FOXBORO, MA - JUNE 30: Diego Fagundez #14 of the New England Revolution celebrates his game-tying goal with goalie Matt Reis #1 Shalrie Joseph #21 and Darrius Barnes #25 against the Seattle Sounders FC at Gillette Stadium on June 30, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Not unlike last weekend in Toronto, tonight against the Seattle Sounders the Revs managed to claw their way back in the dying minutes and save a precious point. This time it was Diego Fagundez playing the hero, who managed a last second header (of all things) in the 4th minute of stoppage time to earn the draw.
But, most of tonight was playing catch-up for the Revs, who, despite their impressive opening to the game on the back of a tactical shift by Jay Heaps, surrendered two goals to Eddie Johnson in the first half to spoil their early lead. "I thought we could have had two or three goals in the first couple minutes," said Heaps. "And then we made two mistakes and they scored two goals and the rest of the game was trying to get back in it."
The Revolution did indeed have a few chances in the first half, including two pretty wide open chances for Saer Sene and Clyde Simms, but both were sent sailing over the cross bar. It wasn't until the 12th minute, however, that the Revolution were finally able to bag one. Blake Brettschneider was played into the right side of the box and did very well to keep the ball at his feet, giving himself the chance to scoot it towards net for an awaiting Sene who easily put it away, though replay showed the Frenchman to be off-side.
Eddie Johnson would soon spoil the Revs' party, however, as he netted a brace-both headers-in the ensuing 20 or so minutes. Johnson was a nuisance to the Revolution back-line all night, and frustrations were clear by the end of the match, particularly after Stephen McCarthy's beautiful tackle in the box to stop the former US International from potentially tallying himself a hat-trick.
The Revs were forced to throw everything at Seattle by the end, subbing in playmakers Kelyn Rowe, Fernando Cardenas, and Diego Fagundez in the hopes that at least one would provide a spark (Fagundez was even subbed in for Florian Lechner, moving the Revs to a 3-man back-line). It did end up being Fagundez who provided that desired spark, scoring a goal off of a Cardenas cross into the box with the very last moment of action in the game. "When you're losing," Fagundez said, "the first thing you think is ‘let's go forward and let's try scoring.' So, going in in the 81st minute, I was thinking ‘we need to score.' So, I just gave it all I had."
Although the Revs were able to salvage a point tonight, they will surely still be a bit disappointed still to not have nabbed the full three. "I think we all kind of feel like we could have had three points today," said Benny Feilhaber. "We played well enough to get three points, and being at home, getting the one goal lead, it's a little disappointing going into halftime down 2-1. Nevertheless... we fight ‘til the end and it showed, and the last couple games we've been rewarded. Hopefully we can learn from this and when we have the opportunity to take three points we do it. This kind of fighting, this kind of resilience is really going to help us down the road."
The road for the Revs includes two home games on tap, the first against the New York Red Bulls next Sunday. With plenty to think about and plenty to work on in the training this week, Jay Heaps and his squad will be looking to seal away a full three points against their Eastern Conference rivals and prove that they are still a force to be reckoned with in the race for a playoff spot.