New England Revolution 4 – 0 Real Salt Lake
There are going to be those who look at this result and rush to point out that injuries (both short and long-term) and suspensions forced Jeff Cassar to field a weakened RSL side at Gillette Stadium, and they are right. However, making it seem as though he was putting out a middle school junior varsity side to play against the Revolution does a disservice to both clubs. Yes, they were missing Jamison Olave, Nick Rimando, and Joao Plata, but the fact remains that they still had USMNT star Kyle Beckerman, US U23 star Luis Gil, and Costa Rican World Cup star Alvaro Saborio among others seasoned veterans upon which to fall back. And the fact also remains that for most of the first half, right up until the first New England goal, RSL had the better of the possession and looked up for the match. It’s also worth noting that substitute goalkeeper Jeff Antinella was SPECTACULAR in the RSL net. Neither he nor Nick Rimando could have saved any of the Revolution goals, and Antinella single-handedly kept this match from ending with a 6-0, 8-0, or maybe worse score line.
As for New England, it took a while- 39 minutes to be exact- for them to get the momentum on their side, but once they did, the attacked in waves, it was fun to watch as a Revolution supporter, but it must have been intimidating as an RSL defender. Once Chris Tierney scored- Cruyff turn to put it on his heretofore “ornamental” right foot before banging it of the inside of Jeff Antinella’s far post- the dogs were off their leashes. Davies, Agudelo, Nguyen, Caldwell, Bunbury, Dorman, Woodbury- basically everyone but central defenders Jermaine Jones and Andrew Farrell and goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth had a crack at goal. In most cases, several cracks. When Agudelo scored at tap in four minutes after Tierney- and only two minutes before halftime- the RSL players visibly wilted. Just to be sure, Charlie Davies headed in another goal five minutes after halftime, and then, after coach Jay Heaps brought on more offensive players- Fagundez, Neumann, and Rowe- to join the attack, midfielder Scott Caldwell scored his first regular season goal.
Finally, keep an eye on Revolution defender London Woodberry- how he’s been out of the league for almost two years is hard to explain.
Ross County F.C. 1 – 2 Partick Thistle F.C.
Yesterday this result made me so angry I couldn’t bring myself to read the accounts of the match, look at the box score, or even review the highlights (below).
I’m feeling a bit better about it today because, when I finally did take a look at the Scottish Premiership table I realized that, at worst, all yesterday did was bring County one match closer to the end of the season while still remaining out of one of the relegation spots. Yes, give other results a win could have vaulted them up the table a few spaces and maybe even to ultimate safety with five matches still to play, but in the end, nothing got worse and I guess that’ll do.
The other two matches that could have altered County’s position in the table, thankfully, went in County’s favor. Hamilton Accies came back from the dead to defeat Motherwell (County’s closest “threat,” though they are now six points adrift of County with five matches to play), and St. Mirren, with nothing to lose and unable to catch County, defeated 9th place Kilmarnock, who County still only trail by a point. St. Mirren won 4-1, which also helps narrow the goal differential between Kilmarnock and County to only four goals, should that matter at some point.
Oh, and Midge scored again, so the 90 minutes wasn’t totally wasted. The high/lowlights:
Until we meet again…