Revolution take to new Gillette Stadium turf with 4-0 rout of Real Salt Lake
FOXBORO — Install new turf and the goals will come.
That appears to be the winning solution for the Revolution, who relied on a dominating four-goal first half to easily squelch any potential challenge by Real Salt Lake in a 4-0 victory last night on the newly installed playing surface at Gillette Stadium.
Four different players scored for the Revs. Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen and Kei Kamara each registered a goal. Chris Tierney chipped in a pair of assists before 20,096, the largest home draw of the season for the Revs.
The four goals marked the most by the Revs since defeating Minnesota United, 5-2, back on March 25.
“It was a good first half. I thought we did a really good job,” Revs coach Jay Heaps said. “I was really excited with the way we started the game. One goal didn’t satisfy us. We wanted more.”
Much of the focus last night was on Kamara, who missed the two previous games while awaiting the birth of his new son.
“Look at my eyes,” he said, “Who sleeps these days. Heck, I’m a vampire anyway.”
A delivery toward the middle by Tierney went to Fagundez, who sent a pass squirting to the front of the net. Caldwell, who last week became just the third homegrown player in MLS history and second on the Revs to reach 10,000 playing minutes, sent a right-foot shot low past Real Salt Lake keeper Matt Van Oekel, who jumped to his feet and angrily admonished his defensive mates.
It was the first goal for Caldwell in almost two years. He last scored against Sporting Kansas City in 2015. Both of Caldwell’s previous MLS tallies came during 2015. Fagundez’ assist was his 28th.
Real Salt Lake used the deficit as an incentive to spring on the attack. Midfielder Omar Holness sent a shot over the crossbar in the seventh minute. Revs keeper Cody Cropper then had to outrace Real Salt Lake’s forward Joao Plata to a loose ball. Cropper managed to block the ball, but it slid out to Holness, who managed only a weak shot that was corralled by Cropper.
The Revs took the initiative to go back the other way and Kamara nearly got the back end of a chip shot from Nguyen in the 18th minute. On the subsequent corner kick by Nguyen, Kamara made good on his chance, knocking the ball home for his 89th career MLS goal.
“It was good. I definitely wanted to be back out there and help the team. It was good to get a great win like that. The offense on this team is good. It’s not just one guy. There are a lot of guys that can put the ball in the back of the net,” Kamara said.
Following the goal, Kamara was joined at the back line by Nguyen and Caldwell as they began swinging their hands in a rocking motion to celebrate the new addition to Kamara’s family.
“It’s the international baby rock. You cannot not do it,” said Kamara.
For the visitors, when it rained it poured.
The Revs kept piling on, upping the margin to a commanding 3-0 in the 34th minute. Defender Andrew Farrell, Caldwell and Nguyen worked the ball deep before Kelyn Rowe sprinted behind an RSL defender and collected the ball. Rowe sent a delivery to an uncovered Fagundez at the back post for the easy conversion. It was the first goal of the season for Fagundez.
The goals kept coming for the Revs, who increased the margin to a commanding 4-0 in the 41st minute when Nguyen sent a shot into the lower left corner. The goal was the fifth of the season for Nguyen.
The Revs enjoyed their biggest halftime lead of the season against the undermanned Real Salt Lake squad, which was forced to rely on several U-20 call-ups due to injuries.