The New England Revolution and the New York Red Bulls drew 1-1 tonight in front of 16,440 rain-soaked fans at Gillette, Diego Fagundez with the Revs goal and Lloyd Sam with the Red Bulls goal. The draw leaves New England with a record of 2-4-4 for 10 points and New York at 6-4-2 for 21 points.
After Wednesday’s disappointing home lose to Real Salt Lake, Revs coach made a couple of changes bringing in Cisse and Imbongo in their familiar 4-1-4-1 formation. With the game on Gillette’s notorious bad turf, Thierry Henry did not make an apparence for New York.
In what was a pretty boring first half, New England struggled to find any room in midfield as Cahill and Alexander outplayed Rowe and Nguyen and New York looked very comfortable, pinging the ball around the field looking for an opening in the Revs defense.
The second half was more open as New York took off Cahill at half-time for Juninho and New England started to finally win the battle in the middle of the park.
So it was no surprise when New England went ahead in the 54th minute. Rowe’s corner was met by Fagundez and his original shot was blocked but he followed up his own rebound to score his second goal of the season.
But the New England lead lasted less than a minute as a defensive mixup allowed Lloyd Sam all the time in the world to slide his right footed shot into the bottom left corn
Revs coach Jay Heaps responded to the goal by bringing Bengtson and Sene off the bench and moved Diego into more of a number ten role. The move worked in that Fagundez was bar far New England’s best player and if not for a terrific save from Robles would have added a second.
After struggling in the season to create any kind of offense, Heaps moved to a 4-1-4-1 formation to be a little more offensive minded. And it has worked to so degree, but teams have started to catch on to this new formation, and it will be interesting to see how Heaps adjusts. Will he try and go with two up-front to create more offense? Or will his defensive mindset win out and will he stay with this 4-1-4-1 formation? That decision might well determine whether New England can craw back the 5 point gap that Philadelphia has over them in the fifth and final playoff spot.