July 27, the New England Revolution defeated D.C. United 2-1 on the road at RFK Stadium in Washingon, D.C., for a crowd of 14,122. Once again, young Diego Fagundez scored the game-winning goal, his fourth this season.
With the win, the Revolution (8-7-6, 30 pts.) climbed up and into the five-team Eastern Conference playoff bracket and now stand 11th overall in MLS. D.C. United (2-15-4, 10 pts.) remain rooted to the bottom of the league in the 19th spot.
“We came out really flat, kind of like we did at Colorado,” said rookie defender Andrew Farrell. “So, we were a bit nervous. But, you know, we felt like we still had 45 minutes to make up the game, to get a chance to take the plunge. In the second half we came out and reacted well. We got some good players and they showed what they could do tonight.”
Revolution head coach Jay Heaps started center back Stephen McCarthy and stationed Chris Tierney as left back. Fagundez started on the left wing, Lee Nguyen took over in central midfield, and forward Saer Sene returned from injury to start.
Assisted by John Thorrington, Luis Silva put United ahead 1-0 lead in the eighth minute with a long-distance dipping shot that bounced past New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth and into the back of the net.
Heaps replaced defensive midfielder Clyde Simms for rookie Scott Caldwell at the half, as New England continued to struggle to create opportunities. But captain Jose Goncalves sent a ball wide to Tierney, who whipped a cross into the penalty area and Dimitri Imbongo charged forward and stuffed it in the net to equalize 1-1. It was Imbongo’s third goal of the year and all three of his goals came in the last seven matches.
Tierney’s assist was his fourth of the season and his 20th career assist.
Fagundez scored the game-winner unassisted in the 63rd minute and United was unable to come back to earn a point. Imbongo and Sene combined to create a shot, but it ricocheted off the cross bar and Fagundez dove in and headed in the rebound past back-up United goalkeeper Joe Willis. It was Fagundez’s team-leading seventh goal of the season and his 11th career goal. The young forward also leads the Revs with 16 shots on goal.
Right back Kevin Alston, who missed the last four months while in treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), returned to the field for the first time since March 30 and played the final 10 minutes.
“I thought [Alston] did great,” said Heaps. “He’s exactly what we needed—a shot of energy. He’s been great all week in training and up to this point in two weeks of training. He’s been itching to get on the field and you could see when he came on he was like a shot out of a cannon.”
The Revolution return to action on Sunday, August 4, when they host Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast on TV by Comcast SportsNet and on the radio by 98.5 The Sports Hub.
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DC – Luis Silva (John Thorrington) 8
NE – Dimitry Imbongo (Chris Tierney) 55
NE – Diego Fagundez (unassisted) 63
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves ©, Stephen McCarthy, Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez (Chad Barrett 70), Lee Nguyen, Clyde Simms (Scott Caldwell 46), Kelyn Rowe, Saer Sene, Dimitry Imbongo (Kevin Alston 84)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Reis, Juan Toja, Andy Dorman, Darrius Barnes
STATS: Shots 8, Shots on Target 5, Corner Kicks 0, Saves 2, Fouls 14, Offsides 0, Passes
363 (78.0%), Possession 46.4Z%
D.C. United: Joe Willis, Taylor Kemp, Daniel Woolard, Dejan Jakovic, James Riley, Nick DeLeon, Jared Jeffrey (Lionard Pajoy 79), John Thorrington ©, Kyle Porter (Sainey Nyassi 59), Conor Doyle (Dwayne De Rosario 66), Luis Silva
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Dykstra, , Ethan White, Conor Shanosky, Chris Korb
STATS: Shots 14, Shots on Target 3, Corner Kicks 5, Saves 3, Fouls 14, Offsides 0, Passes 420 (77.9%), Possession 53.6%
DC – Jared Jeffrey (caution) 35
Referee: David Gantar
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski (AR1), Greg Barkey (AR2)
Fourth Official: Chris Penso