Sir Alex can talk about winning the double this year but New England Revolution coach Steve Nichol is trying to do him one better by winning the triple. The first leg in the triple was the SuperLiga championship which New England won 3-2 last night in a penalty shoot-out with the Houston Dynamo.
Houston had beaten the New England Revolution in past two MLS Championship matches so it was not a surprise when Nate Jacqua opened the scoring for the Dynamo in the 18th minute. NE tied the game up might before half-time when Steve Ralston scored.
That is how the teams stood until extra time when Houston regained the lead when reserve forward Kei Kamara headed in a cross from the left side from Brian Ching in the 98th minute. But, in the 102nd minute, New England’s Shalrie Joseph headed in the equalizer for the Revolution, converting an indirect kick from the left side by Steve Ralston.
We headed to penalties where New England player of the year, goalkeeper Matt Reis tipped a shot by Corey Ashe off the crossbar in the eighth round of penalty kicks to give the Revolution the 3-2 victory.
The Revolution who are defending U.S. Open champions meet D.C. United at RFK Stadium in Washington on August 12th. A victory in the nations capital would make the Revolution firm favorites to win their second U.S. Cup of August 26th against Charleston or Seattle.
The third leg in the Revolution’s quest for the triple crown is the MLS Cup where New England has suffered heartbreaking loses in the final in the last two years. The Revolution have the best record in Major League soccer at the half-way point of the season and have to be favorites to make their 3rd MLS Cup.
I have criticized Revolution coach Steve Nichol in the past, but he has quietly built a perennial contender in New England with little fanfare or press. He does a fantastic job scouting and young (and cheap)finding players to plug into his system.