The New England Revolution returned to action this weekend, after having a bye week last week. New England hosted the Houston Dynamo of the western conference. After nearly 3 hours total of weather delays, heavy rain and vivid, constant lightning, New England were able to beat Houston 2-0, with goals from Jose Goncalves and Juan Agudelo.
After 12 minutes of action, we had our first delay, after the lightning that was easily visible from the stands finally got too close for comfort. That first weather delay lasted nearly 2 hours before the restart. After the restart, the action was little of any kind. Concerns of whether the players would be able to get back into the game after nearly waiting for 2 hours started to creep in.
As the halftime whistle rang, the weather turned ugly again, with the rain and the lightning again. The weather delay was issued almost immediately at the start of half time, and another 1 hour and 5 minutes would pass before the restart. Again, the concern of whether the players would be able to get back into the game.
But the 2nd half was a better performance by the Revs.
New England did a better job at creating chances, scoring opportunities, and keeping the ball in Houston’s defending area. Although Houston did have a few attacks against the Revs, none threaten to get passed Revs keeper Bobby Shuttleworth. Jose Goncalves scored his first goal of the season off a set piece, something team manager Jay Heaps admits to practicing more recently. Juan Agudelo scored for the first time in months. Juan hasn’t seen much action since May, mostly starting games on the bench, with some off the bench appearances. He was perfectly positioned to score the goal from where he did, following a great run from midfield by Lee Nguyen.
Few things that was encouraging to me:
New England are now unbeaten in 4 games, 3 win 1 tie. With the playoff push coming down to the wire, some of their eastern conference rivals like Toronto, Orlando keep dropping points during this streak.
They are looking better defensively. During this 4 game streak they’ve only conceded 3 goals, recording 2 clean sheets.
Jermaine Jones got his first start, second appearance since his injury he suffered at the end of May. All this with New England getting their 2 bye weeks in a 3 week period.