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NE defeat NY 3-2; keeper Burpo breaks leg in 'horrific' collision

Posted by David Beard, Globe Staff  May 29, 2010 10:02 PM

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Paced by two assists by Shalrie Joseph, the New England Revolution won for the first time since April 10, but the victory Saturday night was bittersweet with the broken leg suffered by the team's goalkeeper in a ''horrific'' collision during the match.

Preston Burpo broke his right tibia and fibula after colliding with the New York Red Bulls' Dane Richards, according to the team. Burpo, who had started this year while longtime keeper Matt Reis was on the disabled list, is out indefintely.

Replays showed Richards stepping on Burpo's leg above the ankle. The collision occurred near the end of the first half of the match at Gillette Stadium, and Burpo remained on the ground for minutes as a stretcher was readied.

The Revs' Joseph remained at Burpo's side throughout, but the sound and impact of the collision deeply affected the Revs' Sainey Nyassi, who was nearby and had to be consoled by coach Steve Nicol before play resumed.

Burpo was replaced by Bobby Shuttleworth, the team's third-string keeper. Marko Petrovic scored first for the Revs, on a pass from Joseph. Tim Reim scored as well, but the Red Bulls had tied the match before Joseph's brilliant pass that Zach Schilawski headed in for the deciding goal. The Red Bulls played the end of the game down two men after red cards were issued.

The New England team said Burpo injuries were diagnosed after examination by staff from Massachusetts General Hospital. Reis was eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday.

"It was a horrific injury,'' Joseph said in a television interview at halftime. He said he and coach Nicol were trying to revive the team, to lift them up, "to win this one for Preston.''

Also asked about his monthlong departure from the team, in which he entered rehabilitation after testing positive for marijuana, Joseph thanked fans for standing by him and added: "I'm sorry I let down my team and my family. ... From now on, I just have to make better decisions.''

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About Corner Kicks: Julian Cardillo offers insight and analysis about the New England Revolution as well as European and international soccer.

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