The best teams in Major League Soccer are jockeying for position for the MLS Cup but the New England Revolution are heading in the wrong direction, winless in their last three games.
The Revs hopes for the top seed in the eastern conference look to be all but over after Saturday night’s 3-1 defeat to the Chicago Fire.
Juan Agudelo gave the Revs a 1-0 halftime advantage, but the Fire scored three times in the second half to seal the win and extend New England’s winless streak to three games.
While the Revolution controlled possession for much of the opening 30 minutes, it was Bobby Shuttleworth that was the more active of the two goalkeepers early on. He was forced to dive to his left in the 21st minute to palm away a David Accam shot while Gilberto saw a shot saved in the 29th minute before hitting the post less than a minute later.
However, it would be New England that broke the deadlock when Agudelo scored his seventh goal of the season in the 31st minute. Diego Fagundez sprayed the ball out to Chris Tierney on the left flank and his cross found the run of Agudelo, who deftly headed the ball past Chicago goalkeeper Jon Busch and into the corner of the net, giving the Revs a 1-0 advantage.
Chicago equalized early in the second half when Harry Shipp pounced on a New England turnover near midfield and played the ball forward for Accam who ran at the New England defense and hit a low shot that Shuttleworth should have saved at his near post, tying the score at 1-1. While Shuttleworth has many supporters amongst the Revs faithful I am not one of them. He doesn’t single handily save the Revs points that the best goalkeepers in MLS routinely do.
The Fire would go in front eight minutes later when Lovel Palmer hit a long ball from inside his own half and Andrew Farrell slipped when trying to clear it, allowing Shipp to go in alone on goal and beat Shuttleworth, making the score 2-1 in favor of Chicago.
Agudelo and Kelyn Rowe combined for three chances in a three minute stretch between the 65th and 67th minutes, only to be denied from close range by Busch each time. At the other end of the field, Gilberto was played in behind the Revolution defense in the 69th minute, but his angled shot from the right struck the post, keeping the Fire lead at 2-1.
Chicago killed the game off in the 86th minute when Gilberto, who had twice hit the post, latched onto a ball at the corner of the six-yard box and hooked into inside the far post to make the score 3-1 in send the Revs to a second defeat in their last three games.
he Revolution will be back in action on Saturday, October 17 when they host Didier Drogba and the Montreal Impact in the regular-season home finale at Gillette Stadium.