FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution (18-4-5; 59 pts.) defeated Chicago Fire FC (6-14-6; 23 pts.), 3-2, on Wednesday night at Soldier Field. With tonight’s win, New England clinches its berth in the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, while also setting a single-season club record for victories (18) and matching the franchise record for points (59). Defender Henry Kessler opened the scoring in the 11th minute with his first goal of the season, followed by midfielder Teal Bunbury’s third tally of the year in the 62nd minute. Midfielder Carles Gil netted the game-winner on a fastbreak in the 91st minute to give New England its eighth away win of the year, also a new high-water mark for the club.
New England is en route to the playoffs for the third consecutive year, and its third in as many seasons under Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena. Arena is now four wins away from equaling Sigi Schmid for the most regular season wins in MLS history. The Revolution’s away record improves to 8-3-3, one win ahead of Seattle for the most road victories in MLS this season. New England, 11-1-2 over its last 14 contests, is now 3-0-2 in the last five meetings with Chicago. The Revs also added to their MLS record of 15 wins by a one-goal margin.
Kessler becomes the 13th different Revolution player to score a goal this season. The second-year defender’s right-footed shot from the center of the box was assisted by defender Jon Bell and midfielder Arnór Traustason. Traustason registered his seventh assist of the season on the play, second most on the team and among the top 12 in MLS, while Bell collected his second helper. On Bunbury’s goal, Gustavo tallied an assist, as did goalkeeper Matt Turner – the first of his MLS career. Meanwhile, Gil’s third goal of the season gives the midfielder 19 combined goals and assists this season – tied for third most in MLS at the conclusion of tonight’s match.
Arena deployed a season-high nine changes to New England’s Starting XI for tonight’s match, highlighted by midfielder Luis Caicedo’s first MLS appearance since Oct. 6, 2019. Caicedo, who has been sidelined this season with a knee injury, surpassed 5,000 minutes played in MLS with his full 90-minute performance tonight. The 25-year-old from Colombia finished with four clearances, three interceptions and three tackles. Wilfrid Kaptoum also went the distance in the midfield for New England.
Turner, who recorded his 90th MLS appearance tonight, backstopped the Revs’ defense with seven saves, matching his season high. In addition, Homegrown Player Scott Caldwell logged his 175th MLS start, while veteran defender A.J. DeLaGarza recorded his 275th MLS appearance tonight.
New England returns home to Gillette Stadium to host Orlando City SC on Saturday, September 25. The match kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET on WSBK-TV38, myRITV, 98.5 The Sports Hub, and 1260 AM Nossa Radio.
New England Revolution 3, Chicago Fire FC 2
September 22, 2021 – Soldier Field (Chicago, Illinois)
- The New England Revolution defeated Chicago Fire FC, 3-2, on the road Wednesday night, improving their record to 18-4-5 (59 pts.) on the season and maintaining a 15-point lead atop the Eastern Conference and a 13-point lead in the Supporters’ Shield standings.
- The victory means New England becomes the first MLS team to punch its ticket to the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, the club’s third consecutive postseason bid.
- With their 18th victory of the season, the Revolution set a new all-time single season wins record surpassing the previous mark of 17 set in 2005 and matched in 2014.
- The Revolution’s 2.19 points per game through 27 matches keep the team on pace to challenge the MLS single-season points record (72 – LAFC, 2019) as well as the MLS points-per-game record (2.13 – LA Galaxy, 1998).
- New England’s 59 points matches the team record set in 2005 with seven games still to play.
- The Revs’ 50 goals and 26 first-half tallies both lead the league, while the team’s +19 goal differential (as of the end of Wednesday’s match) ranks second in MLS. New England is five goals away from matching the most goals scored in a season in club history.
- The Revolution improve to 8-3-3 away from home this season, building on a club record for most road victories in a season. New England’s 19 road wins since Bruce Arena took over as head coach are the most in MLS over that time.
- Bruce Arena deployed a season-high nine changes to the starting lineup featuring from last Saturday’s match against Columbus, as A.J. DeLaGarza, Jon Bell, Christian Mafla, Luis Caicedo, Scott Caldwell, Wilfrid Kaptoum, Arnór Traustason, Teal Bunbury, and Edward Kizza were all inserted into the lineup.
