During the New England Revolution's eight-game losing streak, they had done two things consistently. Lose, and give up the first goal of the match. Against the Colorado Rapids tonight, they reversed both.
Drew Moor deflected in a Lee Nguyen shot in the 10th minute to open the scoring and the Revs finished strong en route to a 3-0 win over a 10-man Rapids squad from Gillette Stadium.
Lee Nguyen had one goals (possibly two) and an assist and Kelyn Rowe scored his first MLS goal of the year as the Revs played their best and most complete in recent memory.
One of the best ways to reverse bad form is with a little luck, and the Revs got that very early on. Following a Kevin Alston throw in to Charlie Davies, the Revs striker played a nifty, one-touch flick-on to Nguyen who patiently held on before firing a shot low to the near post. Rapids defender Drew Moor attempted to clear the ball but could only redirect the ball for an own goal, although it was initially ruled a goal for Nguyen before being changed later in the match. The assist would have been Davies' first point as a Revolution player (and we're hoping MLS changes the goal back).
The Revolution almost doubled their leading going into halftime, when Jose Goncalves created a turnover on the left sideline and then sent in a cross to the backpost. Diego Fagundez settled the ball, cut in past his defender and unleashed a toe poke from about twelve yards that went just over the bar. Kelyn Rowe would try a curling effort to the bar post minutes later but his shot was wide of Rapids keeper Clint Irwin's net.
In the second half, the Revs started strong, with Davies and Rowe both testing Irwin. But Colorado's best chance came in the 69th minute, when substitute Dillon Serna sent in a cross from the left wing. Edson Buddle one-timed a pass to Dillon Powers who unleashed a low shot that forced Bobby Shuttleworth into action. Revs captain Jose Goncalves cleared the dangerous rebound and the Revs went back on the attack.
In the 74th minute, Rapids right back Thomas Piermayr fouled Revs substitute Steve Neumann with a forearm to the back and referee Juan Guzman issued him his second yellow of the match and subsequent red card. Piermayr was cautioned in the first half for an off-the-ball foul on Kelyn Rowe and Irwin was cautioned for dissent for arguing Perimayr's red.
The subsequent free kick was taken by Lee Nguyen, who wrongfooted Clint Irwin and curled the free kick into the side netting to give the Revs a 2-0 advantage. Minutes later, Nguyen would find Rowe in the center of the box and Rowe buried the chance to give the Revs their third goal and sealed the first three points for the Revs since late May.
Colorado's attack was stymied all night, with the Rapids being flagged offside a total of six times with Gabriel Torres being caught five times on his own. The Rapids managed only 8 total shots and just three on goal, most were from outside the area or blocked compared to the 15 total shots and 7 on target for the Revs.
For the Revs, this was a complete performance that they desperately needed going into the summer and a schedule dominated with home games. Lee Nguyen guided the Revs offense back to it's full potential that was on full display during an earlier five-game winning streak. Jose Goncalves and the defense were impressive throughout despite a few hiccups. And the Revs got a fortunate bounce early off of Drew Moor to open the scoring.
The Revolution next play at the New York Red Bulls this Saturday, August 2nd.