For the first time since 2009, the New England Revolution clinched a spot in the MLS playoffs with a 1-0 win over Columbus Crew on Sunday. After the results of the other weekend games were in, the Revolution wound up as the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Revolution will now play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal Series against Sporting Kansas City at Gillette Stadium in a game that is expected to be played on Saturday, Nov. 2.
New England (14-11-9, 51 pts.) finished the season with the club’s second-best season point total in team history, the best being the 2005 season when the Revolution accumulated 59 points in a 32-game season. New England were the third-highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference after New York (58) and Montreal (50) and the seventh across the league. The Revolution heated up as the 2013 season progressed and will enter the postseason riding a 4-0-2 undefeated streak.
The Columbus Crew (12-17-5, 41 pts.), under the leadership of interim coach Brian Bliss, were shut out of the playoffs.
On Sunday, Juan Agudelo scored his seventh goal of the season with the Revolution in the 28th-minute. Lee Nguyen recorded his seventh assist of the season.
Goalkeeper Matt Reis made four saves for his fifth shutout of the season. Reis capped the regular season with a 7-0-4 record, becoming the first goalkeeper in MLS history to go undefeated after playing 10 or more games. Matt Reis concluded the regular-season posting a career-best 0.72 goals against average, which will be MLS’ best mark this season.
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NE – Juan Agudelo (Lee Nguyen) 28
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Kevin Alston (Darrius Barnes 74), Jose Goncalves ©, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen, Andy Dorman, Kelyn Rowe, Juan Agudelo, Dimitry Imbongo (Scott Caldwell 80)
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chad Barrett, Stephen McCarthy, Jerry Bengtson, Charlie Davies
STATS: Shots 6, Shots on Target 2, Corner Kicks 2, Saves 4, Fouls 20, Offsides 0, Passes 65.7% (204), Possession 32.2%
Columbus Crew: Andy Gruenebaum, Agustin Viana (Justin Meram 72), Josh Williams, Chad Marshall, Tyson Wahl, Bernardo Anor (Ben Speas 49), Tony Tchani, Will Trapp, Dominic Oduro, Aaron Schoenfeld (Ryan Finley 55), Jairo Arrieta
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Lampson, Chad Barson, Danny O’Rourke
STATS: Shots 14, Shots on Target 4, Corner Kicks 7, Saves 1, Fouls 13, Offsides 6, Passes 78.3% (437), Possession 67.8%
CLB – Jairo Arrieta (caution) 25
CLB – Agustin Viana (caution) 57
NE – Matt Reis (caution) 84
NE – Juan Agudelo (caution) 89
CLB – Dominic Oduro (ejection) 90
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Paul Scott (AR1), Bill Ditmar (AR2)
Fourth Official: Chris Penso