The New England Revolution welcomed FC Dallas to Gillette Stadium on Saturday night, hoping to build on the momentum of a 2-0 win over Chicago last week. It wasn't to be, as one of the West's top sides came to Foxborough and put the Revs to the sword, winning 4-2.
New England really did play a very good game in the first half and in the first portion of the second, and were a little unlucky not to be ahead. Juan Agudelo and Lee Nguyen worked to cancel out Tesho Akindele's opener, and at times looked likely to pull off the win. But Atiba Harris, Fabian Castillo, and Akindele again conspired to dash those hopes and leave the Revs disappointed to drop some valuable points.
Dallas got out the gate quickly, earning a penalty in the second minute and putting the home side immediately behind the eight ball. A long ball over the top found Michael Barrios splitting the gap between Andrew Farrell and Chris Tierney, and Bobby Shuttleworth was too late to intercept, cleaning out Barrios in the box. The call was pretty clear-cut, and Tesho Akindele buried the spot-kick for a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute, but at a cost: just a few minutes later, Barrios had to be replaced by Kellyn Acosta.
New England didn't let the goal get them down, and as time wore on, they tightened their grip on the play and were rewarded in the 23rd minute. Lee Nguyen put in an excellent free-kick delivery and found the head of Juan Agudelo, who powered it past Chris Seitz to bring the match even.
The Revs would take the lead just two minutes after that. In a scrum following a 25th-minute corner, Victor Ulloa's raised boot caught Nguyen in the box, and the lethal midfielder converted from the spot a minute later to give his side the advantage.
Unfortunately, New England's difficulty defending crosses came back to haunt them in the 36th. Kellyn Acosta's driven corner was headed home at the near post by Atiba Harris, who eluded Samba's marking and rose above Scott Caldwell. Bobby Shuttleworth got a hand to it, but it wasn't enough.
The second half looked like it was going to belong to the Revs as they created the lion's share of the chances and appeared to have Dallas pinned back, but yet it was the visitors who took the lead. Samba's whiffed clearance let Fabian Castillo in behind one-on-one with Shuttleworth, and the Colombian speed merchant did not miss. The play was one that Samba will want to put behind him quickly, as he completely missed the ball when attempting to clear.
Dallas then put it away in the 90th minute. Tesho Akindele took down a goal kick and just a couple of passes later, received a slipped feed from Acosta and side-footed past Shuttleworth to make it 4-2.
There were moments in the match where the Revs looked particularly good, and for a while, their offense was clicking. Nguyen caught the woodwork early on a shot from distance, and Kei Kamara forced saves in the 21st and 89th minutes, the former a header from a Chris Tierney cross, which is the connection that has had Revolution fans salivating since Kamara joined the squad.
By the end of the match, though, that service dried up, and Kamara looked starved for involvement. His 89th minute shot on goal was actually a long-distance shot, and while he's certainly dangerous from that distance, those aren't the chances the Revs will want to see him take.
Not that it mattered that much, anyway. The Revs' defense was simply not good enough on the day, and as Tierney noted on the CSN postgame show, they gifted Dallas three of their four goals on the night.
New England is back in action next Saturday against Seattle at Gillette Stadium.