Henry Kessler vs. D.C. United (2021)
David Silverman

Recap | Revolution battle to 1-0 win over D.C. United in 2021 home opener

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution (1-0-1; 4 pts.) opened their 2021 home slate with a 1-0 win against D.C. United at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night. The match marked Gillette Stadium’s first event with fans since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – a span of 414 days. New England’s lone tally came via an own goal from D.C. United’s Brendan Hines-Ike following a cross from Brandon Bye in the 48th minute. The Revolution’s record in the club’s last 15 home openers improved to 8-1-6 with tonight’s result.

Two Revolution newcomers – midfielder Arnór Traustason and defender Christian Mafla – made their MLS debuts in tonight’s contest as the Revs picked up a fourth consecutive win against D.C. United. Traustason, acquired from Swedish side Malmö FF on March 16, began training with the Revolution on Monday and slotted into the starting lineup on the left wing. He played 81 minutes and recorded one shot on target with three fouls won. Mafla played 54 minutes at left back in his first outing with New England’s senior team. He played 76 minutes for Revolution II on April 17 after recovering from a preseason injury.

Another offseason addition, midfielder Wilfrid Kaptoum, registered his first start with the Revolution after debuting as a substitute in Chicago last weekend. The central midfielder played 64 minutes alongside Matt Polster and submitted one chance created, one tackle, and one foul won.

Anchored by Matt Turner in net, the Revolution submitted their first clean sheet of the season. Turner made one save in his 17th career shutout and 25th MLS win.  

New England will remain home next for a tilt with Atlanta United FC on Saturday, May 1 at Gillette Stadium. The match kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET on myTV38, myRITV, 98.5 The Sports Hub, and in Portuguese on WBIX 1260 AM Nossa Radio USA.

New England Revolution 1, D.C. United 0
April 24, 2021 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)

  • The New England Revolution defeated D.C. United at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night, 1-0, in the club’s 2021 home opener. The result pushed New England’s unbeaten run against D.C. to seven games (4-0-3), including four consecutive wins over the Black and Red.
  • New England’s all-time record against D.C. United moves to 31-34-15, including a 20-10-9 mark at home.
  • Revolution Sporting Director & Head Coach Bruce Arena’s career record against his former club moved to 11-4-8, including a 4-0-2 mark with New England.
  • The Revs improved to 8-1-6 in their last 15 home openers.
  • New England’s starting lineup featured a trio of changes from the previous match on April 17 at Chicago, with left back Christian Mafla, and midfielder Wilfrid Kaptoum and Arnór Traustason replacing DeJuan Jones, Tommy McNamara, and Tajon Buchanan.
  • Traustason, a 27-year-old winger from Iceland and the club’s newest acquisition, registered one shot on target in his MLS debut.
  • Mafla also made his MLS debut and logged 54 minutes in the contest. He finished the night with a team-high four interceptions.
  • Kaptoum made his first appearance in the Revolution’s Starting XI on Saturday with his Gillette Stadium debut, playing 64 minutes with six recoveries and 81.6 percent of his passes completed. The 24-year-old native of Cameroon made his MLS and club debuts with a seven-minute shift off the bench in last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Chicago Fire FC.
  • Goalkeeper Matt Turner recorded his 25th career win and his 17th career clean sheet with the victory over D.C. on Saturday. His record against D.C. improves to 5-1-2.  
  • Defender Henry Kessler recorded 10 clearances, tying his career high set on March 7, 2020 during last year’s home opener. Kessler added six recoveries and won four duels in the clean-sheet performance.
  • Defender Brandon Bye, whose cross led to the game’s lone goal in the 48th minute, paced the team with three tackles on the night.
  • With his second start of the 2021 season and the 238th of his MLS career, defender Andrew Farrell tied Jay Heaps for third-most starts in club history. Farrell recorded a team-high nine recoveries along with three clearances and an interception in the shutout win.
  • Midfielder Matt Polster earned his second consecutive start in central midfield. He led the team with 43 completed passes and won nine of his 11 duels.
  • Defender A.J. DeLaGarza made his Revolution debut when he replaced Mafla in the 54th minute. DeLaGarza signed with New England as a free agent this offseason, bringing more than 250 career appearances and three MLS Cup championships to the club.


REFEREE: Guido Gonzales Jr.
AR1: Adam Garner; AR2: Ryan Graves
4th: Matthew Thompson
Video Assistant Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Weather: 62 degrees and clear

Scoring Summary:
NE – Brendan Hines-Ike (Own Goal) 48’

Misconduct Summary:
DC – Russell Canouse (Yellow Card – Bad Foul) 25’
NE – Arnór Traustason (Yellow Card – Bad Foul) 32’
DC – Júnior Moreno (Yellow Card – Bad Foul) 58’
NE – Wilfrid Kaptoum (Yellow Card – Bad Foul) 60’
NE – Andrew Farrell (Yellow Card – Bad Foul) 80’
NE – Adam Buksa (Yellow Card – Time Wasting) 89’
DC – Brendan Hines-Ike (Yellow Card – Bad Foul) 90’+4

New England Revolution: Matt Turner; Christian Mafla (A.J. DeLaGarza 54’), Andrew Farrell, Henry Kessler, Brandon Bye; Matt Polster, Wilfrid Kaptoum (Tommy McNamara 63’); Arnór Traustason (Tajon Buchanan 81’), Carles Gil ©; Gustavo Bou, Adam Buksa.

Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Jon Bell, Emmanuel Boateng, Scott Caldwell, Teal Bunbury, Edward Kizza.

D.C. United: Chris Seitz; Julian Gressel, Frédéric Brillant ©, Brendan Hines-Ike, Tony Alfaro, Joseph Mora; Russell Canouse, Edison Flores, Júnior Moreno (Adrien Pérez 70’), Yamil Asad (Nigel Robertha 70’); Erik Sorga (Kimarni Smith 70’).

Substitutes Not Used: Jon Kempin, Felipe, Moses Nyeman.

New England Revolution

Team Statistics

D.C. United

6 (2)

Shots (on Target)

6 (1)


Blocked Shots






Corner Kicks








376 (74.5%)

Passes Attempted (% Completed)

376 (73.7%)