FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution II (5-6-1, 16 pts.) defeated Toronto FC II (4-5-4, 16 pts.) on Friday night at Gillette Stadium, 1-0, in the first ever meeting between the two sides. Homegrown Player and forward Damian Rivera scored just 43 seconds into the second half, knocking down a cross from Noel Buck and sliding home a shot for the lone tally of the night – the first game-winning goal of his career. The assist was Buck’s first as a professional.
"I was really happy to get my second goal," said Rivera. "I think the team offensively, we're getting better and better each time out and I think that just comes with chemistry. And I think we keep building it every day, so it gets easier.”
In the 83rd minute, New England conceded a penalty when goalkeeper Joe Rice fouled a Toronto’s Rohan Goulbourne in the box. Rice was dealt a yellow card on the play but stepped up to deny the penalty shot by Medhi Essoussi. Rice preserved his third clean sheet of the season with four saves on the night, including one on a breakaway to deny Julian Altobelli in the 38th minute.
"I keep saying this is my biggest year for me, and the only thing I can do is just control what you can control," said Rice. "When my number's called, I want to be as be as ready and be as prepared as possible and I'm happy that tonight it led to the performance that it did.”
Revolution II carried much of the possession in the first half, creating several chances, the best of which came on a shot over the bar by Edward Kizza off a rebound and a Jake Rozhansky blast from distance that was knocked away by Toronto goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell.
"I think we just tried to make sure that we moved the ball quickly," said Revolution II Head Coach Clint Peay. "We tried to have as much movement as we could up top, and we just tried to put the ball in front of the goal and be a little bit more dangerous. I thought in the first half we did a very good job and probably should have had at least a goal or two.”
Kizza made his second appearance with Revolution II this season, recording a game-high five shots, including one on target, in an 86-minute outing. Fellow first team players Damian Rivera, Justin Rennicks, and Collin Verfurth also started the match for New England.
New England will hit the road next weekend for their furthest road trip to the season, travelling to face FC Tucson on Saturday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
New England Revolution II 1, Toronto FC 0
July 9, 2021 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
- New England Revolution II earned a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC II in their first-ever meeting, improving their record to 5-6-1 in USL League One play.
- The win was New England’s third at home this season, surpassing last season’s total and pushing their record to 3-3-1 at Gillette Stadium in 2021.
- New England remains unbeaten against fellow MLS second teams in League One, going 4-0-0 so far and outscoring opponents 6-0 in those contests.
- Forward Damian Rivera scored his second goal of the season, tucking home a shot in the 46th minute from close range. Rivera, making his first appearance since June 30, played 78 minutes finishing with two shots, including one on target, and 88 percent of his passes completed.
- Midfielder Noel Buck recorded his first professional assist on Rivera’s goal. Buck, 16, has now appeared in all 12 matches for New England this season, logging 86 minutes in Friday’s victory and recording a shot on target.
- Revolution II Head Coach Clint Peay made four changes to the Starting XI from last Saturday’s victory, with Joe Rice, Colby Quinones, Edward Kizza, and Damian Rivera all starting in place of Earl Edwards Jr., Tyler Freitas, Ryan Sierakowski, and Michael Tsicoulias, respectively.
- Goalkeeper Joe Rice made his sixth appearance of the season, making four saves to record his third clean sheet of the season. Rice, 3-2-1 on the year, tied a career high with three shutouts on the year and has six in 15 games with Revolution II since the start of 2020.
- First team striker and 2021 MLS SuperDraft pick Edward Kizza made his second appearance of the season for Revolution II, and first since June 5, playing 86 minutes and finishing with a team-best five shots, including one on target, as well as one chance created.
- Academy forward Michael Tsicoulias made his tenth appearance of the season, becoming just the third Academy player to hit double digit appearances in a season, with Colby Quinones and Hikaru Fujiwara doing so in 2020. In 24 minutes off the bench, Tsicoulias recorded two shots and one key pass.
- Homegrown Player Justin Rennicks logged his 20th career appearance with Revs II, playing 66 minutes and finishing with two shots, including one on target, one key pass, and five recoveries.
- Defender Ryan Spaulding put in his sixth consecutive 90-minute performance at left back, recording team highs in clearances (3) and tackles (3) to go along with six recoveries, two shots, one interception, one key pass, and six of eight duels won.
- Defender Pierre Cayet continued to play in every minute since making his professional debut in May, recording team highs in interceptions (2) and blocked shots (2) as well as four recoveries, two clearances, and one chance created.
- Midfielder Michel played 78 minutes, with a shot on target and a team best three chances created.
- Midfielder Jake Rozhansky finished the night completing 66 of his 68 passes as well as a team high 10 possessions gained.
Referee: Christian Centeno.Assistant Referees: Alexandru Focea (AR1), Zeno Cho (AR2).Fourth Official: Andre Carr.Weather: 73 degrees and partly cloudy.
NE – Damian Rivera (Noel Buck) 46’
NE – Joe Rice (Yellow Card – Bad Foul) 83’
NE – Jake Rozhansky (Yellow Card – Dissent) 84’
TOR – Garrett McLaughlin (Yellow Card – Bad Foul) 87’
New England Revolution II: Joe Rice; Ryan Spaulding, Collin Verfurth, Pierre Cayet, Colby Quinones; Jake Rozhansky ©, Michel (Hikaru Fujiwara 78’), Noel Buck (Dennis Ramirez 86’); Justin Rennicks (Michael Tsicoulias 66’), Damian Rivera (Ryan Sierakowski 78’), Edward Kizza (Sean O’Hearn 86’).
Substitutes Not Used: Marzuq Puckerin, Tyler Freitas.
Toronto FC II: Caleb Patterson-Sewell; Kobe Franklin, Jon-Talen Maples, Kevin Politz ©, Themi Antonoglou, Luca Petrasso; Mehdi Essoussi, Antonio Carlini, Enric Bernat (Steffen Yeates 63’); Kosi Thompson (Garrett McLaughlin 68’), Julian Altobelli (Rohan Goulbourne 63’).
Substitutes Not Used: Andreas Vaikla, Dante Campbell, Nyal Higgins, Tony Curic.