U.S. Open Cup Final: Wounded Revs Routed 4-2 by FC Dallas

The New England Revolution’s dreams of a second U.S. Open Cup victory slipped away in a matter of minutes. Things looked promising in the beginning, but injuries and stellar play from FC Dallas derailed the Revs quest for another trophy. Mauro Diaz, who had three assists and a goal, and Maxi Urruti, who had two goals thanks to Diaz, stole the show in front of a sell out crowd of 16,612 at Toyota Stadium and the Revolution offense couldn’t keep pace after losing two key pieces of their defense.

The prospect of going into Frisco and defeating the favorites for the Supporters Shield was always going to be tough. Jay Heaps continued with the lineup that has been dominating some of the top teams in the league, but losing Gershon Koffie and Je-Vaughn Watson in the opening half made their uphill battle even more challenging.

The match was wide open from the first whistle. Juan Agudelo got the Revs off to a hot start in just the sixth minute. Gershon Koffie found Agudelo at the top of the area after some nice passing with Lee Nguyen. Juan did well to make two FC Dallas defenders miss with a great turn before cutting back inside and beating Chris Seitz.

Agudelo has been in fine form the past few weeks, now with three goals in the last three matches.

Maxi Urruti would get the home side back into the match quickly, though. In the 15th minute, the Dallas forward received a well-timed cross from Mauro Diaz with a brilliant first touch and volleyed it home for the equalizer.

Dallas wasn’t quite done either, but Baldomero Toledo chose not to award a penalty when Mauro Rosales took heavy contact in New England’s area. Ryan Hollingshead broke through again near the half hour mark, but Brad Knighton was up to the task and managed to kick the ball clear just in time.

Gershon Koffie collided with Walker Zimmerman in the 27th minute and came up limping. With Koffie obviously hurting, New England took on a Dallas onslaught. It was Mauro Diaz again with the killer ball into the box and Matt Hedges was left wide open to take the 2-1 lead for the hosts.

And with that, Gershon’s night was done due to injury. Koffie is already unavailable for this weekend’s match with the Montreal Impact due to yellow card accumulation, so he’ll have a few extra days to rest up. But with the Revs now down a goal just before halftime, Heaps decided it was time for Kei Kamara to make his first appearance since leaving for international duty. It was an interesting decision from the Revs boss as it pushed Lee Nguyen back into his usual attacking midfield role to accommodate Kamara. Nguyen’s new role as part of the forward tandem has been a large part of the Revs’ recent success.

Injury struck again in first half stoppage time. This time, it was Je-Vaughn Watson going down and forcing New England to make their second substitution before the end of the first half.

But things got worse for the Revs. On a free kick just before the end of the first period, Jose Goncalves was whistled for a foul on Matt Hedges in the box and conceded a penalty. Goncalves had a hold of Hedges arm and when the FC Dallas defender went to make a play on the ball, Jose drug him down. Man of the match Mauro Diaz stepped up and buried the spot kick to give Dallas a commanding 3-1 lead. For their bright start, New England had dug themselves into a deep hole going into the break.

Agudelo nearly got the Revs back in the game ten minutes into the second period. Tierney whipped in a great cross to split two Dallas defenders and find Agudelo, but he couldn’t get enough of his head on the ball to direct it toward goal. After that chance for New England, Dallas took control again. The Revolution needed last-ditch tackles on counters and defensive heroics from London Woodberry, Andrew Farrell, and Goncalves to keep the deficit at two.

Urruti added the killing blow at the hour mark. It was Mauro Diaz again who snatched the ball in midfield from Kellyn Acosta and slipped a through ball to Urruti on the break, who easily ran past the Revs defense and beat Knighton one-on-0ne to widen the lead to 4-1.

Urruti continued to dominate and nearly tacked on two more goals. He thought that he had his hat trick but was deemed just offside by the assistant referee. A few minutes later, he struck a powerful header off the post.

Heaps continued to urge his men on, bringing on Teal Bunbury with 20 minutes to play. Bubury went on to have a major impact, giving life to the Revs attack. Kei Kamara had several good header attempts thwarted by better Dallas defending. Agudelo managed to pull a goal back for New England when a Bunbury cross found him at the back post for a sliding goal to give the visitors hope.

But it wasn’t enough for New England. They continued to pepper balls into the box but couldn’t find that final pass. It was a disappointing end to a fantastic Cup run for the Revolution.

New England is still very much in the hunt for a playoff position in the Eastern Conference. They get a chance to gain ground on Orlando City and D.C. United on Saturday against the Montreal Impact. You can catch the match at 7:30 on CSN and 98.5 Sports Hub.

New England XI (4-4-2): Brad Knighton; Je-Vaughn Watson (Chris Tierney 45+3′), Jose Goncalves, London Woodberry, Andrew Farrell; Gershon Koffie (Kei Kamara 43′); Scott Caldwell, Kelyn Rowe (Teal Bunbury 69′); Diego Fagundez; Lee Nguyen, Juan Agudelo

Unused Subs: Cody Cropper, Femi Hollinger-Janzen, Daigo Kobayashi, Steve Neumann

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