FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Just 17 days ago, the New England Revolution travelled south to meet expansion team Atlanta United FC for the first time. By the 38th minute of the match the Revs were down to nine men due to a pair of red card ejections and entered the half behind, 4-0.
That first outing against Atlanta ended in a 7-0 loss, a night the team wanted to put behind them. Put it behind them, they would, but another meeting with the club was on the horizon. Atlanta entered “Fortress Foxboro” on the last day of September for another battle.
Goalkeeper Brad Knighton was given the nod in net, recording his first clean sheet of the season in a scoreless draw against the same team who dismantled the Revs just a few weeks prior.
“Obviously it’s easier when you keep eleven guys on the field,” Knighton remarked. “Things have gone against us recently, and we stuck together as a group, and that’s a huge thing moving forward for us.”
This past Wednesday the Revs had travelled to Orlando City and were once again plagued by an early red card issued to Xavier Kouassi, and the night ended in a 6-1 loss. The response the team assembled on Saturday night was an area where Knighton was pleased.
“We were very good defensively and it’s been a long week for us, especially bouncing off of Wednesday night,” Knighton said. “It was a great performance I felt like from the guys, and we just couldn’t break through on the offensive end.”
Atlanta presents several attacking pieces, but the Revs were confident in their game plan and executing defensively to the best of their ability—a lot of the credit goes to calming presence the backline felt from their goalkeeper.
“He was awesome. I think one of the best performances by our goalkeepers this year,” Antonio Delamea said. “Brad was very comfortable in the back, he gave us some extra confidence by talking, by calm passing. I was very impressed by him.”
Knighton recorded the 11th shutout of his MLS career, but is simply moving forward.
“Obviously we make this place a fortress all year, and we enjoy playing in front of our home fans, and it was tough for us to not get a goal in front of them tonight,” Knighton said. “But there’s two games left and everything to play for still.”