Saturday night, the New England Revolution won its fifth consecutive game with a 2-1 victory over D.C. United in heavy rain at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. for a crowd of 13,589. New England is unbeaten in seven games (6-0-1) and enjoying it's best season in years.
The Revolution (7-3-2, 23 pts.) continues to top the Eastern Conference and rose to third across MLS. D.C. United (5-4-3, 18 pts.) fell to third in the East and fifth overall. The Revolution remains undefeated at home, now 4-0-1 on the season with only one goal allowed in five matches.
Rookie Patrick Mullins scored his fourth goal in four consecutive games and became the second rookie in MLS history to earn that achievement. United's Fabian Espindola equalized seven minutes later and Diego Fagundez, 19, provided the game-winner in the 77th minute. It was Fagundez's fourth goal and third assist of the season. Rookie Steve Neumann preserved the win in the 89th minute by clearing a shot off the goal line.
"I think Patrick (Mullins), the goals are awesome," said coach Jay Heap. "They’re kind of a bonus for how we want to play and I think Patrick does an excellent job pressuring, holding the ball up, and allowing players to get forward."
Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth return to the lineup after recovering from concussion and defender Jose Goncalves made his first appearance since suffering a quadriceps injury in early April.
"Tonight we needed a little uptick from some senior leadership because that’s what [Goncalves] does so well," said Heaps. "If you ever worried about complacency, go in a locker room 10 minutes before a game and I’ll tell you right now, Jose is going to eliminate any complacency in anyone."
The game became chippy early on and culminated in an ejection to United's Eddie Johnson in the 82nd minute. The Revolution's Teal Bunbury and Fagundez and United's Perry Kitchen, Chris Korb and Davy Arnoud all received yellow cards.
The Revolution next travel to Montreal Impact on Saturday, May 31, at Stade Saputo in their first of three meetings this season. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet New England.
NE – Patrick Mullins (Diego Fagundez) 55
DC – Fabian Espindola (Cristian Fernandez) 73
NE – Diego Fagundez (unassisted) 77
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves ©, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez (Steve Neumann 88), Lee Nguyen (Scott Caldwell 81), Andy Dorman, Daigo Kobayashi (Kelyn Rowe 53), Teal Bunbury, Patrick Mullins
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Dimitry Imbongo, Stephen McCarthy, Darrius Barnes
STATS: Shots 15, Shots on target 6, Saves 3, Corner kicks 10, Offsides 1, Fouls 13, Possession 47.1%, Passes 333 (73.8%)
D.C. United: Bill Hamid, Cristian Fernandez, Jeff Parke, Bobby Boswell, Chris Korb, Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, Alex Caskey (Lewis Neal 63), Davy Arnaud (Kyle Porter 87), Collin Martin (Fabian Espindola 60), Eddie Johnson
Substitutes Not Used: Jared Jeffrey, Steve Birnbaum, Sean Franklin, Andrew Dykstra
STATS: Shots 12, Shots on target 4, Saves 4, Corner kicks 1, Offsides 4, Fouls 12, Possession 52.9%, Passes 390 (78.5%)
DC – Chris Korb (caution) 39
DC – Perry Kitchen (caution) 42
NE – Teal Bunbury (caution) 64
DC – Davy Arnaud (caution) 67
NE – Diego Fagundez (caution) 67
DC – Eddie Johnson (ejection) 82
Referee: Juan Guzman
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry (AR1), Felisha Mariscal (AR2)
Fourth Official: Silviu Petrescu