COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Juan Toja scored his first goal as a member of the New England Revolution, giving the Revs a 1-0 lead at halftime, but the Colorado Rapids responded with a pair of quick goals in the second half to claim a 2-1 win on Wednesday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The Revolution (6-7-6, 24 pts.) took the one-goal lead, courtesy of Toja’s free-kick goal, into halftime, but the Rapids (8-7-6, 30 pts.) responded with a goal by Nick LaBrocca in the 62nd minute and then a Jose Goncalves own goal in the 67th minute gave Colorado the one-goal advantage, which held to the end of the game.
The defeat gave the Revs back-to-back losses in MLS play for the first time this season, following Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Houston at home. Wednesday’s game was the team’s second of three games in an eight-day span, which concludes Saturday in Columbus.
The Revolution made four changes to the lineup from its last match. Coming in for left back Chris Tierney (left knee irritation) was Darrius Barnes, making his third start of the season. At forward, Jerry Bengtson replaced Chad Barrett, while Toja came in Kelyn Rowe in an attacking midfield role. Ryan Guy replaced Saer Sene (hip contusion) on the right wing.
Colorado had the game’s first chance in the ninth minute when Deshorn Brown broke through the Revs’ backline and picked up a through ball, but after pulling Bobby Shuttleworth off his line, pulled his shot just wide of the far post.
A Hendry Thomas handball two yards outside the box set up a Revs free kick 15 minutes into the game. With Toja and Lee Nguyen standing over the ball, Toja stepped up and curled his left-footed shot around the five-man wall and inside Clint Irwin’s far post to stake the Revs to a 1-0 lead.
Jerry Bengtson was streaking into the area unmarked as the ball approached, but wisely stepped over it and let it sneak into the corner of the goal for Revolution advantage. The goal was Toja’s first as a member of the Revolution and his first MLS goal in almost five years – since July 19, 2008.
Barnes nearly made it a two-goal New England advantage in the 19th minute when he rose up and connected with a Nguyen corner kick, but his snapped header was just high of Irwin’s crossbar.
Colorado went close in first-half stoppage time when the Revs struggled to clear a Rapids corner. Marvell Wynne tracked down Nate Sturgis’ through ball into the far corner. Wynne got around the ball before it went over the end line and sent a pass back into the heart of the area, where Brown was unmarked and got off a clean first-time shot, but it sailed high of Shuttleworth’s goal.
At the break, the Revs trailed in possession, 34.4 percent to 65.6 percent, while Colorado had out-passed New England by an almost 2-to-1 margin: 246 to 125. However, the Revs maintained their 1-0 lead.
Colorado had a chance to level in the 54th minute when halftime substitute Atiba Harris connected with Nick LaBrocca’s pass, but Shuttleworth bobbled the save. With the ball loose, Edson Buddle pounced but found only side netting from close distance.
Moments later, the Revs’ defense – which entered the game ranked first in MLS – was forced into an unexpected change. Stephen McCarthy was forced off the field after a collision in the 58th minute, his second such incident of the game. In the first half, the central defender was cut on his head, requiring medical attention at halftime. A.J. Soares came on to replace him and partner with Goncalves at center back.
The Rapids finally broke through four minutes later when LaBrocca took a feed from Dillon Powers and rifled a 30-yard shot just inside the near post through traffic, leveling the score at 1-1.
The Revs almost converted the go-ahead goal in the 63rd minute when Nguyen dribbled toward the Rapids’ goal and let loose a blast from near the top of the penalty arc back across the goal, but Irwin made a diving finger-tip save to prevent the goal. Outside of Toja’s goal, Nguyen’s shot was the team’s only other shot on target in the game.
The back-and-forth action continued when Colorado benefited from a Revs miscue in the 67th minute. Goncalves slipped to the ground close to goal and re-directed Powers’ cross in through a narrow sliver of space between Shuttleworth and the post. The own goal gave Colorado a 2-1 lead after several earlier chances to go ahead.
Nguyen had a go to equalize off a Rowe corner kick in the 77th minute, sending in blast off from the corner of the penalty area, back across goal and narrowly wide of the far upper corner past a diving Irwin.
