Revolution Stave Off Toronto FC In 1-1 Draw
Big-spending and underachieving Toronto FC came to Gillette Stadium on Saturday to face a surging New England Revolution team in an Eastern Conference clash, and fans of both teams left frustrated as the clubs played out to a 1-1 draw.
The exciting TFC frontline of Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, and Sebastian Giovinco drew a crowd of more than 24,000 to the match in New England. The trio delivered in the early stages, testing the Revs’ defense. Jose Gonçalves finally returned to his regular position at center back alongside Andrew Farrell as Jermaine Jones pushed back up into his regular holding midfield role.
Things were looking up early for New England as U.S. Soccer standout Altidore was substituted off in the 20th minute due to a hamstring injury. Twelve minutes later, forward Juan Agudelo found the back of the net, heading a cross from defender London Woodberry from close range to make the score 1-0.
Italian star Giovinco and captain Bradley kept TFC in the game as they continually tested the New England defense. In the 56th minute, Bradley broke through and scored a stunning goal after carving his way through the entire Revolution defensive half of the field. Giovinco applied the pressure in the second half, but Gonçalves and Farrell were up to the task as the score finished at 1-1. The defense played admirably, in no small part due to Gonçalves’ return and Farrell’s continuing acclimation to the position.
New England won the statistical game, as the produced more shots on net (8 to TFC’s 7) and corner kicks (10 to 1) while maintaining the possession for 59% of the match. That being said, Toronto’s attempts were excellent and the Revs were lucky to have taken a draw from this match.
The emergence of London Woodberry’s play in the final third has added a new dimension to New England’s attack: with Chris Tierney at left back and Woodberry on the right, the Revs now have excellent crossing into the box from either side of the field.
The team will look to exploit this advantage and continue to exhibit strong defensive play going forward, especially on Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City.