August 24, 2016
Revs have their chances but settle for scoreless draw against San Jose
SAN JOSE--A scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes earned the New England Revolution a point on the road Wednesday night but left the Revs in eighth place in the East with just eight games remaining on the regular season calendar.
The outcome broke a four-game losing streak for the Revs (6-11-9, 27 points) but extended their scoreless stretch to 272 minutes as chances to redeem a slack season dwindle. Like the Revolution, the seventh-place Quakes (7-7-11, 32 points) were unable to seize the moment and move into the playoff picture.
After four straight league losses in which opponents outscored the Revs 13-2, and coming off a disastrous two-game homestand marked by consecutive shutout defeats at the hands of conference rivals, New England Head Coach Jay Heaps shook up the underperforming lineup as the red-clad Revs arrived on the far coast for their first game at Avaya Stadium and their last away game of the season against Western opposition.
Brad Knighton replaced Bobby Shuttleworth in goal, Andrew Farrell paired with Je-Vaughn Watson in central defense with DP Jose Goncalves nursing a hamstring injury, Kelyn Rowe started at right back for the second time this season, Diego Fagundez entered the midfield in his 100th career start, and Juan Agudelo made his first start since May 28th, pairing with Kei Kamara up top as Heaps shifted to what he hoped would be an attack-minded 4-4-2.
After a sluggish opening twenty minutes Quakes midfielder Simon Dawkins delivered a chance on a platter for Chris Wondolowski with a crisp cross to the top of the six-yard box, but the two-time Golden Boot winner directed his open header wide of the post as the best opportunity of the opening frame went wanting.
The hosts escaped with an intact eleven a few minutes later when Anibal Godoy took out Scott Caldwell with a two-legged challenge and referee Hilario Grajeda only flashed yellow, much to the dismay of an incredulous Kamara.
Former Rev Chad Barrett replaced Quincy Amarikwa in the 34th minute when the Quakes forward was unable to continue after an earlier collision, and the first half ended with neither side putting a shot on target.
Teal Bunbury entered in the 55th minute for Agudelo, who failed to make an impression or combine effectively with Kamara in his longest stint since missing seven games with a knee sprain.
Just shy of the hour mark, the Revs nearly broke through but Kamara was unable to find the back of an open net after collecting a touch pass from Lee Nguyen that split the San Jose central defenders and circling Quake ‘keeper David Bingham, hitting the right post from a short angle and falling to ground with his head in his hands. It was the closest the Revs came to breaking the deadlock.
The game opened up during the final half-hour and Knighton was called on for his first save in the 77th minute, handling a strike from recent Quake acquisition Henok Goitom after the Swedish journeyman tracked down a pass over the top of the New England back line moments after entering for Barrett.
Kamara and Fagundez each tested Bingham as the clock wound down but neither side could break the deadlock.