FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Lee Nguyen haunted his former team with two goals and one assist in an inspired performance as the New England Revolution rolled to a 4-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
Nguyen – waived by Vancouver in March – notched his first two MLS goals, including a spectacular long-distance rocket to round out the scoring, sandwiched around first-half strikes from Saer Sène and Shalrie Joseph. It was the Revolution’s best offensive output since scoring four times in a 4-4 draw with the Philadelphia Union last September.
Eric Hassli scored Vancouver’s lone goal in the fifth minute as the Whitecaps (5-3-2, 17 pts.) saw their three-game winning streak come to an abrupt end. The Revs (4-6-0, 12 pts.) picked up their third home win of the season in their fourth match at Gillette Stadium.
One week after utilizing a 4-5-1 formation in a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake, the Revs returned to their customary 4-4-2 alignment with Blake Brettschneider partnering Sène up top. Stephen McCarthy was recalled to the starting lineup as he partnered A.J. Soares in central defense.
The action was fast and furious from the opening whistle as the teams traded goals inside six minutes and combined for four total before the halftime break.
Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis came up with a huge save to deny Sebastien Le Toux from close range in the third minute, but Hassli found a way through to give the visitors a 1-0 lead two minutes later. Davide Chiumiento began the move with a cutting pass to Le Toux, who pulled the ball back to Hassli for a low finish from the right side of the box.
Nguyen pulled the Revs level just one minute later with his first of the night. Brettschneider’s attempted volley near the penalty spot was blocked but the ball settled for Nguyen, who drilled a shot into the lower left corner from eight yards out.
Eighteen minutes after piercing the net, Nguyen turned provider as he set up Sène for his team-leading fourth goal of the season. Nguyen sliced through the Whitecaps midfield before dishing off for Sène, who held off Alain Rochat and finished low inside the far post to give the Revs a 2-1 lead in the 24th minute.
New England extended its lead to 3-1 in the 33rd minute when Joseph notched his first goal of the season. Sène’s right-wing cross was only half-cleared to Joseph near the penalty spot and the Revolution captain lashed home into the lower left corner past helpless Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
The pace slowed considerably after the halftime break but Nguyen gave the Gillette Stadium crowd a jolt in the 72nd minute with a stunning long-distance strike. Nguyen settled Chris Tierney’s short throw-in near the corner of the box and after letting the ball bounce, unleashed a dipping rocket into the far upper corner to put the finishing touch on the Revolution’s 4-1 win.
The Revs will play their second straight home match next weekend when they host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, May 19. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
May 12, 2012 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
New England Revolution 4, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1
VAN: Eric Hassli (Sebastien Le Toux, Davide Chiumiento) 5
NE: Lee Nguyen (unassisted) 6
NE: Saer Sène (Lee Nguyen) 24
NE: Shalrie Joseph (unassisted) 33
NE: Lee Nguyen (Chris Tierney) 72
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston, Benny Feilhaber, Clyde Simms, Shalrie Joseph ©, Lee Nguyen (Fernando Cardenas 79), Saer Sène (Diego Fagundez 72), Blake Brettschneider (Alec Purdie 83)
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Darrius Barnes, John Lozano, Bjorn Runstrom
STATS: Shots 18, Shots on Target 7, Corner Kicks 0, Saves 4, Fouls 18, Offsides 3, Passes Completed (percentage) 358 (71.5%), Possession 42.1%
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Joe Cannon, Young-Pyo Lee, Jordan Harvey, Carlyle Mitchell, Alain Rochat ©, Gershon Koffie (Etienne Barbara 80), Davide Chiumiento, Omar Salgado (Darren Mattocks 62), Jun Marques Davidson (Floyd Franks 89), Sebastien Le Toux, Eric Hassli
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Martin Bonjour, Michael Nanchoff, Matt Watson
STATS: Shots 9, Shots on Target 5, Corner Kicks 3, Saves 3, Fouls 16, Offsides 0, Passes Completed (percentage) 502 (74.9%), Possession 57.9%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
VAN: Koffie (caution) 44
NE: Joseph (caution) 45+
VAN: Salgado (caution) 61
VAN: Mattocks (caution) 64
NE: McCarthy (caution) 83
VAN: Hassli (caution) 90
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistant Referees: Daniel Belleau, Marco Arruda
Fourth Official: Geoff Gamble
Weather: Sunny and 75 degrees
New England Revolution 4-6-0 (12 pts.)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 5-3-2 (17 pts.)
