BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Midfielder Ryan Guy scored his first two MLS goals as part of a frantic late fight-back, but it ultimately wasn’t enough as the New England Revolution suffered a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Fire on Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park.
The loss all but eliminates the Revs (5-13-12, 27 pts.) from postseason contention for the second straight season, while the Fire (6-8-15, 33 pts.) pulled to within six points of the final wildcard playoff spot having won four of its past five games.
Sebastian Grazzini and Dominic Oduro scored inside 10 minutes to give Chicago an early two-goal lead, while Patrick Nyarko extended the home side’s lead to 3-0 before the halftime break. Guy, making just his second start since joining the Revolution in June, struck for a pair of quick-fire goals in the 90th minute and the second minute of stoppage time to set up a tense finish, but the goals proved to be mere consolation as the Fire held on to claim the full three points.
The shorthanded Revs were missing Rajko Lekic (L ankle sprain), Stephen McCarthy (L shoulder surgery), Sainey Nyassi (R hamstring strain), A.J. Soares (L adductor strain) and Monsef Zerka (L quad strain) because of injuries, while Ryan Cochrane was unavailable while attending to personal family matters back in Boston. As a result, head coach Steve Nicol handed starts Guy, Kenny Mansally and Zack Schilawski as the Revs continued in a 4-4-2 formation.
Chicago jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Grazzini notched his third goal of the season from the penalty spot in just the fifth minute. Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis upended Nyarko inside the box to set up the spot kick, while Grazzini made no mistake with a low, calm finish inside the right post.
It was 2-0 just four minutes later as Oduro scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season in the ninth minute. Grazzini turned provider and sprung Oduro on a breakaway from a full 35 yards out, while the speedy Ghanaian touched the ball around Reis – who rushed outside his box in an attempt to cut out the chance – before finishing into an empty net.
The Revs slowly worked themselves into the game as the first half progressed and created a few scoring chances, including a 27th-minute shot from Schilawski which forced Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson into a smart save low to his left.
Those improvements were for naught in the 30th minute, however, when Nyarko extended Chicago’s lead to 3-0. A long ball from Oduro sent Nyarko chasing and when Reis attempted to clear, Nyarko blocked the effort before calmly rolling the ball into the vacated net.
Milton Caraglio almost pulled a goal back for the Revs before halftime, but his curling drive from 25 yards skimmed the top of the crossbar in the 39th minute.
Reis came up big to deny Oduro’s point-blank shot in the 57th minute, while the Revs hit the woodwork once again in the 59th minute when Guy’s sailing cross wrong-footed Johnson and struck the bar. Second-half substitute Kheli Dube corralled the rebound but the chance was gone.
Johnson was called into action in the 71st minute to make a routine save on Chris Tierney’s 25-yard free kick, while he was alert to push away Kevin Alston’s curling effort after the right back weaved his way into the box in the 75thminute.
New England finally made the breakthrough in the 90th minute when Guy opportunistically notched his first MLS goal. Caraglio and Johnson challenged for Alston’s long ball into the box and when Johnson went down, Guy pounced on the loose ball and looped a first-time shot just under the crossbar.
Guy buried his second just two minutes later when he finished off a great piece of interplay between Caraglio and second-half substitute Diego Fagundez. After receiving a clever back-heel from Fagundez, Caraglio surged across the top of the box before slotting a pass into the path of Guy, who finished low inside the right post.
The final whistle blew just moments later, however, before the Revs were able to generate any more quality scoring chances.
After back-to-back road trips, the Revs will now be home for their next three games, beginning on Saturday, Oct. 1, when they host Seattle Sounders FC. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.
September 25, 2011 – Toyota Park (Bridgeview, Ill.)
