CHESTER, Pa. – Apparently, last weekend’s five-goal outburst was no fluke.
Just six days removed from a 5-0 triumph over league-leading Seattle Sounders FC, the New England Revolution put up another five-spot on Saturday night at PPL Park en route to a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Union.
Five different players found the back of the net on this occasion as A.J. Soares and Diego Fagundez gave the Revs a halftime lead before Lee Nguyen, Chris Tierney and Patrick Mullins put the result beyond doubt before the game was 70 minutes old.
“I was talking to Chris about it; I was like, ‘When was the last time we scored 10 goals in two games?’” said Fagundez, who now has three goals on the season after opening his 2014 account last weekend. “It’s great that we’re all finishing our chances, because that’s what wins games.”
In fact, it’s the first time in club history the Revs have scored as many as 10 goals in a two-game span. Since scoring just twice through their first five games, the Revs have pierced the net 17 times in the past six matches to rise to the top of the scoring charts in the Eastern Conference.
The Revolution’s brightest period at PPL Park was shortly after the halftime break. Philadelphia’s Vincent Nogueira had cut New England’s lead to 2-1 before the interval as the hosts threatened to make it a game, but Nguyen, Tierney and Mullins scored in an 18-minute span to deflate the crowd in Chester.
“That was the big talk at half; we wanted to start the first half well, the first 15 minutes, and the second half, the first 10 minutes, to get going,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “We came out in the first 10 minutes of that second half and that was some of the best stuff we had. I thought it was really good all the way around.”
Heaps wasn’t particularly pleased with the final 15 minutes, however, as the Revs conceded twice to see their 5-1 lead shrink to a 5-3 victory. Ultimately it didn’t prevent the visitors from claiming the full three points, but the period did provide valuable lessons for the Revs to take with them moving forward.
“When it’s 5-1, we need to see the game out there to make it six or seven, and keep that one,” said goalkeeper Brad Knighton, who made his first start of the season in place of the injured Bobby Shuttleworth. “They had a spell there around the 70th minute and they just kept coming in waves and waves. We need to mature a little bit and kind of recognize that and learn how to weather the storm in a different fashion.”
What’s scary is that the Revs still see room for improvement despite a six-game unbeaten run (5-0-1) which has seen them rise to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. They’ve won four regular-season games in a row for the first time since 2005 and they’ll look to make it five straight when they host D.C. United next weekend.
“We’re just trying to keep this train rolling,” said Knighton. “Maybe people will start believing in us. We’re a good side and we’ve still got a ways to go, but there’s a lot of young talent on this team, we’re on the up right now and we’re dangerous to play.”