TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 22: Ryan Johnson #9 of Toronto FC trips Milton Caraglio #9 of New England Revolution during MLS action at BMO Field October 22, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
The New England Revolution were unable to finish the season with smiles on their faces as they again conceded a late goal to draw Toronto FC 2-2 at BMO Field this afternoon. The Revs leave behind the worst season in franchise history, setting team records for fewest wins and most goals conceded.
Nick Soolsma got Toronto started early before the Revs took the lead with goals from Monsef Zerka and Milton Caraglio. It looked as though they might hang on for the win, but Danny Koevermans scored his eighth goal in ten league games to save face for the Reds and send New England home winless in their last six matches.
New England opened the action in Toronto with an early flurry of long-range chances. Milton Caraglio tried his luck from 25 yards out with a low shot that Kocic parried away. A minute later, Ryan Guy let one fly from 30 yards that was deflected on the way in by Julian de Guzman before Milos Kocic smothered it. Monsef Zerka then played Caraglio in down the left channel in the eight minute, but Caraglio's long shot from the corner of the box blazed over the bar.
Caraglio attempted a very speculative overhead kick from 20 yards that Kocic saved rather easily in the 10th minute. Five minutes later, Danny Koevermans made an excellent turn in the box and had an effort, but it was deflected and ran wide of the far post.
As has happened to the Revs so often this season, they then conceded a goal against the run of play. A simple long ball over the top found Koevermans on the left side of the box, and the Dutchman trapped it and cut inside before laying it off laterally to Nick Soolsma, who darted in front of Darrius Barnes at the near post and touched the ball into the net in the 20th minute to give the home side the advantage.
Soolsma almost doubled the tally in the 23rd minute when he was played into the box and struck a sweet one-time half-volley, but Bobby Shuttleworth was up to the task and parried it away. The Reds attack took a blow in the 28th minute, though, when Ryan Johnson was forced off with an apparent leg injury, to be replaced by Eric Avila.
The game started to bog down in midfield without any real quality chances. Franco Coria tried a long ball over the top that drifted toward goal, but Kocic caught it easily. Caraglio also had an effort from the top of the box in the 40th that was deflected away.
Then the Revolution made their breakthrough. On the ensuing corner from Caraglio's deflected shot, Benny Feilhaber played in a driven corner that Zerka met at the near post with his head, knocking it easily past Kocic for the equalizing goal.
Toronto had the last chance of the half, but Shuttleworth was able to save Koevermans' redirect off an Ashtone Morgan cross.
New England came out strong in the second half and took the lead almost immediately. Benny Feilhaber pressured Torsten Frings into a giveaway that went to Rajko Lekic, who laid it off to Feilhaber. The USA international dribbled into the box before playing a low cross to the far post that was met and steered home by a sliding Caraglio.
Not much else happened for some time after that until Toronto nearly tied things up in the 65th minute. Andy Iro passed to Joao Plata on the left, who slipped it inside but his cross was deflected. The ball squirted out to Matt Stinson, whose shot was going wide until it reached Koevermans. The Dutchman deflected it on frame, but it was easily gathered by Shuttleworth.
Zerka nearly scored two minutes later with a wickedly curving and bending half-volley from outside the area, but Kocic managed to parry it away. The Moroccan nearly scored again three minutes later. Guy took the ball off a Toronto player and left it for Shalrie Joseph, whose pass found Kevin Alston. The fullback flicked it wide for Zerka, who rushed into the box and ripped a shot on frame that Kocic managed to knock aside.
Then, like the Revs have been wont to do all year, a goal was conceded late. A cross from the left was flicked on in the box by substitute Gianluca Zavarise and Koevermans, all alone at the far post, needed only to tap it into the net to bring the score level at 2-2.
New England poured on the pressure at the end, but no real chances were created for either side. The season ended with one last bit of heartache for the Revs as Chris Tierney was sent off for a second yellow card in the final minute of stoppage time, putting the final touches on a season to forget in Foxboro.