Chicago Fire 3, New England Revolution 2
CHI - Sebastian Grazzini (penalty kick) 5
CHI – Dominic Oduro (Sebastian Grazzini, Logan Pause) 9
CHI – Patrick Nyarko (unassisted) 30
NE – Ryan Guy (unassisted) 90
NE – Ryan Guy (Milton Caraglio, Diego Fagundez) 92+
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, Darrius Barnes, Franco Coria, Kevin Alston. Kenny Mansally (Kheli Dube 57), Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph ©, Ryan Guy, Zack Schilawski (Diego Fagundez 71), Milton Caraglio
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Otto Loewy, Pat Phelan, Zak Boggs, Ryan Kinne
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson, Gonzalo Segares, Jalil Naibaba, Josip Mikulic, Dan Gargan, Logan Pause ©, Pavel Pardo, Sebastian Grazzini (Baggio Husidic 25), Marco Pappa, Dominic Oduro (Orr Barouch 77), Patrick Nyarko (Diego Chaves 66)
Substitutes Not Used: Jon Conway, Daniel Paladini, Corben Bone, Yamith Cuesta
STATS*: Shots: 8; Shots on Goal: 6; Saves: 8; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 4; Fouls Committed: 17
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
NE – Franco Coria (caution) 28
NE – Darrius Barnes (caution) 46+
CHI – Dan Gargan (caution) 76
CHI – Baggio Husidic (caution) 86
New England Revolution – 5-13-12, 27 pts.
Chicago Fire – 6-8-15, 33 pts.
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry, Paul Scott
Fourth Official: Jasen Anno
Weather: Rain and 60 degrees
- Despite the loss, the Revs were still not officially eliminated from the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs because of the potential for multiple teams – including the Revs – to finish the season on 39 points
- With the loss, the Revs fell to13-17-9 all-time against Chicago and 4-9-6 in matches played in Chicago
- The loss extended the team’s winless streak in Chicago in the regular season to five games, dating back to the start of the 2007 season … since 2006 – the season in which the stadium opened and when New England went 1-0-1 at Toyota Park – New England has gone 0-4-1 in regular-season matches
- With the loss, the Revs moved to 1-9-6 on the road this year and are winless in their last six away games
- The Revs’ two goals were the most the team has scored in Chicago since taking a 2-1 win on July 8, 2006
- Ryan Guy recorded his first – and second – goal as a member of the Revolution
- Ryan Guy’s two-goal effort was the team’s second brace of the season … Milton Caraglio had the first on Aug. 20 in a 2-2 draw against New York
- Ryan Guy’s second goal – in the second minute of stoppage time – was the team’s second stoppage time goal this season … former forward Ilija Stolica scored in the third minute of stoppage time at Vancouver on April 6 to force a 1-1 draw
- Milton Caraglio recorded his second assist as a member of the Revolution … the Argentine forward has scored two goals and added two assists in eight games
- Diego Fagundez recorded his first-career assist on Ryan Guy’s second goal … in three career appearances, Fagundez has one goal and one assist in 54 minutes of action
- Sebastian Grazzini’s penalty-kick goal for Chicago in the fifth minute marked the fastest goal scored by an opponent this season
- The Fire’s first two goals – Sebastian Grazzini’s fifth-minute goal and Dominic Oduro’s ninth-minute goal – were the fastest two goals scored by Revs opponents this season, with only four minutes between strikes … the goals were the fastest pair of goals scored against New England since Kansas City also scored two goals in four minutes in a 4-1 win at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on Aug. 21, 2010
- Additionally, Chicago’s two goals were an opponents’ quickest two goals to start a game this season
- Darrius Barnes made his fourth start of the season – of 20 total starts – at his natural center back position
- Ryan Cochrane missed today’s match while attending to personal family matters back in Boston
- Ryan Guy earned his second start with the Revolution and his first on the right wing … in his previous start – on June 26 at Seattle – he started on the left wing in place of the injured Chris Tierney
- Zack Schilawski made his 13th start of the season at forward and his first since Aug. 13 at Columbus
- Kenny Mansally started on the left wing and made his first start in five games, his last coming on Aug. 20 in a 2-2 home draw against New York
- Kheli Dube’s substitute appearance was his first appearance in four and a half months … his last appearance came as a substitute at home against Vancouver in a 1-0 win on May 14 … he missed 12 games with whiplash suffered on May 22 in a car accident
- Diego Fagundez made his third appearance of the season when he checked into the game in the 71st minute … all three of his appearances have been in a substitute’s role
- Franco Coria will be unavailable for next Saturday’s game against Seattle after picking up his fifth yellow card in the first half of tonight’s game … he will be forced to miss the game while serving a mandatory one-game yellow-card accumulation suspension
- Rookie central defender A.J. Soares missed just his third game of the season and in the three games in which he has not played, his absence has been felt … the Revs have surrendered eight goals and gone 0-3-0 in those matches: 2-0 loss at home to Real Salt Lake (April 9), 3-2 loss at home to Chivas USA (August 6) and tonight’s 3-2 loss on the road at Chicago