FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Three goals in a frantic 11-minute stretch late in the second half propelled the New England Revolution to a convincing 3-1 win over Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
Chris Tierney (70th), Marko Perovic (73rd) and Kheli Dube (81st) were the goal scorers for the Revs (7-12-3, 24 pts.), who snapped a three-game losing streak in the league and a four-game skid in all competitions with the victory. Perovic’s goal was his team-leading sixth of the regular season, while Tierney’s strike was the first of his career and Dube’s was his first this season after registering eight goals in 2009.
Steve Zakuani had given the Sounders (9-9-5, 32 pts.) a 59th-minute lead with his eighth goal of the season, but the trio of quick-fire goals from the Revolution brought an end to Seattle’s seven-game (5-0-2) league unbeaten run. It was just the second time this season the Revs have claimed three points after conceding the first goal.
The offensive explosion was a welcome sight for the Revs, who hadn’t scored multiple goals in a game since July 10 in a 2-0 win over the LA Galaxy and hadn’t struck for three goals since a 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls on May 29.
Head coach Steve Nicol made just one change to the lineup which suffered a 2-1 loss to Morelia in the SuperLiga 2010 final on Wednesday, handing rookie Seth Sinovic the start at left back in place of the suspended Cory Gibbs. With Sainey Nyassi still away on national team duty in Gambia, Dube retained his role on the right wing for the second straight game.
Dube was active early and almost set up the opening goal in just the second minute. The Zimbabwean slipped a diagonal pass into the path of Ilija Stolica, who sidestepped Sounders defender Patrick Ianni and unleashed a shot from inside the box only to see veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller push the effort away. Dube then had his own long-distance shot saved by Keller in the eighth minute.
Seattle responded with its first quality chance in the 15th minute when Zakuani got down the left wing and teed up Mike Seamon for a shot, but Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis was alert to push the effort over the bar. Seamon threatened again in the 28th minute, flashing a long-range drive just high and wide of the upper right corner.
The back-and-forth continued at the other end of the field in the 32nd minute, as both Perovic and Dube went close for the Revolution. First Perovic had his tight-angle drive pushed away by Keller, while Dube’s follow-up attempt screamed past the far post.
Shalrie Joseph had one last chance for the Revs before the halftime whistle, but his 30-yard blast deflected off Ianni and looped just over the bar, sending the teams into the break scoreless.
It didn’t stay scoreless for long in the second half, however, as Zakuani gave Seattle a 1-0 lead in the 59th minute. Former Revolution defender James Riley wriggled free in the right side of the box and cut the ball back for Zakuani, who used his first touch to set up the shot and his second to guide his effort inside the far post.
The Revs responded well to going behind and turned the 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead in the span of 11 hectic minutes. Tierney notched the equalizer in the 70th minute – just one minute after seeing a close-range effort scrambled off the line – nodding home a back-post header after Joseph flicked on Kevin Alston’s long throw-in.
Perovic then put the Revolution ahead in the 73rd minute with his team-leading sixth goal of the season. Tierney started the play with possession at the top of the box and when the ball was poked away by a Sounders defender, Perovic pounced on the loose ball and slipped a low shot under Keller as he charged off his line.
New England extended its lead to 3-1 in the 81st minute when Dube was rewarded for his industry with his first goal of the season. Dube played the ball into Stolica, who laid it off for Dube at the top of the box. The 26-year-old ran onto the pass and unleashed a vicious drive which found the back of the net just under the crossbar.
Perovic so nearly made it four goals for the Revs in the third minute of stoppage time, but his 20-yard drive flashed wide of the left post. It didn’t matter, however, as the Revolution comfortably held on for the two-goal victory.
After playing three straight at home, the Revs will now be on the road for their next three games, beginning with a cross-country trip to face Chivas USA on Friday, Sept. 10. Kickoff from The Home Depot Center is set for 10:30 p.m. ET.
New England Revolution (7-12-3, 24pts.) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (9-9-5, 32 pts.)
September 4, 2010 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
SEA – Steve Zakuani (James Riley, Alvaro Fernandez) 59
NE – Chris Tierney (Shalrie Joseph, Kevin Alston) 70
NE – Marko Perovic (unassisted) 73
NE – Kheli Dube (Ilija Stolica) 81
Seattle Sounders FC: Kasey Keller (GK), James Riley, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, Alvaro Fernandez (Nate Jaqua 73), Osvaldo Alonso, Mike Seamon, Steve Zakuani, Roger Levesque, Freddy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Terry Boss, Michael Fucito, Tyson Wahl, Tyrone Marshall, David Estrada, Zach Scott
The win improved the Revolution’s record against Seattle Sounders FC to 3-1-0 all time, and 2-0-0 at home.
New England halted Seattle’s seven-game MLS unbeaten streak with Saturday night’s win … Sounders FC was 5-0-2 in league games since a July 4 loss.
Midfielder Sainey Nyassi and forward Kenny Mansally were unavailable for the match because they were called to play in the Africa Cup or Nations Qualifier for Gambia … Sainey’s identical twin brother, Sanna – a Seattle midfielder – was scheduled to play against New England on Saturday night, but was also called up for international duty … the Nyassi twins have still not played against one another in an MLS game.
The Revolution conceded the first goal of the match for the 12th time this season in 21 games in which a goal has been scored… the club also picked up its second win after going down 1-0 … the Revs are now 2-9-1 when conceding the first goal, coming back to win for the first time since a 4-1 win over Toronto on April 10.
Chris Tierney picked up his first career goal in the 70th minute and became the first Revolution player other than Shalrie Joseph to score against Seattle.
Kevin Alston, who assisted on Tierney’s goal, picked up the second helper of his career – first since July 25, 2009 at Houston.
Shalrie Joseph picked up his team-leading fifth assist on the Tierney goal.
Marko Perovic tallied his sixth goal of the year to take the team lead … it was also his second game-winning goal of the season.
Kheli Dube scored his first goal of 2010, his first time finding the back of the net since Oct. 3 of last year against Colorado.
Ilija Stolica picked up his first MLS assist when he worked a give and go on Dube’s goal.
New England scored three goals in a game for the first time since a 3-2 win over Red Bull New York on May 29 and now has three matches in 2010 with three or more goals scored.
The Revolution scored multiple goals in a game for the first time since the club’s 2-0 win over LA on July 10.