TORONTO – Shalrie Joseph returned to the New England Revolution’s lineup for the first time since mid-April, but Chad Barrett spoiled the afternoon by scoring the only goal of the game in the 53rd minute, handing Toronto FC a 1-0 win over the Revs on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field.
The loss extended the Revolution’s (2-6-2, 8 pts.) winless streak to seven games (0-5-2), as the club hasn’t won since claiming a 4-1 victory over TFC on April 10 – Joseph’s only previous appearance this season prior to Saturday. Toronto (4-4-1, 13 pts.) continued its dominance at home, improving to a perfect 4-0-0 at BMO Field.
Although the Revs are unbeaten against Toronto at Gillette Stadium, they’ve never won at BMO Field, going 0-2-2 in four visits.
Barrett’s goal arrived shortly after halftime as the Revs once again fell victim to a defensive lapse on a set piece. Sam Cronin whipped in a corner kick from the left side, and Barrett rose above his man to power home a header from six yards out.
The Revs pushed hard for an equalizer and outshot TFC by an 8-2 margin in the second half, but they directed just two of those shots on target. Barrett’s goal was Toronto’s only shot on goal of the second half.
Revs head coach Steve Nicol opted to stick with a 4-5-1 formation for the fourth straight match, but with one notable change in personnel from last weekend’s scoreless draw with San Jose. Joseph took up his normal position in central midfield, immediately slotting back into the starting lineup and wearing the captain’s armband after missing five regular-season matches while on a leave of absence for personal reasons. That pushed Chris Tierney to left back, while Seth Sinovic took up a spot on the bench for the first time this season.
While the Revs welcomed Joseph back into the fold, Toronto FC was missing two of its most influential players in Dwayne De Rosario and Julian de Guzman. De Rosario is currently with the Canada National Team preparing for Monday’s international friendly against Argentina, while de Guzman was unable to recover from a left hamstring strain.
Despite missing its most potent attacking threat in De Rosario, TFC created a golden chance to take the lead in the first minute of the game. Barrett beat New England’s offside trap and broke in alone on goal from 40 yards out, but Revs goalkeeper Preston Burpo charged off his line and used his left arm to make a critical save.
New England returned the pressure and twice came close to finding the opener in a three-minute span. In the eighth minute, a scramble in the box ended with Sainey Nyassi’s driven cross being cleared off the line. Three minutes later, Marko Perovic delivered a perfect cross from the left wing and Kheli Dube made solid contact on a first-time volley, but TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei was well-positioned and the shot struck him in the face before going out for a corner kick.
The sides continued going back and forth, with Toronto threatening in the 15th minute only to see Barrett’s close-range attempt skied over the bar.
The hectic pace slowed down considerably following the early barrage of chances, and although both teams made the occasional foray into the attacking third, the game went into halftime scoreless.
It didn’t stay scoreless for long following the halftime break, however, as TFC capitalized on a 53rd-minute corner kick. Cronin’s service found Barrett, who made no mistake with a powerful header.
In need of an equalizer, the Revs made a pair of substitutions and altered their formation in the 65th minute. Dube and Zak Boggs were replaced by Zack Schilawski and Kenny Mansally, with the two substitutes taking up the forward roles and Perovic sliding to left midfield as the Revolution went to a 4-4-2 setup.
TFC almost doubled its lead in the 72nd minute when Barrett again found himself in alone on Burpo, but the former Chicago Fire forward’s attempted chip lofted harmlessly over the bar.
New England’s best chance to equalize came in the 82nd minute when Joseph got on the end of Perovic’s corner kick, but he didn’t make solid contact with his header and the ball skipped wide of the left post.
The Revs will close out one of the busiest months in club history on Saturday, May 29, when they welcome the New York Red Bulls to Gillette Stadium for an 8 p.m. kickoff. With seven days between their matches against Toronto and New York, it will be the longest stretch between games for the Revs since playing Colorado (April 24) and FC Dallas (May 1) one week apart.
New England Revolution (2-6-2, 8 pts..) at Toronto FC (4-4-1, 13 pts.) May 22, 2010 – BMO Field (Toronto, ON.)
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry, Steven Taylor
Fourth Official: Carol-Anne Chenard
Weather: Rain and 58 degrees
Attendance: 20, 672
The loss drops New England’s all-time record against Toronto to 4-2-3, and is the club’s second consecutive loss at BMO Field … the Revs are now 0-2-2 at BMO Field since TFC entered the league in 2007.
Shalrie Joseph returned to the Revs lineup after missing six straight regular-season contests … Joseph has now played two games in 2010, both against TFC.
Cory Gibbs relinquished the captain’s arm band for only the second time this season, both times to Shalrie Joseph … Chris Tierney has also skippered the club twice this season, during both of the Revs non-MLS matches.
The Revolution started the game in a 4-5-1 formation for the fourth straight match.
When Kenny Mansally and Zack Schilawski came on in the 65th minute, the Revs switched to a 4-4-2 … Mansally and Schilawski moved up to forward and Marko Perovi? shifted to left midfield.
The Revolution went scoreless for its second straight game, and have not netted a goal since the 40th minute of the May 8 match at Columbus … New England has now gone 230 straight minutes in MLS play without scoring a goal.
New England became the fourth team to lose at BMO Field this season … TFC has won all four of its matches at home this season.
Seth Sinovic did not see the field for the first time this season, leaving only Cory Gibbs and Preston Burpo as the only Revs who have played every game so far in 2010.