Saturday, the New England Revolution suffered the worst season opener defeat in club history when they were battered 4-0 by the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Dynamo, for a crowd of 22,320.
New England conceded the first goal by Will Bruin in two minutes and by 23 minutes in, were down three goals, including a second by Bruin. Boniek Garcia, assisted by Bruin, tallied the third goal and Omar Cummings delivered the final insult, assisted by Ricardo Clark, in stoppage.
"Some days you get your nose rubbed in it, and we certainly got our nose rubbed in it today and it didn’t smell too good," said head coach Jay Heaps.
The game was officiated by scab referees, after the Professional Referee Organization locked the real referees out of all MLS season openers due to a labor dispute.
The Revolution's defense repeatedly disintegrated under light pressure, the midfield was hopelessly undermanned and the forwards struggled for possession.
Bobby Shuttleworth stood between the posts for the Revs and made five saves, but his overall performance raised speculation that Brad Knighton will man the net next week when the team visits Philadelphia Union, who tied Portland Timbers 1-1 last night.
Technical midfielder Lee Nguyen and defender Andrew Farrell were out with injury and rookie Patrick Mullins (11th overall in 2014 draft) made his MLS debut and Daigo Kobayashi, 35, and Teal Bunbury made their Revs debuts last night. Saer Sene, returning from injury, came on in the 74th minute as a second-half substitute for Kobayashi. Honduran international Jerry Bengtson came on for Mullins after the break, but was unable to make an impact.
Defender Kevin Alston was forced to leave Saturday’s game in just the 20th minute with a right hamstring injury and was replaced by Darrius Barnes, who was fortunate not to be red-carded for pointless fisticuffs with Bruin.
The Revs had two chances late in the first half, but were unable to convert. Diego Fagundez made a good attempt in the 82nd minute, but hit the crossbar.
The Revolution returns to action on Saturday, March 15, when the team visits the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live by Comcast SportsNet.
HOU – Will Bruin (Kofi Sarkodie) 2
HOU – Will Bruin (Corey Ashe) 13
HOU – Boniek Garcia (Will Bruin) 23
HOU – Omar Cummings (Ricardo Clark) 92+
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston (Darrius Barnes 20), Diego Fagundez, Daigo Kobayashi (Saer Sene 74), Scott Caldwell, Kelyn Rowe, Patrick Mullins (Jerry Bengtson 46), Teal Bunbury
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Andy Dorman, Donnie Smith, Steve Neumann
STATS: Shots 18, Shots on Target 1, Corner Kicks 11, Saves 5, Fouls 11, Offsides 2, Passes 77.9% (281), Possession 47.8%
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, David Horst, Corey Ashe, Tony Cascio (Andrew Driver 57), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis, Boniek Garcia, Will Bruin (Mark Sherrod 90), Giles Barnes (Omar Cummings 78)
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Jason Johnson, A.J. Cochran, Alexander Lopez
STATS: Shots 20, Shots on Target 9, Corner Kicks 8, Saves 1, Fouls 14, Offsides 3, Passes 74.7% (308), Possession 52.2%
HOU – Will Bruin (caution) 64
NE – Darrius Barnes (caution) 64
NE – A.J. Soares (caution) 77
Referee: Jorge Luna Hernandez
Assistant Referees: Israel Fernandez, Marcos de Oliveira
Fourth Official: Bernard Hosu