Saturday, the New England Revolution recorded its first home win of the season with a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo at Gillette Stadium for a crowd of 14,259. Assistant coach Tommy Soehn managed the game for head coach Jay Heaps, who served a red card suspension for his ejection in last week's loss to D.C. United.
New England (2-3-1, 7 pts.) now stand fifth in the Eastern Conference and 11th overall, while Houston (2-3-0, 6 pts.) suffered its third straight loss after opening the season with back-to-back wins. The result was Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth's second shutout of the year and his 15th career clean sheet.
"The game didn’t start out with a whole lot of pizzazz, but I felt like as the game built we started to feel it, started to create some opportunities, but we didn’t finish on the opportunities," said Soehn. "Part of the talk at halftime was we just needed to have that killer instinct."
After the lackluster first half, defender Kevin Alston scored the game-winning goal and his first-ever regular season goal in the 68th minute, assisted by Teal Bunbury and Daigo Kobayashi.
"Amazing, finally break the seal you know its six years later and I’m just glad it’s finally here," said Alston. "I can say I scored at least one in my career."
Assisted by A.J. Soares, Honduran Jerry Bengtson scored his first goal of the season in stoppage time for the 2-0 result. It was Bengtson's first goal in 17 games since scoring the winner in the 2013 season opener against Chicago.
Captain and central defender Jose Goncalves was forced to leave the field with a quad injury just before the break and was replaced by Darrius Barnes, who played on the wing while Andrew Farrell slid into a central position.
Kelyn Rowe remained on the sidelines with a left hamstring injury and Chris Tierney (hip irritation) was also unavailable.
"I really felt like our subs really impacted the game," said Soehn. "We talked about that before. Not only the starting eleven making such an impact, but when you come in, you change the game, and I thought our subs did a great job and helped us sure up the game."
The Revolution next travel Toyota Park to battle the Chicago Fire on Saturday, April 19. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Net at 4 p.m. ET.
NE – Kevin Alston (Teal Bunbury, Daigo Kobayashi) 68
NE – Jerry Bengtson (A.J. Soares) 91+
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Kevin Alston, Jose Goncalves © (Darrius Barnes 41), A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen, Andy Dorman, Daigo Kobayashi (Scott Caldwell 71), Saer Sene (Jerry Bengtson 78), Teal Bunbury
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Charlie Davies, Stephen McCarthy, Steve Neumann
STATS: Shots 13, Shots on target 6, Saves 0, Corner kicks 4, Offsides 2, Fouls 11, Possession 49.7%, Passes 366 (77%)
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall, Corey Ashe, A.J. Cochran, Jermaine Taylor, Kofi Sarkodie, Andrew Driver (Omar Cummings 75), Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark ©, Tony Cascio (Warren Creavalle 69), Giles Barnes, Will Bruin
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Anthony Arena, Servando Carrasco, Alexander Lopez, Mark Sherrod
STATS: Shots 9, Shots on target 0, Saves 4, Corner kicks 6, Offsides 2, Fouls 9, Possession 50.3%, Passes 361 (73.1%)
HOU – Ricardo Clark (caution) 38
NE – Scott Caldwell (caution) 87
NE – Kevin Alston (caution) 88
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Assistant Referees: James Conlee, Peter Balciunas
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga