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Davies’ instant impact sends Revolution past Fire for fourth straight win


Photo by USA Today Sports Images


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — For the first time in six matches, New England Revolution coach Jay Heaps didn’t start Charlie Davies and Davies let him know about it.

On the field, that is.

Davies subbed on in the 58th minute and just two minutes later was crossing up Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson for the winner as the Revs held on for a 2-1 victory at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, their second straight week overcoming an early deficit to claim the full three points.

“That was my job, to come on to the field and change the game,” Davies said. “I wanted to make an immediate impact and I was fortunate enough to have Jermaine (Jones) play a great ball in.”

The goal came on a beautiful end-to-end sequence as Jose Goncalves made a tackle on Fire goal scorer Sanna Nyassi and just 14 seconds later the ball had moved 100 yards on the ground into the back of the goal. Jones carried the ball through the middle third and then played Davies through for a tearing run that ended with him beating Johnson on a low shot inside the far left post.

“I think he wanted to start tonight, there’s no question about it,” Heaps said. “My staff and I just felt tonight was going to be one of those games where later in the game, his speed was going to make a difference.”

The win is the fourth in a row for the streaky Revolution (12-12-3), who have only lost one of their last seven matches after dropping eight straight during the summer. They’ll welcome the Montreal Impact to Foxboro next Saturday looking to match their previous season-high of five straight wins.

The match started off promisingly for the Fire (5-7-14) as Nyassi had a trio of early opportunities, one of which led to a goal in the 28th minute. Nyassi got lost between two Revs defenders and headed Quincy Amarikwa’s left side service past Bobby Shuttleworth.

The Revolution were able to equalize in the 41st minute with a header of their own as the slumping Diego Fagundez got on the end of a cross from Lee Nguyen to head home at the far left post. The goal was the fifth of the season for Fagundez, but his first since May.

“I just went out there trying to do everything I could to prove to the coaches and the players that I’m good enough to be there,” said Fagundez, who had been a late substitute the previous two games.

Jones went 90 minutes for the first time in MLS, partnering with Nguyen in central midfield. The duo showed how dangerous it can be together, with Jones and Nguyen both picking up an assist.

Johnson made four saves for the Fire, but it wasn’t enough as Chicago failed to put a shot on target after Nyassi’s opener due in part to the sturdy play of New England’s back line.

“Two games in a row we’ve given up the first goal, but our reactions have been really good,” said Heaps, mentioning the dependability of Goncalves and A.J. Soares at centerback.

The Fire will look to get back on track next Saturday when they host Toronto FC.

Here are the match highlights:

What did you think of the game? Has Davies earned back the starting job? What did in Chicago?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Great goal celebration by Fagundez but to be fair he’s had nearly all year to work on it. Jones has made some great plays but has also had some big gaffes like the giveaway to Nyassi in this game. I hope it doesn’t come around to bite him. No harm tonight but it won’t be a cakewalk for him.

  2. dispite the process, NE was a much better place for JJ to land.

    Chicago needs a number of position upgrades.. CM isn’t even their top 5 needs.

    NE looks legit. 8 points behind DC still, would be quite a task to win the East this late in season. looks like they are bound to end up in the playoffs series with SKC.

  3. WOW….a soccer blog where almost all the comments were about the soccer game. Nice

    I gotta think the Revs are the best team in the East. I never really saw what happened during the slide though. I loved em before and seeing them now, love them still.

  4. I watched th first 19 minutes if this game and the way the Revs moved the ball forward and back and side to side was really impressive. It looked like they were gonna boss this game. Jones was in the right place over and over again and Nguyen looks like he has found a lunch Paul buddy to do the heavy lifting while he creates.

    I wonder what they will look like when they drop Caldwell and add a second striker.

    • Not sure that they will go to 2 strikers. Right now they have a lot of creativity in midfield and relative lack of quality at striker. I see Davies starting most games up top with Mullins and Taylor rotating in. Nguyen will play with 2 of the 3 of Rowe, Fagundez, and Bunbury on the flanks. Jones will have a box to box role, and Caldwell or Daigo will help do the dirty work. A switch to two strikers would drop Nguyen further back down the pitch and limit Jones’ ability to go box to box, you’d be adding a decent striker and subtracting creative influence from your two best players…

      • agree, only to add that (i) Caldwell is actually a pretty good defensive midfielder – his instincts lead him to the right place at the right time, he wins the ball cleanly, and doesn’t really lose it, although he’s not going to overpower anyone and is not ready to make an offensive contribution and (ii) Geoffrey Castillion is a possible starter in place of Charlie, who has been sharp but also goes quiet for long periods (like in the KC game).

      • Yea, that guy who looks like the best player on the pitch and set up Davies goal after bossing nearly the entire Fire midfield in the process.

        Good players should be rich.

      • I was going to respond to his comment then I read yours and realized mine could never be as good and direct as yours ;). MB has talent, but the MLS mover has not worked out thus far

    • Position wise, he’s been a beast. All over the park. Has quite a bit of freedom from heaps too. He’s not quite match fit. He’s also had a few shaky touches. Once he gets match fit and sharp… Look out. His mere presence right now has unlocked quite a bit for the Revs.

      • agree with everything you say, and his work rate, style, and role are all reminiscent of what we’ve seen in the World Cup. In this last game, we went on at least two long, rampaging runs, one of which even included a stiff arm. He has two assists in two games, and is a threat to score or make a dangerous pass all game long.

        Aside from losing the ball to Nyassi leading to the latter’s hitting the post, my main concern about his play is occasionally adventurous passing, as in, given two equally decent passing options sometimes he opts for the more difficult one to execute almost as if to show off.

      • Hope so! So far they look to be forming a great partnership in the middle. I think his presence gives Nguyen a bit more freedom

      • I’m actually really worried about Nguyen with Jones out there. In the midweek game against SKC, Nguyen didn’t score his two goals until Jones had been subbed off. I think Nguyen has excelled this year because he’s the star – it’s his midfield. He’s the creative mind and is unhindered by others. But Jones takes up a lot of space – physically and mentally.

        It’s an unfortunately similar dynamic to when Rowe got healthy at the beginning of the season. Nguyen and Kobayashi had been playing SO well together and when we started Rowe instead of Kobayashi, we lost games. Nothing against Rowe, he’s an incredible player (and is finally playing like it) but the chemistry between Nguyen and Kobayashi is special.

        But Kobayashi is the player who gave up his starting role to Jones.

      • Interesting, I guess we’ll have to see how it plays out.
        Yesterday for most of the match Nguyen played a more advanced role than Jones and I thought they connected well, looked for each other. Didn’t get the sense that they were stepping on each others toes so to speak.
        Also didn’t the trio of Jones, Nguyen, and Kobayashi start on Wednesday? Maybe they will do some rotation in the midfield (though I’m sure Jones wouldn’t be the one to make way).

    • Jones has been pretty good. They’ve given him some baby steps with him not playing 90 until last night. When he’s in the game he’s just more talented then most of the players around him. At times last night he looked like a man among boys.
      Chicago you get hosed on this one, but I’m glad he’s with the Revs.


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