Revs stomp TFC, 4-1 in home opener
FOXBOROUGH, MA – The New England Revolution secured their second consecutive victory of the 2010 season, beating Toronto FC 4-1 in their home opener at Gillette Stadium. The emphatic win was led by rookie forward Zack Schilawski who registered a hat trick in his home debut in only an 11-minute span. He is only the third rookie in MLS history to score three goals in one match in his first season.
The game didn’t start the way the home side intended, with Toronto applying pressure, and eventually breaking through in the 28th minute thanks to Dwayne De Rosario. The Revolution cleared the ball out of their box toward Toronto defender, Nick Garcia, who sent a cross back into the box where De Rosario came in and headed it home.
By now, people should stop questioning the team selection process of Head Coach Steve Nicol (who let us not forget earned his 100th career MLS victory tonight). If Schilawski’s performance wasn’t reason enough, take a look at the play of Seth Sinovic.
Despite only being a rookie, the Revolution’s left back was dealing with the threat of one of MLS’s most experienced and skilled midfielders, Dwayne De Rosario. Almost every time DeRo made a push down that side of the field, Sinovic contained him one-on-one or forced him off the ball. It even led to Preki switching him over to the other side of the field in the second half when things turned the Revs’ way.
Toronto’s goal without a doubt sparked the Revs and made them realize it was time to wake up. Towards the end of the first half Dube had a deflected ball fall to him in the box, which he volleyed, but could only hit the outside of the side netting with. Then, moments before the end of the half, there was a clear call for a handball on the top of Toronto’s box, but the linesman ruled Schilawski offside.
In the second half, New England immediately came out with even more energy and forward push.
In the 47th minute, the Revolution scored the tying goal, through rookie forward Zack Schilawski. Nyassi received the ball wide, and worked a quick one touch give-and-go with Dube. Nyassi raced onto the quick return ball, and had the time and space to whip a ball in across the box. Schilawski drifted in from the far post to tap home his first MLS goal.
Shalrie Joseph told reporters after the game, “It was huge that we got [the goal] so early [in the second half]. They didn’t really want to play and we knew that they scored early and if we were also going to give up an early strike, we were going to keep working at it and it shows what this team is capable of.” That momentum he spoke of was without a doubt built upon.
Only four minutes after scoring his first goal, Schilawski stole the ball from Toronto defender, Nick Garcia, and ran in on goal, coolly slotting the ball near post past the sprawling TFC goalkeeper Frei.
Schilawski obviously impressed his coach. “The second goal is just a great goal” said Nicol, as he addressed the media. “He’s through on the goalie. He’s cool, he’s calm. He rolls it in the side netting. It’s just a fantastic finish and well-taken – all the good things that he has.”
The Revolution continued to increase the pressure applied to the Toronto defense, and the majority of the play was happening in the visiting team’s offensive half. Dube had multiple chances, many worked by the captain Shalrie Joseph. Even Sinovic was getting in on the action, getting a shot off from outside the box.
Then, in the 58th minute, Joseph threaded a perfectly weighted ball from the midfield to Dube who was making a run down towards the right side of the field. Dube one timed the ball across the goalmouth, to Schilawski who easily finished and completed his hat trick.
Wing play was clearly something emphasized by the Revolution in this match. Head Coach Steve Nicol told the press after the game, “I think getting the ball wide was always going to be huge for us.”
In the first half, the majority of the positive offensive push by the Revolution came from the left side, where Sinovic, Tierney, and Schilawski connected well down the field. However, it seemed that in the second half there was more of an emphasis on working down the right flank, as two of Schilawski’s goals were created by wing play on that side by Dube and Nyassi.
In the second half, Toronto rarely troubled the Revs defense, let alone goalkeeper Preston Burpo. They were forced to take long range shots from far outside the box, all of which were easily handled by Burpo.
In the 64th minute, as hard as it may be to believe, Schilawski could have – and arguably should have – made it four goals on the night. Joseph, the Revolution captain, again provided a great ball to the forward who was running in on goal, but unfortunately tripped over the ball just as he should have looked to get the shot off.
In the 66th minute, the Revolution put the game beyond all doubt. Niouky sent a ball through the defense towards a Nyassi run. It looked as if it should have been easily dealt with by the Toronto defender, but he tried a soft backpass towards the Toronto goalie, unaware of the oncoming Nyassi. The Revolution winger ran right through and finished the ball past Stefan Frei who could do nothing to stop it.
After the fourth goal, the Revs made all three of their substitutions, bringing in Marko Perovic, Khano Smith, and Pat Phelan for Kheli Dube, Chris Tierney, and Shalrie Joseph respectively.
Marko Perovic’s talent and skill was immediately on display, as he received the ball in the 71st minute and with his first touch went at and beat the defender, creating space for himself and releasing Khano towards goal.
Even with all the substitutes made, the Revolution continued to dominate play and controlled the majority of the possession. The Revs created a few more chances, and the few efforts Toronto continued to have were relatively tame ones on Burpo’s goal.
The Revolution’s next game is this coming Saturday, April 17th where they will be visiting the San Jose Earthquakes. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET. and will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet
TFC – Dwayne De Rosario (Nick Garcia) 28
NE – Zack Schilawski (Sainey Nyassi, Kheli Dube) 47
NE – Zack Schilawski (unassisted) 51
NE – Zack Schilawski (Kheli Dube, Shalrie Joseph) 58
NE – Sainey Nyassi (unassisted) 66
New England Revolution: Preston Burpo (GK), Cory Gibbs, Emmanuel Osei, Chris Tierney (Khano Smith 71), Seth Sinovic, Sainey Nyassi, Shalrie Joseph © (Pat Phelan 75), Kevin Alston, Joseph, Niouky, Kheli Dube (Marko Perovic 70), Zack Schilawski
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth (GK), Kenny Mansally, Darrius Barnes, Zak Boggs
STATS: Shots: 17; Shots on Goal: 9; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 5; Offside: 6; Fouls Committed: 15
Toronto FC: Stefan Frei (GK), Nana Attakora, Nick Garcia, Raivis Hscanovics (Chad Barrett 58), Dan Gragan, Joseph Nane, Dwayne De Rosario ©, Amadou Sanyang (Julian de Guzman 60), Martin Saric, O’Brian White (Fuad Ibrahim 75), Nick LaBrocca
Substitutes Not Used: Jon Conway (GK), Gabe Gala, Ty Harden, Sam Cronin
STATS: Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 5; Corner Kicks: 2; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 15
TFC – Raivis Hscanovics (caution) 11
TFC – Julian de Guzman (caution) 85
Referee: Alex Prus
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry
Fourth Official: Eric Proctor
Weather: Clear, 55 degrees
Special thanks to Jeff Lemieux and RevolutionSoccer.net for providing quotes and statistics for the game.