TORONTO – Monsef Zerka and Milton Caraglio scored either side of halftime and Benny Feilhaber assisted on both goals as the New England Revolution closed out its 2011 season with a 2-2 draw in a Saturday afternoon meeting with Toronto FC at BMO Field.
It was the final game of the season for both the Revs (5-16-13, 28 pts.) and TFC (6-13-15, 33 pts.), neither of which qualified for the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Nick Soolsma gave Toronto an early lead with the game’s opening goal in the 20th minute before the Revs jumped ahead courtesy of strikes from Zerka (41st minute) and Caraglio (46th minute). New England carried its advantage into the late stages, but Danny Koevermans scored his eighth goal of the season in the 83rd minute to pull the hosts level and provide the final score line.
There was just one change to the Revolution lineup which suffered a 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew last weekend at Gillette Stadium. Danish forward Rajko Lekic – who missed three games with a sprained left ankle – returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Sept. 16 in place of the injured Diego Fagundez (concussion).
New England started on the front foot and almost made an early breakthrough in the 10th minute. Feilhaber’s in-swinging cross from the left wing was missed by the cutting Zerka, but the attempt ended up on frame and forced a lunging save out of TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic.
It was Toronto which opened the scoring, however, as Soolsma notched his third goal of the season to put the hosts up 1-0 in the 20th minute. Koevermans was played into the left side of the box, where he delivered a low cross to the near post for Soolsma, who arrived ahead of his marker and finished with a first-time shot.
Soolsma almost had a second just four minutes later when he burst into the right side of the box, but New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth came up with a big save to deny the rising effort.
Zerka ultimately pulled the Revs level before halftime, recording his second goal of the season in the 41st minute to knot the score at 1-1. Feilhaber was the provider from a set piece as his corner kick was whipped to the near post, where Zerka sent a flashing header off the hands of Kocic and just under the crossbar.
Feilhaber was the setup man again just moments after the second half began as the Revs took a 2-1 lead in the 46th minute. The U.S. National Team midfielder capitalized on a turnover and worked his way down the right wing before playing a low cross to the back post, where Caraglio slid in to finish into the empty net.
The Revs almost found a third in the 67th minute when Zerka unleashed a volley from 25 yards out, but Kocic was at full stretch to push the shot away from danger. Kocic then repeated the feat in the 76th minute, kicking away Zerka’s low effort.
TFC’s goalkeeper’s heroics proved vital in the 83rd minute, when Koevermans popped up to score the equalizer. Torsten Frings sprayed the ball wide to substitute Eric Avila, who whipped an in-swinging cross into the box from the left wing. The service found its way through the box to Koevermans, who tapped home from close range at the back post.
New England Revolution at Toronto FC
October 22, 2011 – BMO Field (Toronto, Ont.)
New England Revolution 2, Toronto FC 2
TFC: Nick Soolsma (Danny Koevermans, Julian de Guzman) 20
NE: Monsef Zerka (Benny Feilhaber) 41
NE: Milton Caraglio (Benny Feilhaber) 46
TFC: Danny Koevermans (Eric Avila, Torsten Frings) 83
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney, Darrius Barnes, Franco Coria, Kevin Alston, Monsef Zerka (Kenny Mansally 85), Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph ©, Ryan Guy, Rajko Lekic (Zack Schilawski 73), Milton Caraglio
Substitutes Not Used: Tim Murray, Ryan Cochrane, Kheli Dube, Otto Loewy, Pat Phelan
STATS*: Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 9; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 6; Offside: 6; Fouls Committed: 8
Toronto FC: Milos Kocic, Ashtone Morgan, Ty Harden, Andy Iro, Matt Stinson, Ryan Johnson (Eric Avila 28), Torsten Frings, Julian de Guzman (Terry Dunfield 55), Joao Plata (Gianluca Zavarise 74), Danny Koevermans, Nick Soolsma,
Substitutes Not Used: Stefan Frei, Doneil Henry, Peri Marosevic, Mikael Yourassowsky
STATS*: Shots: 12; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 7; Corner Kicks: 6; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 13
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
NE: Chris Tierney (caution) 70
NE: Milton Caraglio (caution) 88
NE: Chris Tierney (caution) 94
NE: Chris Tierney (ejection) 94
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Assistant Referees: Paul Scott, Adam Garner
Fourth Official: Geoff Gamble
Weather: Cloudy and 48 degrees
New England Revolution: 5-16-13 (28 pts.)
Toronto FC: 6-13-15 (33 pts.)
- With the draw, New England leads the all-time, regular-season series between the two clubs, 4-2-5 ... the Revs have never beaten Toronto FC on the road, going 0-2-3 when playing at BMO Field
- The match marked the teams’ 11th all-time regular season meeting and completed the season series … the teams also played to a draw – albeit scoreless – on June 15, at Gillette Stadium
- The Revolution has also had trouble closing out its matches at BMO Field in previous years ... in 2007, 2008 and now 2011, the Revs conceded second-half goals to finish with draws … in 2009 and 2010, the Revs surrendered second-half goals to finish with losses
- The draw snapped the Revs’ five-game losing streak, which extended back to their 2-0 win over FC Dallas on September 10
- The Revs began the match in a 4-4-2 formation for the 10th consecutive game (since Aug. 17 against Houston) and featured a two-man forward line of Milton Caraglio and Rajko Lekic for the first time since Sept. 16 at Portland … Chris Tierney started at left back for the fifth straight game alongside Darrius Barnes, Franco Coria and Kevin Alston on the back line … midfielders Monsef Zerka and Ryan Guy featured on the wings with Shalrie Joseph and Benny Feilhaber in the middle
- With his 239th start, Shalrie Joseph has surpassed Jay Heaps’ club starts record (238) … Joseph, who has spent his entire nine-year career with New England, has also tied Heaps for games played with 243 appearances for the Revs
- Joseph is the only Revolution player to appear in all 11 meetings between New England and Toronto, starting 10 of those games
- Bobby Shuttleworth made his third consecutive start today in place of the injured Matt Reis … the start for Shuttleworth was his seventh of the season and he has posted a 0-4-3 record in 2011
- Today’s game marked Shuttleworth’s first-ever appearance against Toronto
- Benny Feilhaber earned two assists today – his first multiple-assist game since joining the Revs in April … he finishes the season as the team’s assist leader with seven
- With his 46th-minute goal, Milton Caraglio finished the season with three after joining the team in August
- Also having joined the team in August, Monsef Zerka scored his second career goal in the 41st minute