New England's Home Opener Against Montreal Ends in Goalless Draw
Both the Montreal Impact and the New England Revolution were looking for their first win in MLS action on Saturday. Both teams will have to wait, as the match ended in a 0-0 draw.
The Impact came to chilly Gillette Stadium on Saturday feeling confident following their big mid-week CCL win over Alajuelense, and the Revolution were looking to put on a show in their home opener. Neither team had their best performance.
The Revolution had most of the possession throughout the game, though much of the first half was up in the air and devoid of many scoring opportunities for either side. It was characterized by chippy play and stoppages, most notably due to Montreal striker Cameron Porter, who was taken off the field in the 18th minute due to a gruesome leg injury.
In the 61st minute, luck began to go the Revolution’s way when the Impact’s right back Hassoun Camara dragged Juan Agudelo down by his jersey and was sent off following his second yellow card. The Revolution dominated possession due to their man advantage, but still couldn’t muster the ever-elusive first goal of the season.
The Revs created chance after chance in front of the Impact’s goal, but forwards Juan Agudelo and Charlie Davies could not seem to put the ball into the back of the net.
The only legitimate attempt on goal was a long effort from Lee Nguyen in the 69th minute, causing Montreal keeper Evan Bush to dive, punching the ball out. The Impact’s defense was superb against New England’s onslaught, with particularly good play from center back Laurent Ciman, who managed to clear the ball off the line multiple times.
The bright spot from New England’s game was the play of midfielders Daigo Kobayashi and Scott Caldwell, who both started shakily but finished the match with excellent link-up play and ball-winning in the middle of the pitch. Defenders Darrius Barnes and Jeremy Hall (filling in for the injured Kevin Alston and suspended Jose Gonçalves) performed admirably in defense, which was the main area of concern going into the match.
The Revolution sorely miss recovering defensive midfielder Jermaine Jones, who will be returning soon. In the meantime, a goal has to come from somewhere, as Agudelo and Diego Fagundez continue to turn in subpar performances.
The Revs will look to get their first win (or first goal) next Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes.