The New England Revolution didn’t wait until the season finale to make history, as the club set the MLS record for most points in a season with a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids. Tajon Buchanan’s 75th-minute goal was all that was needed to give New England its 22nd victory.
After starting a heavily-rotated lineup days before in Orlando, Bruce Arena elected to play his projected playoff starting lineup, looking to see how his team would fare against one of the top teams in the Western Conference. The feeling wasn’t mutual, as Colorado rested a number of key players, including forward (and leading scorer) Michael Barrios, midfielders Jack Price and Mark-Anthony Kaye, and defender Danny Wilson
Despite the depleted lineup, the visiting Rapids played physically and conceded very little early. The biggest chance from the opening half came from the Rapids’ only shot on target in the first 45. In the 34th minute, Cole Bassett curled a far post shot to Matt Turner’s left, but Turner made his best save of the night, diving to his left.
The Revolution’s offensive motor started to pick up steam in the 57th minute when Buchanan got tangled up with a Colorado defender. Referee Victor Rivas rightfully ruled no call despite the appeals from Buchanan and the home crowd. Minutes later, Buchanan had a powerful low strike from the right side of the box, but Colorado keeper William Yarbrough saved the near-post shot and pushed it out for a corner.
Similar to the Revolution’s strategy in Orlando this past weekend, Colorado brought on the big guns in the second half with Price and Kaye entering the game as super-subs in the 58th minute. Barrios wasn’t far behind, as he entered the game for Diego Rubio in the 69th minute.
Even with Colorado’s fresh legs, the Revolution continued to pile on the pressure. The Revolution again failed to receive a penalty kick as defender Drew Moor appeared to grab a handful of Adam Buksa’s jersey as both men went up for a Carles Gil cross in the box. The ensuing corner kick would fall to Henry Kessler within the six-yard box, who instinctively fired the shot on frame, but was denied by an incredible leg save by Yarbrough.
Finally, in the 75th minute, Buchanan broke through with the first goal of the match, erasing all of the frustrations from the home side. Buksa floated a cross through the box, which was intended for Gustavo Bou who collided with a Rapids defender. After Buchanan collected the loose ball at the top of the box, he worked his way around midfielder Lucas Esteves and fired from a narrow angle and into the low far corner of the goal.
Following the goal, Colorado brought in Dominique Badji and Braian Galvan into the game, focusing on a more offensive mindset. After Galvan forced a routine save from Turner in the 78th minute, he created another chance in the 83rd minute with a backheel pass to an open Barrios in the left side of the box. However, Turner was property positioned for the low near-post shot and kept Colorado off the board.
The Revolution nearly doubled their lead in the 86th minute, as Turner quickly started a counter-attack after catching a Colorado corner kick. Turner threw the ball to Buksa who connected on a long pass to Bou streaking down the right wing. Despite numbers against a Rapids team that was caught pushing forward, Bou failed to cross the ball when he got to the box and, after being dispossessed momentarily, Bou chipped the ball to Buksa who could only head the ball over the bar.
With the victory, the New England Revolution have set the MLS record for most points in a season with 73, breaking the prior record of 72 held by LAFC. The Revolution also tied a team record for home wins in a season with 12, matching the 2017 Revolution team.
It was also a night for individual achievements, as Arena tied Sigi Schmid with 240 MLS regular-season victories, the most all-time for any head coach. Additionally, Gil strengthened his MVP case as he broke the MLS record for most chances created, surpassing the prior record of 124 by Diego Valeri in 2018.
The Revolution now wait ten days until their next game, when they host Inter Miami in the season finale on November 7th at 3:30 PM ET.