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New England Poor In Draw With Columbus Crew

thefort2The New England and the Columbus Crew drew 0-0 in front of 13,092 fans on a sunny but windy afternoon at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.

With gusts of over 30 miles an hour it was difficult for both sides to string more than a couple of passes together and that contributed to a very scrappy game that was devoid of any real goal scoring chances.

The big news pregame was the return of US international Jermain Jones to the New England starting XI for the first time this season. Jones had missed the Revs opening five games after injuring himself at a USA camp in January.

New England does not have another player who is a box-to-box midfielder like Jones. He uniquely can help Scott Caldwell provide cover in front of the back four, but he can also get forward to help out Lee Nguyen in the final third.

Jones had one shot in goal, one tackle won and two clearances in a first half 45 minute appearance, that showed he is a long way from the marauding form that led the Revs to the MLS Cup last season.

After the game, New England boss Jay Heaps said that it was a planned replacement for Jones, as he works himself back into game fitness.

Heaps will take heart from the second consecutive shutout, and third in the Revs last three games, as Bobby Shuttleworth was rarely troubled all game.

The New England boss will not be so happy at the other end of the pitch as the lack of movement by the Revolution attackers made it an easy day at the office for the Crew defense.

In their recent games, New England had pressed teams high the field to force turnovers in the opponents final third, and then use the wide areas to attack. Against the Crew, New England abandoned the high pressure while all their attacks was down the middle, making it easy for the Crew to defend.

Overall a disappointing game from New England, who have yet to show the form that has made them one of the favorites for the MLS Cup this season.

Next up for the Revs is a trip to the Philadelphia Union on April 19th.