A match that was billed as a grudge match and a rumble between two conference favorites turned into an ugly and disjointed mess as the New England Revolution and Columbus Crew stuttered to a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Heavy winds impacted the game and contributed to the general sloppy play.
Jermaine Jones made his 2015 debut, starting the match and going 45 minutes before Andy Dorman replaced him at the half. Diego Fagundez also got his first game since the draw against Montreal on March 21st.
The first 20 minutes of the match were played in midfield, with Columbus dominating possession but neither team doing much. Jones created the most exciting moment of that stretch when he swiped in late on Tony Tchani in the 12th minute and earned himself a yellow card.
Several almost-chances and half-snatches at the ball made up the majority of the scoring opportunities in that early part of the first half. New England had their best chance - and perhaps the best of the match overall - in the 36th minute when Juan Agudelo used his strength to hold up the ball in the left channel and then dink it to Lee Nguyen in the box, but Steve Clark was equal to Nguyen's attempt to flick toward the far post.
Dorman's introduction in the second half left the Revs with less urgency, but perhaps more balance through the midfield. Still, it took nearly 20 minutes once again for something significant to occur.
Tony Tchani cut Nguyen down near the top of the box to set up a free kick opportunity. Several minutes later, Nguyen fired the set piece on target, but it was right to Clark, who covered his rebound.
Columbus' best chance of the night came in second-half stoppage time. Justin Meram clipped a ball over the top for Aaron Schoenfeld, but the big striker couldn't quite control it before Bobby Shuttleworth scooped it up.
The Revolution will be back in action next Sunday in Philadelphia against the Union.