In five minutes, Chad Barrett did more for the Revolution than Jerry Bengston did in 83. Barrett came on as a substitute for Bengston in the 83rd minute of Saturday night's 1-1 tie at CD Chivas USA and scored the equalizer for the Revolution in the 88th minute.
With the transfer window approaching and the Revolution (5-5-6, 21 points) with options to make some roster decisions, it should be noted that Barrett has scored two goals this season, both as a substitute, in just six appearances. Meanwhile, Bengston, the Designated Player, has scored just once this season in ten starts (12 total appearances).
Barrett was the hero on a play set-up by Scott Caldwell and Diego Fagundez in the final moments of Saturday night's game. Caldwell found Fagundez open on the right flank, and then Fagundez crossed into the penalty area for Barrett, who crashed into the six yard box and poked the ball into the back of the net past Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
It was fitting that Barrett's shot barely trickled into the net on a night where it seemed the Revolution would never score.
The result moves the Revolution up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference, just two points behind the Houston Dynamo, who are sitting in the final playoff place. So while a tie is a good, hard-fought result in a tricky road environment, the Revolution will be disappointed to have not taken more against the Western Conference's current worst team, especially since a win would have put them in playoff position.
For a while it seemed as though the Revolution would return to New England without any points. Chivas got their goal in the 18th minute through Laurent Courtois, who volleyed a shot from just outside the penalty area into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
From there, Chivas sat back and defended, clogging up the midfield and interrupting the Revolution's passing in the offensive third of the field. But New England fought back, despite a series of setbacks.
They were without Juan Agudelo and Andrew Farrell and still had players tired from Wednesday night's Open Cup loss to DC United. That forced coach Jay Heaps to make some changes to the lineup. He slotted in Bengston as the lone forward with Fagundez and Saer Sene on the flanks, while Ryan Guy filled in for Farrell at right back.
It's very impressive that the Revolution were able to create so many chances on goal with a makeshift lineup, especially with Chivas putting their entire team on its heels to defend almost immediately after they opened the scoring.
Lee Nguyen woke up the Revolution's attack right after they conceded, hitting the crossbar off a shot from a 30-yard freekick in the 20th minute. Kennedy finished the night with seven saves for Chivas, but was unable to preserve their first victory in 11 games.
His best saves included stopping a low, driven cross by Chris Tierney from inside the left sector of the penalty area (48th), tipping away a first-time effort by Bengston after he found his way in behind the defense (59th), and trapping a stinger by Sene from just outside the penalty area (77th).
By the time Barrett's goal happened, Chivas had pushed all but one player back to defend against the Revolution. That tactic was somewhat off-set by the Revolution switching to an offensive 3-5-2 formation in the final 15 minutes, allowing for more runners and shooters in the offensive third.
Despite grabbing the important point, the Revolution have extended their winless streak against Chivas USA to seven games. Their last win against them was a 4-0 result on July 19, 2009 in which Taylor Twellman, Steve Ralston, Jeff Larentowicz, and Khano Smith scored.
The Revolution will try again to push themselves into playoff position on Saturday when they host the San Jose Earthquakes at Gillette Stadium.
You can reach Julian at firstname.lastname@example.org and can follow him on twitter @juliancardillo
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