FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Diego Fagundez became the youngest player in New England Revolution history to start a match and go the full 90, but his night was overshadowed by the predatory instincts of Fredy Montero as the Seattle Sounders ran out 2-1 winners at Gillette Stadium. The loss also means that the Revs are finally mathematically out of the playoffs, with three matches to go in a dismal 2011 season.
Diego himself opened the scoring for New England with a great header, but defensive lapses gave Montero an immediate equalizer and then gifted him the go-ahead goal in the second half. The Revolution definitely had the advantage in possession and chances created, but were unable to convert that into a victory.
New England had the better of the early going and nearly jumped out to an immediate lead. In the 3rd minute, Milton Caraglio collected a favorable bounce at the top of the area and cut across, trying to get it out for a shot. In the end, his shot was blocked and rolled weakly to Kasey Keller. Benny Feilhaber then played in Ryan Guy on the right side with a great ball in the 8th minute. The California native cut inside and tried a left-footed shot that was deflected into a bit of a far-post cross, finding the head of Caraglio. The Argentine big man was unable to get clean contact, though, and headed well wide.
Guy was again active down the right in the 11th minute, playing in a good cross that Alston plays a dummy header on, leaving for Fagundez who scuffs his redirect wide. Feilhaber collected a short corner and ripped a drive from distance two minutes later that soared high. The USA international nearly scored from distance again when his 30-yard free kick eluded all heads and feet in the box before Keller threw himself to his left to bat it away from the far post.
A minute later in the 17th, Kevin Alston made an inside run to the byline and drilled in a cross. Zerka met it in the box, but was unable to put it on frame. Diego Fagundez then saw an opportunity to display some of his prodigious talent. Caraglio won the ball at midfield and pushed forward before playing in Fagundez. The young Uruguayan skipped down to the area unmarked and tried to freeze Keller by going far-post with the outside of his foot but pushed it wide.
In the 23rd minute the same thing nearly happened again. This time, Fagundez deftly turned his defender inside-out off a throw-in and made a run on goal. He played a lateral pass to an unmarked Ryan Guy, though, who took a touch and had his shot saved by Keller. The first Sounders chance of the match didn't come until the 34th minute, when a David Estrada cross found the head of Nate Jaqua at the far post, but the big striker glanced his header wide when he really should have scored.
New England had the breakthrough in the 35th minute off a corner. Feilhaber's delivery found its way to Fagundez right in front of the goal line, and the diminutive attacker powered his header home through Keller's hands.
Seattle wasted no time responding. Montero pounced on a loose ball misplayed by Cochrane at the edge of the area and struck gold just a minute later, tying the match up at 1-1.
Montero nearly doubled his tally in the 40th minute, running onto a Jaqua knockdown at the top of the box, but his half-volley cleared the Fort without threatening the goal. The last real scoring opportunity of the half also belonged the Revs, when Caraglio headed a Tierney corner over the bar.
New England had the first chance of the second half as well, a Tierney free kick finding the head of Joseph, but his effort was easily held by Keller. Just seconds later, Estrada had a shot deflected that fell to Jaqua, who laid it off to Montero. The Colombian made no mistake from close range, doubling his tally and giving the Sounders the lead with most of the Revolution defense standing around and watching.
Chris Tierney nearly caused havoc in the Seattle area in the 54th minute with a daisycutter that took several deflections on the way in. Unfortunately, its last deflection was at the far post, where Milton Caraglio somehow managed to send it away from goal from point-blank, but he was offside anyway.
Fredy Montero nearly completed his hat trick in the 58th when he connected on a Tyson Wahl header, but Matt Reis managed to get down to his left and make a top-drawer save when Montero looked to have the goal dead to rights. Monsef Zerka had an effort in the 66th that was low and looked to be going wide, but Keller punched it away anyhow to be safe.
New England brought on Barnes and Phelan in the 68th and made the switch to a 3-5-2 to try and generate some more offense. It nearly came through Caraglio, who took a ball from Fagundez in the 71st minute and dragged across the top of the box before taking a low shot with his left foot that Keller got down and saved. Caraglio was the goat on the Revs next chance, when a Ryan Guy cross found Diego unmarked in the area, but his half-volley hit his big strike partner and deflected into Keller's waiting hands.
Nate Jaqua should have made it 3-1 in the 86th minute but his woeful finishing cost him. Reis came out and deflected a cross from the right, but appeared to take a hit from someone in the process and fell. The rebound bounced nicely in front of Jaqua, but the target man's half-volley was well over the bar from just about 15 yards. Pat Phelan then did the same thing with his own half-volley at the other end a minute later.
Chris Tierney had a chance to tie the game up in stoppage time, controlling a Shalrie Joseph pass with his chest and getting free in the left of the area, but his ball in - could have been a cross or a shot, anyone's guess from that angle - found only side netting.