FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Captain Shalrie Joseph scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season shortly after the halftime break and goalkeeper Matt Reis made six saves to record his second consecutive shutout, lifting the New England Revolution to a 1-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
The victory temporarily lifted the Revs (3-3-4, 13 pts.) into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference – two points behind the conference-leading New York Red Bulls – while the Whitecaps (1-5-5, 8 pts.) saw their winless streak stretch to 10 games since a season-opening win over Toronto FC.
Joseph’s goal arrived from the penalty spot in the 49th minute after Benny Feilhaber was cut down by Wes Knight near the top of the box. It was the 10th successful penalty kick of Joseph’s career, vaulting the 32-year-old into first place on the Revolution’s all-time chart in the category.
The Revs have yet to use identical starting lineups in back-to-back games this season and that trend continued against the Whitecaps, as there were two changes to the Revolution lineup which played to a scoreless draw with the Colorado Rapids last weekend. Zak Boggs recovered from illness to reclaim his place in the starting lineup, while Darrius Barnes served as a makeshift left back. The duo replaced Ousmane Dabo – sidelined by a right adductor strain – and Kenny Mansally in the starting eleven.
Scoring opportunities were limited in the opening stanza, but a pair of half chances did fall the Revolution’s way in the first 20 minutes. Stephen McCarthy found the ball at his feet near the penalty spot in the 15th minute but popped his effort over the crossbar, while Feilhaber saw his close-range header deflected out for a corner kick in the 19th minute.
Vancouver almost shocked the home crowd with its first chance of the game in the 44th minute, rookie Omar Salgado unleashing a low drive from 25 yards when there appeared to be no danger. The effort was labeled for the lower corner, but Reis dove full stretch to his left to make the save and send the teams into halftime scoreless.
The game didn’t remain scoreless for long after the halftime break, however, as Joseph converted from the penalty spot in the 49th minute. Barnes began the sequence with a long throw-in, which eventually fell to Feilhaber inside the top of the box. The U.S. National Team midfielder was chopped down after initially eluding Knight, allowing Joseph to step up to the spot and bury his effort low inside the left post.
Feilhaber appeared to double the Revolution’s lead in the 55th minute when he expertly finished Rajko Lekic’s through ball, but the goal was wiped off the board by a narrow offside decision.
Reis came up big to preserve New England’s lead in the 70th minute, sprawling to his right to push Salgado’s bouncing header around the post.
Second-half substitute Sainey Nyassi threatened for the Revs in the 82nd minute – seven minutes after entering the game – with a weaving run down the right wing, but his low shot to the far post was expertly saved by Whitecaps goalkeeper Jay Nolly.
Vancouver had one last chance to find an equalizer in the 89th minute when Shea Salinas’ right-wing cross found Long Tan open at the back post, but the Whitecaps forward’s side volley was drilled straight into the waiting arms of Reis to preserve the shutout.
With their brief two-game home-stand in the books, the Revs will return to the road next weekend when they visit the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, May 21. Kickoff from Buck Shaw Stadium is set for 10:30 p.m. ET.
New England Revolution vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
May 14, 2011 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
New England Revolution 1, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0
NE – Shalrie Joseph (penalty kick) 49
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane, Kevin Alston, Chris Tierney, Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph ©, Stephen McCarthy, Zak Boggs (Sainey Nyassi 75), Rajko Lekic (Kheli Dube 81)
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Franco Coria, Kenny Mansally, Zack Schilawski, Pat Phelan
STATS*: Shots: 8; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 6; Corner Kicks: 6; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 14
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Jay Nolly, Wes Knight, Mouloud Akloul, Jay DeMerit © (Greg Janicki 64), Blake Wagner, Russell Teibert (Davide Chiumiento 79), Gershon Koffie, Shea Salinas, Jeb Brovsky, Omar Salgado (Nizar Khalfan 74), Long Tan
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Cannon, Camilo, Terry Dunfield, Jonathan Leathers
STATS*: Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 6; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 6; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 12
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
Misconduct Summary: VAN – Jay DeMerit (caution) 33 NE – Zak Boggs (caution) 62 NE – Stephen McCarthy (caution) 66
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referees: George Gansner, Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Hilario Grajeda
Cloudy and 55 degrees
New England: 3-3-4, 13 pts.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: 1-5-5, 8 pts.
- With the win, the Revolution improved to 1-0-1 all-time against Vancouver
- The match concluded the teams’ two-game season series … the Revs scored in the third minute of stoppage time to pull even at 1-1 on April 6 in the teams’ meeting in Vancouver
- The Vancouver series was the Revolution’s first season series to end in the 2011 season
- After going eight matches without recording a defensive shutout, the Revolution has now shut out back-to-back opponents
- The Revs’ defense has a 222-minute shutout streak in-tact headed to the next game
- Matt Reis recorded his second shutout of the season and the 61st of his MLS career … 52 of those shutouts have come in New England
- Shalrie Joseph scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season with his 49th-minute penalty kick
- Two of Shalrie Joseph’s four goals have come from the penalty spot
- Joseph moved into sole possession of first place on the club’s career penalty kick list, notching his 10th career penalty kick … he moved past Steve Ralston, who had nine penalty kicks in his Revolution career
- Shalrie Joseph’s successful penalty kick snapped the Revolution’s 236-minute scoreless streak that spanned four games and went back to the 84th minute of the April 23 match against Sporting Kansas City
- Head coach Steve Nicol used his ninth different lineup in 10 games
- Darrius Barnes made his second career start at left back in a four-man backline
- Matt Reis tied his season high with six saves … he previously had six saves at Houston on April 17
- With the Revolution win, teams traveling to play teams on the opposite coasts (or, in other words, teams with a three time-zone difference) are now 0-13-12 pending tonight’s later game featuring Columbus at San Jose