The Jermaine Jones era has officially begun for the New England Revolution. The club's marquee Designated Player made his first appearance on Saturday night, entering as a second-half substitute in the Revs' 3-0 win over Toronto FEC in Canada. The win has given the Revs their first league winning streak since May.
Though Jones was the big name on everyone's lips, he wasn't the star of the night. Lee Nguyen put on a clinic in midfield, scoring the first goal, complemented later with goals from Kelyn Rowe and Teal Bunbury. The Revs repeatedly capitalized on Toronto's mistakes and punished the Reds on the break.
New England jumped out to an early lead in just the second minute thanks to a critical error from TFC. Nguyen hopped on an errant pass and, with the defense backing off of him, reached the top of the box and fired far post past Joe Bendik.
Rowe's goal came in the 20th minute and in similar fashion. Rowe collected a bad pass in midfield and, after working some space with Nguyen, found himself all alone about 25 yards from goal. Never shy about taking a shot, Rowe fired and tucked it inside the far post with a blast.
Toronto had absolutely no answer for this onslaught. They had a couple of opportunities late in the first half but nothing that overly worried Bobby Shuttleworth. New England, meanwhile, passed at will and seemed content to wait for Toronto to screw up.
If anyone was fearful of the sort of second-half meltdown that the Revs were becoming known for, those fears were put to rest in the 58th minute. Again seizing on a TFC mistake, Rowe slipped a pass into Charlie Davies in the box on the break. Davies drew Bendik off his line and then sent the ball laterally across the face of goal, where Bunbury was lurking. The winger buried the ball from close range on an empty net to make it a three-goal lead.
Jones got his first action in a Revs jersey when he was brought on in the 65th minute. The midfielder was clearly rusty, but showcased his silky touch and his excellent motor in his 25 minutes. With Jones on the pitch, the Revs were able to close out the match, maintaining the shutout and the three-goal lead.
New England will be in action again on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium against Kansas City.