- Bruce Arena’s options off the bench entered tonight with a combined 38 goals and 34 assists in 2021. Tonight’s subs totaled one goal and two assists. Entering the match, tonight’s bench had scored more goals than 19 MLS teams entering Wednesday’s competition.
- Carles Gil scored his third goal of the year, his second game-winning tally, in second-half stoppage time. In just 45 minutes of action, Gil recorded team highs in shots (4), shots on target (3), and chances created (4).
- Gil’s 19 combined goals and assists are tied for third most in MLS this season.
- Henry Kessler scored his first goal of the campaign – his second career tally – and finished the night with a team-high six clearances and four blocked shots, including a goal-line clearance in the second half.
- Jon Bell recorded his second assist of the season, and first since July 21, on Kessler’s tally. In his first MLS appearance since July 25, Bell recorded team highs in clearances (6) and tackles (4).
- Arnór Traustason added his seventh assist, second most on the team behind Carles Gil’s 16. His seven helpers are tied for 12th league wide.
- Teal Bunbury scored his third goal of the season and finished his 90-minute effort with two key passes and five clearances.
- Gustavo Bou tallied an assist, his fifth of the year, on Bunbury’s second-half strike and added four shots and three chances created.
- Matt Turner recorded his first career assist in the second half and matched a season-high with seven saves on the night.
- Tajon Buchanan added his fifth assist of the season, and third game-winning helper of 2021, in a 29-minute shift off the bench.
- Luis Caicedo made his first MLS appearance since Oct. 6, 2019, playing 90 minutes in MLS match for the first time since Sept. 29, 2019 to surpass 5,000 for his Revolution career. Caicedo recorded three interceptions and five clearances in his return.
- Wilfrid Kaptoum completed a team best 28 of his 30 passes, recorded six recoveries, and won seven duels in his first 90-minute outing of the campaign.
- A.J. DeLaGarza started for the fourth time this season and recorded team highs in interceptions (3) and recoveries (6). The appearance marked his 275th in MLS, 19th most among all active players.
Referee: Lukasz Szpala.
Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski (AR1); Claudiu Badea (AR2).
Fourth Official: Jair Marrufo.
Video Assistant Referee: Edvin Jurisevic.
Weather: 60 degrees and cloudy
NE – Henry Kessler 1 (Jon Bell 2, Arnór Traustason 7) 11’
CHI – Carlos Terán 1 (Gastón Giménez 1) 40’
NE – Teal Bunbury 3 (Gustavo Bou 5, Matt Turner 1) 62’
CHI – Gastón Giménez 2 (Chinonso Offor 2, Robert Beric 2) 63’
NE – Carles Gil 3 (Tajon Buchanan 5) 90’+1
CHI – Carlos Terán (Yellow Card – Dissent) 17’
NE – Scott Caldwell (Yellow Card – Bad Foul) 31’
CHI – Álvaro Medrán (Yellow Card – Bad Foul) 34’
NE – Carles Gil (Yellow Card – Unsporting Behavior) 90’+2
New England Revolution: Matt Turner; A.J.DeLaGarza (Brandon Bye 69’), Henry Kessler, Jon Bell, Christian Mafla (DeJuan Jones 84’); Luis Caicedo, Scott Caldwell (Carles Gil 46’), Wilfrid Kaptoum, Arnór Traustason (Tajon Buchanan 61’); Teal Bunbury ©, Edward Kizza (Gustavo Bou 46’).
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Andrew Farrell, Tommy McNamara, Matt Polster, Adam Buksa.
Chicago Fire FC: Gabriel Slonina; Boris Sekulic, Carlos Terán, Johann Kappelhof (Ignacio Aliseda 60’), Jonathan Bornstein ©, Federico Navarro; Miguel Ángel Navarro, Gastón Giménez, Álvaro Medrán (Luka Stojanovic 76’); Robert Beric, Chinonso Offor (Fabian Herbers 77’).
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Mauricio Pineda, Jhon Espinoza, Wyatt Omsberg, Elliott Collier, Stanislav Ivanov.
Full statistics available HERE.