• Tonight’s match marked the third meeting ever between the New England Revolution and Vancouver Whitecaps FC … with the win, the Revs are now 2-0-1 against Vancouver in the all-time, regular season series
• Saturday’s match was the only regular-season meeting between the two clubs in 2012 … New England won the first regular-season series in 2011 … the two teams played to a 1-1 draw at Empire Field on April 6 before the Revs won, 1-0, at Gillette Stadium on May 14
• The Revs have now won two consecutive home games for the first time since 2010 following the Revs’ 2-1 win against Colorado on May 2, 2012 … in 2010, the Revs won three consecutive games from July 10 to Aug. 14: against LA (2-0) on July 10, D.C. (1-0) on Aug. 7 and Houston (1-0) on Aug. 14
• Lee Nguyen scored his first career goal in the sixth minute … Nguyen has also added one assist in 10 appearances, including eight starts
• Lee Nguyen’s sixth-minute goal marked the third time in four home matches that the Revs have scored in the first 10 minutes of play … Saer Sène scored a first-minute goal on March 24 against Portland while Jose Moreno scored in the sixth-minute against D.C. United on April 14
• Lee Nguyen’s goal in the 72nd minute was his second of the night and second career goal … Nguyen’s two goals tonight marked the first time a Revolution player has scored two goals in a game since Ryan Guy scored twice at Chicago on Sept. 25, 2011
• Saer Sène scored his fourth goal of the season in the 24th-minute … Sene’s four goals are a team best
• Lee Nguyen earned the primary assist on Saer Sène’s 24th-minute goal ... in addition to his two goals tonight, Nguyen now has two assists this season, and trails Shalrie Joseph for the team lead (three)
• Chris Tierney recorded his second assist of the season on his throw-in to Lee Nguyen ahead of Nguyen’s 72nd-minute goal
• Shalrie Joseph scored his first goal of the season, and first since Sept. 10, 2011, ending a 15-game scoring drought … Joseph now leads all Revolution scorers in matches against Vancouver with two goals in three appearances
• The Revs scored three goals in the first half for the first time this season and the 13th time in club history … it was the first three-goal first half since Sept. 7, 2011 at Philadelphia
• The three-goal effort in the first half matched the team’s highest goal total in any game this season … the Revs scored two first-half goals and added a third in the second half in the Revs 3-1 victory at LA on March 31
• The Revs scored four goals tonight for the first time since a 4-4 draw at Philadelphia on Sept. 7, 2011
• With a 4-1 win, the Revs won their first game by three goals since April 1, 2010, when the Revs beat Toronto, 4-1
• Matt Reis is undefeated at 2-0-0 in his career against Vancouver, with nine saves
• Saturday’s game marked the first time in six games that the Revs did not finish in a one-goal game, dating back to the 3-1 win at LA on March 31 … since the end of March, the Revs went 1-4-0 in five consecutive one-goal contests before winning by three goals tonight
• When Saer Sène scores a goal, the Revolution is now 4-0-0, after Sène scored tonight in the 24th minute … when Sène does not score a goal – or only records an assist – the Revs are 0-5-0
• At 4-6-0 through 10 games, the Revs are one win shy of matching their win total (5) in all of 2011 … last year, the Revs went 5-6-13 record in a 34-game season
• Tonight marked the second consecutive home game in which the Revs conceded a goal and responded with the victory … the Revs trailed early against Colorado on May 2 and won, 2-1, before responding to an early deficit tonight in the fifth minute with four unanswered goals