Shuttleworth gave the Revs a chance to stay in the game with a pair of highlight-level saves late in the game. In the 79th minute, he came out off his line to strip Brown in a one-on-one situation. In the 85th minute, Shuttleworth stepped up to stop Chris Klute from point-blank range.
While the Revs were out-shot 16-7 by Colorado, the Rapids maintained a 62.7% to 37.3% advantage in possession. Colorado also passed at an 80.9% clip, while the Revs managed a 66.2 percentage in the same category.
The Revolution returns to action on Saturday, July 20, when they travel to face the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on TV by Comcast SportsNet and on the radio by 98.5 The Sports Hub.
New England Revolution at Colorado Rapids
July 17, 2013 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Commerce City, Colo.)
Colorado Rapids 2, New England Revolution 1
NE – Juan Toja (unassisted) 15
COL – Nick LaBrocca (Dillon Powers) 62
COL – Own goal (Jose Goncalves) 67
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Darrius Barnes (Kelyn Rowe 69), Jose Goncalves ©, Stephen McCarthy (A.J. Soares 58), Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen, Scott Caldwell, Juan Toja, Ryan Guy, Jerry Bengtson (Chad Barrett 72)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Reis, Clyde Simms, Kevin Alston, Donnie Smith
STATS: Shots 7, Shots on Target 2, Corner Kicks 7, Saves 4, Fouls 8, Offsides 3, Passes 260 (66.2%), Possession 37.3%
Colorado Rapids: Clint Irwin, Chris Klute, Shane O’Neill, Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Nick LaBrocca, Hendry Thomas (Atiba Harris 46), Dillon Powers, Nate Sturgis, Deshorn Brown (German Mera 87), Edson Buddle (Jaime Castrillon 72)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Pickens, Anthony Wallace, Kevin Harbottle, Tony Cascio
STATS: Shots 16, Shots on Target 5, Corner Kicks 7, Saves 1, Fouls 13, Offsides 0, Passes 444 (80.9%), Possession 62.7%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial as supplied by Opta
NE – Jose Goncalves (caution) 74
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson (AR1), Jeff Hosking (AR2)
Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos
Weather: Sunny, 89 degrees
New England Revolution – 6-7-6 (24 pts.)
Colorado Rapids – 8-7-6 (30 pts.)
- With the loss, the Revs moved to 12-19-9 all-time against Colorado
- On the road, the Revolution is 3-13-4 in Colorado, including an 0-3-3 mark at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park … New England has not won in Colorado since the 2002 season
- The loss handed the team back-to-back defeats for the first time in 2013 … the Revs lost to Houston, 2-1, on Saturday at Gillette Stadium
- New England is now 2-4-3 on the road this season
- Tonight’s game was the Revs’ final match against a Western Conference opponent this season … the Revs went 2-4-3 against the West this year
- Juan Toja’s 15th minute goal was his first as a member of the Revolution … his goal was also his first goal in MLS since July 19, 2008 – a span of almost five years (two days shy) – when he was a member of FC Dallas
- Tonight’s game was Juan Toja’s third career goal – in six matches – against Colorado … he previously scored two goals in five games as a member of FC Dallas (2007-08)
- Kevin Alston was a member of the 18-man roster for the first time since April 30, when the Revs hosted FC Dallas … he was activated off the Disabled List on Monday and had missed 14 games – and three-and-a-half months of action – while undergoing treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia
- Darrius Barnes made his first start since May 18 – a 2-0 win at Houston … he has started at left back in each of his three starts this season
- A.J. Soares’ appearance, when he came on the second half for Stephen McCarthy, was his first since April 20 – a 4-1 loss at New York in which he left the game in the 18th minute with a hamstring injury.
- The own goal the Revs allowed was the first one allowed by the Revs since August 13, 2011 in a 3-1 loss at Columbus … Kevin Alston was credited with re-directing a Columbus ball for a goal
- Chris Tierney (L knee irritation) and Saer Sene (hip contusion) did not travel with the team to Colorado because of injury
- Dimitry Imbongo missed the game while serving a one-game suspension after being shown a red card in Saturday night’s match against Houston
- The Revs entered the match with a game in hand on most of the other Eastern Conference teams, but as the only Eastern squad in action mid-week, they made up the game and will be level with most teams when this weekend schedule kicks off