September 29, the Houston Dynamo shut out the New England Revolution 2-0, their fifth consecutive road loss, for a crowd of 22,039 in the club’s first-ever visit to BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.
New England (7-16-8, 29 pts), who have been eliminated from playoff contention, fell to third-worst in MLS. Houston (13-8-10, 49 pts) are still battling for one of the four remaining Eastern Conference playoff spots, but are only one point better than Columbus Crew. The results brought the Revolution’s season loss total to 16, equaling the team’s 2011 loss total and leaving the gloomy potential for an even worse 2012 record. It was also New England’s 11th shut-out, tying the club record (2010) for most times shut out in a season.
“I think we felt the heat a little bit. It’s a different climate for sure,” said defender Stephen McCarthy.
“It’s tough to handle because you see some balls that you know you could get to if you weren’t feeling so drained. We tried to keep it in front of us the first half and we did pretty well. It was two fast break situations, which is tough when you are fatigued.”
More injuries, more line-up changes
Star midfielder Lee Nguyen is out for the rest of the season with shoulder surgery, scheduled now so he’ll be ready to start the 2013 season – or for a trade to a more promising team. Saer Sene is also sidelined for the season with surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee. Chris Tierney was out with injury and midfielder Ryan Guy was away earning his first-ever cap for the Guam national team. Matt Reis watched the lackluster game from the bench, while back-up goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth got his second consecutive start, fourth overall (1-2-1) on the season.
Benny Feilhaber and Fernando Cardenas returned to the Revolution’s starting lineup for the first time since September 1 as one of four changes to last week’s squad, which changed from the week before, etc. Cardenas displayed his strong technical foot work and crafty play, but received little support. Dimitry Imbongo made his third start of the season and largely proved ineffective, bringing little to the game besides a big body.
Ricardo Clark scored the game winner in the 77th minute, assisted by Brad Davis and set up by Brian Ching, who came on as a substitute in the 65th minute. Boniek Garcia, who was everywhere all night long, made it 2-0 in stoppage time, assisted again by Ching and Davis, who tallied his 12th assist this season.
Clyde Simms made a typically solid performance, but most of the Revolution’s play was disconnected and overly physical to compensate for the absence of strategy. Head coach Jay Heaps screamed at the referees throughout the match, particularly inappropriate considering the quality he was putting on the field in the U.S. first division.
“As the game went on, we just wore down a little bit,” said defender A.J. Soares. “They started sending more numbers and by the end they got their two goals.“
The Revolution next head to PPL Park for a meeting with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, October 6.
FOLLOW LE EISENMENGER ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK.
New England Revolution at Houston Dynamo
September 29, 2012 – BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Houston Dynamo 2, New England Revolution 0
HOU – Ricardo Clark (Brad Davis, Brian Ching) 77
HOU – Boniek Garcia (Warren Creavalle) 93+
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Darrius Barnes (Diego Fagundez 83), Fernando Cardenas, Benny Feilhaber, Clyde Simms © (Juan Toja 46), Kelyn Rowe, Dimitry Imbongo (Blake Brettschneider 78), Jerry Bengtson
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Reis, Mike Roach, Blair Gavin, Alec Purdie
STATS: Shots 14, Shots on Target 4, Corner Kicks 4, Saves 5, Fouls 14, Offsides 3, Passes (percentage) 230 (63%), Possession 35.6%
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall, Kofi Sardokie, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe, Brad Davis © (Warren Creavalle 91+), Ricardo Clark, Adam Moffat, Boniek Garcia, Will Bruin (Cam Weaver 74), Calen Carr (Brian Ching 65)
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Luiz Carmargo, Macoumba Kandji, Andre Hainault
STATS: Shots 16, Shots on Target 7, Corner Kicks 9, Saves 4, Fouls 12, Offsides 6, Passes (percentage) 414 (79.7%), Possession 64.4%
NE – Fernando Cardenas (caution) 54
HOU – Bobby Boswell (caution) 60
NE – Dimitry Imbongo (caution) 62
HOU – Will Bruin (caution) 62
NE – Juan Toja (caution) 68
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees:George Gansner, Jonathan Johnson
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo
Weather: Rain and 75 degrees