by Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
There were several changes to the Revolution lineup which suffered a 3-0 loss to Chivas USA last weekend as head coach Steve Nicol moved from a 4-4-2 formation to a 4-5-1 setup. Reis returned after recovering from a left shoulder sprain, while Chris Tierney and Cochrane replaced the injured Didier Domi (L quad strain) and Franco Coria on the backline.
Ousmane Dabo made his MLS debut – starting alongside Joseph and Stephen McCarthy in central midfield – while Feilhaber moved outside to play left wing.
Tierney and Cochrane almost combined to give the Revs an early lead in the 15th minute. Cochrane rose highest in the box to nod Tierney’s left-wing free kick toward the upper right corner, but the effort clipped the top of the crossbar.
Colorado – already handcuffed by injuries to its top forward pairing of Conor Casey (L hamstring strain) and Omar Cummings (R ankle sprain) – was forced into a change in the 30th minute when former Harvard standout Andre Akpan replaced the injured Caleb Folan (R groin strain).
Akpan threatened just two minutes after taking the field, unleashing a 30-yard drive which forced Reis to tip the ball over the crossbar.
The teams completed a tame opening 45 minutes scoreless, prompting the Revs to make one change after the halftime break. Sainey Nyassi replaced McCarthy and slotted into a right midfield role, pushing Mansally to the left and Feilhaber into the middle.
New England continued to be most dangerous from set pieces, creating another quality chance from a dead ball situation in the 57th minute. Mansally’s corner kick found Joseph unmarked six yards from goal, but the Revolution captain’s powerful header was palmed away by Pickens.
The woodwork came to Colorado’s aid once again in the 74th minute, this time when Feilhaber came inches from scoring. Feilhaber sprung Nyassi down the right wing and continued his run into the box, where Nyassi found him for a first-time shot. The effort beat Pickens but ricocheted off the crossbar.
The Rapids had a chance to steal all three points when second-half substitute Jamie Smith let loose from 25 yards in the 89th minute, but his shot sailed wide of the upper left corner and the game finished scoreless.
The Revs will play their second straight home game on Saturday, May 14, when they host expansion club Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. Colorado Rapids
May 7, 2011 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
New England Revolution 0, Colorado Rapids 0
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane, Kevin Alston, Stephen McCarthy (Sainey Nyassi 46), Shalrie Joseph ©, Ousmane Dabo (Darrius Barnes 74), Benny Feilhaber, Rajko Lekic, Kenny Mansally
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Franco Coria, Kheli Dube, Zack Schilawski
STATS*: Shots: 7; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 1; Corner Kicks: 3; Offside: 5; Fouls Committed: 12
Colorado Rapids: Matt Pickens, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Scott Palguta, Kosuke Kimura, Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson (Jamie Smith 73), Caleb Folan (Andre Akpan 30), Quincy Amarikwa (Ross LaBauex 85)
Substitutes Not Used: Stewart Ceus, Danny Earls, Joseph Nane, Anthony Wallace
STATS*: Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 1; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 6; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 15
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
NE – Chris Tierney (caution) 19
COL – Scott Palguta (caution) 62
COL – Jeff Larentowicz (caution) 80
Referee: David Gantar
Assistant Referees: Darren Clark, Brian Poechel
Fourth Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Cloudy and 55 degrees
New England: 2-3-4, 10 pts.
Colorado Rapids: 4-3-2, 14 pts.
- With the draw, the Revolution moved to 11-18-8 all-time against Colorado and 8-6-5 in matches played in Foxborough
- The draw extended the team’s winless streak against the Rapids to seven matches, dating back to a win on Sept. 29, 2007 (1-0 win at Gillette Stadium) … the Revs have gone 0-3-4 in that span
- On the season, the Revs moved to 2-1-2 in home matches
- The Revs picked up their first defensive shutout of the 2011 season … it was the team’s first clean sheet since Bobby Shuttleworth posted a four-save effort in a 1-0 win over the then Kansas City Wizards at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 16, 2010
- Matt Reis returned to the lineup after missing last Saturday’s game at Chivas USA with a sprained left shoulder … he picked up his first shutout since Aug. 14, 2010, when he posted a two-save effort in a 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo at Gillette Stadium
- Matt Reis’ one-save shutout was the 60th of his 14-year career, and his 51st with the Revolution … he ranks seventh all-time on the MLS career shutout list, two back of sixth-place Tony Meola (62 shutouts)
- Ousmane Dabo made his MLS debut … the former France international was signed in the off-season, but missed the first month of the season while recovering from a quadriceps strain that he suffered on his second day training with the Revs in March … Dabo had previously made his Revolution debut with a 76-minute effort against D.C. United on April 26 in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier
- Ryan Cochrane made his first start since April 9 … he replaced Franco Coria, who earlier in the week was recovering from a left knee sprain that he picked up last weekend against Chivas USA
- Chris Tierney made his second start of the season at left back and his third start of the year overall … he moved in to the defensive central midfield in the 74th minute when Darrius Barnes came on for Ousmane Dabo … Tierney has now played five different positions in all competitions this season: left back, left midfield, center midfield, defensive center midfield and center back (USOC qualifier)
- Zak Boggs was originally penciled in to the starting lineup at forward, but was scratch during warm-ups and replaced with Kenny Mansally because of illness.