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Monday, November 10, 2014

Revolution Beat Crew 7-3 on Aggregate to Advance to ECF vs. Red Bulls

For the first time in years, I started paying attention to the Revolution again this past summer for two reasons: 1) the Red Sox were so horrible that I couldn't watch their games anymore and 2) they signed USMNT World Cup hero Jermaine Jones. It has been a fun ride and one that will last at least for a few more weeks after New England beat Columbus 3-1 tonight at Gillette Stadium (7-3 on aggregate) to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals vs. New York Red Bulls. That begins on November 23 at Red Bull Arena (time TBA) followed by a game the following Saturday at Gillette (3, NBCSN).

Sunday was an example of how the Revs aren't just a team revolving around one (Nguyen) or two (Jones) players. Yes, Nguyen opened the scoring with a sweet one-timer in the 43rd minute from Teal Bunbury but it was defender Jose Goncalves who made it 2-0 in the 55th minute on a clumsy one-timer from Charlie Davies. Columbus got a red card in the 61st minute after Ethan Finlay ran into New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttlesworth. The Crew cut it to 2-1 on Tony Tchani headed in a cross by Justin Meram in the 67th minute.

No worries as Bunbury officially clinched it in the 77th minute by roofing a pretty through ball from Daigo Kobayashi. Meram picked up his second yellow card of the game in the 85th minute so Columbus shamefully finished their postseason with just nine players left on the field. Shuttlesworth made some big saves when it was still (somewhat competitive) and the one-sided scoreline allowed head coach Jay Heaps to take out Nguyen and Jones late in the second half.

MLS will never be the English Premier League or any of the top European leagues but the product is getting better, thanks to many washed up stars from Europe coming to the States for a lucrative pay day at the twilight of their career. There is also a decent mix of homegrown players-midfielders Scott Caldwell (Braintree, MA), Chris Tierney (Wellesley, MA) and Diego Fagundez (Leominster, MA) not to mention Davies (Manchester, NH) are all originally from New England.

I can't stand people that try to force soccer on others or even worse, look down on those who don't enjoy it as much or understand certain aspects. I completely understand why people make fun of it, there are plenty of things that bug me about it to no end but I am as into it now as I have ever been since I was a child. This is a long-winded way of saying that if you like soccer and especially if you're from New England, give the Revolution a try. I can promise you that you will enjoy it this season and who knows, maybe we'll finally see some history.

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