FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (April 22, 2023) – The New England Revolution (6-1-2; 20 pts.) defeated Sporting Kansas City (0-6-3; 3 pts.), 2-1, on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium to earn the team’s sixth win through nine games. Forward Giacomo Vrioni recorded his first brace with New England, finishing the night with a team-high five shots and four on target. New England extended its unbeaten streak to six games with the victory and reached the 20-point mark after nine matches for the third time in club history.
Vrioni, making his second consecutive start, opened the scoring in the 31st minute on a right-footed shot with assists from Carles Gil and Emmanuel Boateng. The assist was Gil’s team-high fourth of the season. Vrioni quickly doubled the Revolution lead with his second goal in the 35th minute, pouncing on a rebound after Gil had a point-blank effort denied by Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia.
Sporting KC pulled one back in the 51st minute with a goal from Johnny Russell, set up by a free-kick delivery from Dániel Sallói. Six minutes later, Sporting defender Andreu Fontas was issued a red card for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity after bringing down Vrioni, which gave the Revolution a man advantage for the final 33 minutes. New England held on to the one-goal lead and Revolution goalkeeper Djordje Petrović made two saves to collect his 12th MLS victory.
New England’s home record now stands at 4-0-1 ahead of a crucial meeting with FC Cincinnati at Gillette Stadium next Saturday, April 29 (MLS Season Pass on Apple TV; 98.5 The Sports Hub; 1260 AM Nossa Radio). Before that regular season contest, the Revolution will begin its campaign in the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in the Third Round against USL Championship side Hartford Athletic. The 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Tuesday, April 25 streams live on RevolutionSoccer.net and the club’s YouTube channel.
- The win keeps the Revolution in first place in the Eastern Conference, level on points with next week’s opponent, second-place FC Cincinnati.
- New England has reached the 20-point mark after nine games for the third time in club history, last achieved in 2021 when the club also started 6-1-2 en route to an MLS-record 73 points.
- The Revolution improve to 4-0-1 at home and are outscoring opponents 11-2 in Foxborough.
- The Revolution have conceded eight goals through nine games, tied for the club’s second fewest at this stage of a season, last achieved in 2015.
- With tonight’s win, the Revolution become the first team to win six consecutive home matches against Sporting Kansas City.
- For the seventh time in club history, the Revolution have gone unbeaten in the first five home games of a season
- Giacomo Vrioni notched a brace in his third start of the year and 15th MLS appearance, tallying four minutes apart in the first half. The striker registered a team-high five shots, with four on target.
- Carles Gil made his 100th MLS start, marking the occasion with his fourth assist of the year and team-high four chances created.
- With 25 games remaining in the season, Gil has set a new club mark for most assists in a three-season span (36 from 2021-2023), surpassing Lee Nguyen’s 2015-17 run (35).
- Emmanuel Boateng tallied his first assist of the season on the opening goal and matched Gil’s total of four chances created on the night.
- Esmir Bajraktarević started for the third time this season, recording four shots and winning two tackles in a 64-minute shift.
- Andrew Farrell notched his second consecutive start, recording team highs in recoveries (8) and clearances (5).
- Ben Sweat made his club debut tonight in a 16-minute effort off the bench after New England signed him earlier this week. Sweat, who started the season with Sporting KC, won all three of his duels against his former team.
- Latif Blessing was unavailable as the team permitted him to travel to Ghana to complete required visa paperwork, which will allow his family to join him in the United States. Blessing and his family are expected to arrive in the U.S. early next week.
New England Revolution 2, Sporting Kansas City 1
April 22, 2023 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
Referee: Nima Saghafi
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell (AR1), Walt Heatherly (AR2)
Fourth Official: Guido Gonzales Jr.
Video Assistant Referee: Alejandro Mariscal
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Jonathan Johnson
Weather: 48 degrees and cloudy
NE – Giacomo Vrioni 2 (Emmanuel Boateng 1, Carles Gil 4) 31’
NE – Giacomo Vrioni 3 (Unassisted) 35’
SKC – Johnny Russell 1 (Dániel Sallói 1) 50’
SKC – Andreu Fontàs (Yellow Card – Bad Foul) 20’
SKC – Andreu Fontàs (Red Card – Denial of Goalscoring Opportunity) 57’
SKC – Robert Voloder (Yellow Card – Bad Foul) 89’
New England Revolution: Djordje Petrović; Christian Makoun (Ben Sweat 74’), Dave Romney, Andrew Farrell, Brandon Bye; Matt Polster, Noel Buck; Emmanuel Boateng (Damian Rivera 74’), Carles Gil ©, Esmir Bajraktarevic (Justin Rennicks 63’); Giacomo Vrioni (Jack Panayotou 90’+6)
Substitutes Not Used: Earl Edwards Jr., Joshua Bolma, Omar Gonzalez
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Logan Ndenbe (Robert Voloder 64’), Dany Rosero, Andreu Fontàs, Cam Duke; Roger Espinoza (Felipe Hernández 67’), Rémi Walter, Erik Thommy (Chris Rindov 86’); Johnny Russell ©, Dániel Sallói (Marinos Tzionis 86’), Alan Pulido (Khiry Shelton 64’)
Substitutes Not Used: John Pulskamp, Jake Davis, Danny Flores, Gadi Kinda
Full statistics available HERE.