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NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

May 28, 2016
CHANGE PAYS OFF
Three minutes in Hollinger-Janzen scores for Revs

By Frank Dell'Apa
Soccer News Net Contributing Editor

FOXBOROUGH -- Femi Hollinger-Janzen scored the deciding goal in the 80th minute as the New England Revolution took a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders before a 21,456 crowd Saturday night.

The Revolution (3-4-7, 16 points) found a winning combination by adjusting the back line and midfield, and energizing the attack with second-half substitutions.

Seattle (4-7-1, 13 points) took the lead as Aaron Kovar controlled a Bobby Shuttleworth punch off a Joevin Jones cross in the seventh minute. Kovar outmaneuvered Chris Tierney and fired past Shuttleworth from near the edge of the penalty area.

Lee Nguyen tied the score with a 24th-minute penalty kick, his 13th successive penalty, breaking Shalrie Joseph’s Revolution record of 12 career PKs. The play was set up as Zach Scott cleared Andrew Farrell’s low cross, the ball hitting Erik Friberg, referee Fotis Bazakos awarding the penalty.

Brad Evans departed after taking a Kei Kamara left-foot half volley in the face, following a quick Diego Fagundez throw-in, Tony Alfaro making his MLS debut as a 41st-minute replacement.

Seattle, also playing without Clint Dempsey, who was with the U.S. national team, strikers Herculez Gomez and Jordan Morris neutralized by the Revolution central defense, Jose Gonçalves returning to a starting role after missing two games with injury and pairing with London Woodberry. Farrell made his first start at right back since 2014, replacing Je-Vaughn Watson (Jamaica national team), and Tierney went the full game at left back for the first time since April 17.

Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe helped steady the midfield, along with Scott Caldwell, with Gershon Koffie (leg) unavailable.

"I think we’ve obviously had some issues at times with injuries, with trying to find the right back line," Heaps said. "The idea was that we knew Farrell, he’s such a good right back and we thought, well, do we want to get him in his most comfortable spot. And London played a lot of center back in college, as well, and he’s athletic and I thought London and Jose had a great partnership, and it was really well controlled by Chris on the left and Farrell on the right. So, we were happy that we were able to work on that all week. It was an idea that we had been talking about for a little while and finally it came the right time to do it.”

The Revolution upped the attacking tempo in the second half. Nguyen stripped Osvaldo Alonso just outside the penalty area, setting up a Kamara cross, but Fagundez was unable to finish in the 63rd minute. In the 66th minute, substitute Teal Bunbury volleyed wide after Kamara headed on.

Seattle threatened as Friberg fired wide left in the 74th minute. Farrell advanced on the right of the penalty area in the 75th minute, his low cross cleared as substitute Daigo Kobayashi broke in on goal. Bunbury headed wide off a Tierney cross a minute later.

Hollinger-Janzen scored three minutes after replacing Rowe, slipping to a knee before recovering, then taking a touch and finishing low to the right side of the goal past Stefan Frei for his second goal of the season.

“Initially, I didn’t see it go in and then I saw guys cheering and knew it was in then," Hollinger-Janzen said. "I saw the space in front of me and the goal is in front of me, so I just hit it.”

Morris missed wide left off a Darwin Jones-Joevin Jones combination in the 84th minute, and Nguyen had a point-blank drive stopped by Frei in the 89th minute.

“Just so excited that he was able to get in there and do what we see every day," Heaps said of Hollinger-Janzen. "He brings so much energy. He’s a goal-scorer when he gets the opportunity. We felt like Teal came in and added a great spark and then as the half went on we wanted one more one more level of spark and I really thought Femi brought it.

"I think in his mind he’s thinking, ‘I can score at any moment,’ because he’s a goal-scorer. I think guys are keying on our other guys and he’s able to come in and think to score. I think that’s what you really want from a guy, especially a young player out of Indiana, and I think that was a striker’s mentality. I’m outside the '18,' I’m close enough, he was probably on the ground, saw the line and he just let it fly and the goalie was screened and great goal.”

   
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