October 19, the New England Revolution climbed back up into the fifth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with a 3-2 win over Columbus Crew at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., for a season-high crowd of 26,458 fans - the largest crowd since Aug. 9, 2009, when the team hosted David Beckham and the LA Galaxy.
Young Diego Fagundez scored the game-winning goal in the 76th minute - the teenager's team-leading 13th goal of the season (17 career) and his fifth game-winning goal. Fagundez now is tied for fifth in MLS in goal scoring in 2013 and is MLS’ all-time leading scorer as a teenager.
"The bigger the crowd, the bigger the moment, Diego (Fagundez) rises to the occasion," said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. "I thought he had a good first half and then he was one of the guys that got quiet, but he never gets silent."
New England (13-11-9, 48 pts.) begins the final week of the MLS regular season on a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2), while Columbus (12-16-5, 41 pts.) was eliminated from playoff contention.
It may have been New England's best performance of the season and just in time for the playoffs. The Revolution tallied the go-ahead goal in the 32nd minute when Kelyn Rowe took a long shot that A.J. Soares flicked in past Crew keeper Matt Lampson for his first goal of the season. It was Rowe's team-high eighth assist and the midfielder also has seven goals on the season.
Columbus equalized in the 59th minute when Dominic Oduro connected with halftime substitute Aaron Schoenfeld service to bring the score to 1-1. Chris Tierney converted a penalty to put New England ahead again 2-1 in the 69th minute for his sixth career goal.
Two minutes later, Schoenfeld and Oduro combined again to level the game 2-2. But Fagundez scored the 3-2 gamewinner in the 76th minute, connecting with Andy Dorman. Dorman has been largely invisible this season, but Saturday night he showed up big-time and was a driving force behind the Revolution's victory.
"(Andy Dorman’s performance was) gigantic," said Heaps. "There’s so much to say about it, because he works so hard. He won everything in the air that he could get his head to, he controlled the middle, and to me, it showed he was a player that wanted to win it and he was the one who got the game-winning assist."
Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis remained unbeaten in 2013 with the win and is now 6-0-4 on the season and one game shy of his career-best 11 game unbeaten streak (7-0-4) in 2005.
The Revolution returns to action on Sunday, Oct. 27, when the team plays its 2013 regular-season finale against Columbus at Crew Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on TV by Comcast SportsNet.
NE – A.J. Soares (Kelyn Rowe) 32
CLB – Dominic Oduro (Aaron Schoenfeld) 59
NE – Chris Tierney (penalty) 69
CLB – Aaron Schoenfeld (Dominic Oduro) 71
NE – Diego Fagundez (Andy Dorman, Dimitry Imbongo) 76
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney (Kevin Alston 78), Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez, Andy Dorman, Scott Caldwell (Stephen McCarthy 80), Kelyn Rowe, Juan Agudelo, Jerry Bengtson (Dimitry Imbongo 65)
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Clyde Simms, Chad Barrett, Charlie Davies
STATS: Shots 16, Shots on Target 9, Corner Kicks 4, Saves 4, Fouls 19, Offsides 0, Passes 270 (73.7%), Possession 45.1%
Columbus Crew: Matt Lampson, Chad Barson, Chad Marshall, Tyson Wahl, Agustin Viana (Ben Speas 70), Ethan Finlay (Aaron Schoenfeld 46), Wil Trapp, Tony Tchani (Justin Meram 79), Bernardo Anor, Dominic Oduro, Jairo Arrieta
Substitutes Not Used: Andy Gruenbaum, Josh Williams, Danny O’Rourke, Ryan Finley
STATS: Shots 12, Shots on Target 6, Corner Kicks 1, Saves 6, Fouls 16, Offsides 1, Passes 336 (69.9%), Possession 54.9%
CLB – Ethan Finlay (caution) 31
NE – Jerry Bengtson (caution) 47
NE – Dimitry Imbongo (caution) 94+
NE – Juan Agudelo (caution) 94+
Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: Sean Hurd (AR1), Joe Fletcher (AR2)
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga