FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The goalkeepers combined to make 10 saves as the New England Revolution and Toronto FC played to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium.
TFC’s Stefan Frei stopped seven shots, while New England’s Matt Reis made three saves and received a bit of help from defender Kevin Alston, who cleared Alan Gordon’s header off the line in the 36th minute. It was the Revolution’s first shutout since a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on May 14 and the draw snapped a four-game losing streak.
The Revs (3-7-5, 14 pts.) are now tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind sixth-place Toronto (2-5-9, 15 pts.).
The Revolution began the match in a 4-4-2 formation for the first time since April 30 with Kenny Mansally entering the lineup to partner Rajko Lekic up top. Shalrie Joseph and Pat Phelan formed the central midfield pairing with Ousmane Dabo sidelined by a right quad strain, while Darrius Barnes replaced the injured Didier Domi (R Achilles tendonitis) at left back.
Both teams created decent scoring chances in the opening stages. Lekic directed a header on frame from Chris Tierney’s corner kick in the third minute, while Reis reacted well to save Joao Plata’s low drive in the 15th minute.
The Revs generated six corner kicks in the first half but it was Toronto FC which almost capitalized on a set piece in the 36th minute. Gordon rose highest to meet Nathan Sturgis’ service from the right corner and sent a glancing header toward the far post, where Alston was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
Each side totaled seven shots in the first half – including three on frame – but quality scoring chances were limited in the opening 45 minutes. In response, Revolution head coach Steve Nicol opted to make a change after the halftime break, bringing on Sainey Nyassi to replace Zak Boggs on the right wing.
Nyassi almost made an immediate impact as he helped set up Joseph for a stinging drive in the 50th minute. Joseph’s shot from 25 yards was drilled straight at Frei, who briefly fumbled the ball before recovering just as Tierney made a bid to pounce on the rebound. Eight minutes later Lekic went close for the Revolution, side-footing Alston’s looping cross wide of the far post from the left side of the box. The Danish striker almost got on the end of Mansally’s low cross in the 71st minute but the curling pass was just out of his reach.
TFC threatened to steal a late winner in the 85th minute when Gordon’s header flew inches wide of the right post following a short corner kick.
There was drama in stoppage time when Toronto substitute Gianluca Zavarise was issued his second yellow card and was subsequently ejected, handing the Revs a one-man advantage for a few brief minutes. Joseph had a long drive tipped over the bar in the second added minute, but the Revs ultimately couldn’t find the elusive goal.
The Revs will close out their brief two-game home-stand in just a few days time when they host another Eastern Conference rival, the Chicago Fire, on Saturday, June 18. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC
June 15, 2011 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
New England Revolution 0, Toronto FC 0
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane (Franco Coria 69), Kevin Alston, Chris Tierney (Zack Schilawski 68), Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph ©, Zak Boggs (Sainey Nyassi 46), Kenny Mansally, Rajko Lekic Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Ryan Guy, Andrew Sousa, Stephen McCarthy
STATS*: Shots: 19; Shots on Goal: 7; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 11; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 19 Toronto FC: Stefan Frei, Danleigh Borman, Ty Harden, Doneil Henry, Richard Eckersley, Mikael Yourassowsky, Alan Gordon, Nathan Sturgis, Maicon Santos © (Oscar Cordon 56), Joao Plata (Javier Martina 72), Nick Soolsma (Gianluca Zavarise 67) Substitutes Not Used: Mikos Kocic, Ashtone Morgan, Dan Gargan, Matt Gold
STATS*: Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 7; Corner Kicks: 7; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 11
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
NE – Pat Phelan (caution) 63
TFC – Mikael Yourassowsky (caution) 75
TFC – Gianluca Zavarise (caution) 86
TFC – Gianluca Zavarise (caution) 91+
TFC – Gianluca Zavarise (ejection) 91+
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referees: Claudio Badea, Peter Manikowski
Fourth Official: Carlos Rivero
Weather: Clear, 75 degrees
New England: 3-7-5, 14 pts.
Toronto FC: 2-5-9, 15 pts.
- With the draw, the Revs improved to a 4-2-4 overall record against Toronto FC
- The teams will close out their two-game season series in the final weekend of the regular season – on Saturday, Oct. 22, at BMO Field
- The draw snapped the Revs’ four-game losing streak … the Revs’ last points were earned in a 1-0 win at home against Vancouver on Saturday, May 14
- Tonight’s shutout was also the team’s first since the 1-0 win against Vancouver on Saturday, May 14 … the shutout is also Reis’ third in seven career appearances against Toronto FC
- Prior to tonight’s match, April 30 was the last game during which the Revs started in a 4-4-2 alignment
- Tonight’s 11 corner kicks marks a season high … the previous season high was eight, earned at San Jose on Saturday, May 21
- Matt Reis made his 200th appearance as a member of the Revolution tonight … he is just the fourth player in team history to reach the 200-appearances plateau, joining Jay Heaps (243), Shalrie Joseph (224 and counting) and Steve Ralston (201)
- Kenny Mansally earned his first start tonight since the Revs’ scoreless draw against Colorado on Saturday, May 7
- Ryan Guy made the game day roster tonight – his first time in a Revolution uniform since signing with the team on Thursday, June 9 … Guy arrived in Foxborough the day before the game, on Tuesday, June 14