Shorthanded Revs shut out in Houston

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Shorthanded Revs shut out in Houston

Special to CSNNE.com

HOUSTON, Texas Defender Hunter Freeman scored the only goal of the game in the 86th minute as the Houston Dynamo defeated the New England Revolution, 1-0, Sunday night at Robertson Stadium.

Freemans goal concluded a bizarre sequence in which Cam Weavers initial header struck the crossbar and bounced straight up into the air and fell directly on the goal line, where Freeman was on hand to bundle the ball into the net. It ruined an otherwise stellar night for Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis, who made seven saves upon his return to the lineup.

The victory helped the Dynamo (2-1-2, 8 points) leapfrog the Revolution (1-2-3, 6 pts.) into a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference. It was the Revs second straight shutout loss after suffering their first setback of the season last weekend against Real Salt Lake.

Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph and central midfield partner Pat Phelan were unavailable while serving one-game suspensions for red cards received last weekend against RSL, while left back Didier Domi (left hamstring strain) missed out because of injury. Meanwhile, Reis resumed his starting duties after missing two games because of a right adductor strain, while rookie A.J. Soares returned from suspension to partner Franco Coria in central defense.

In response to the circumstances, coach Steve Nicol trotted out a makeshift 4-3-3 lineup at Robertson Stadium. Usual center back Darrius Barnes started at left back, the versatile Chris Tierney partnered Stephen McCarthy and Zak Boggs in midfield, and Danish forward Rajko Lekic made his MLS debut alongside Marko Perovic and Zack Schilawski.

Houston almost opened the scoring in just the fourth minute, with the Dynamos attack predictably running through Brad Davis down the left wing. Davis took a powerful long-range shot which Reis saved, but the rebound spilled to Will Bruin 12 yards from goal. The rookies low effort beat Reis, but Soares was positioned on the line to make a lunging clearance.

Bruin threatened again in the 12th minute when he wriggled free to meet Davis corner kick, but he directed his header over the bar from six yards out. Five minutes later the former Indiana forward was at it again, pushing another header wide from close range after Weavers left-wing cross.

The pressure continued to mount and Reis was called upon to make a fine reaction save on Bobby Boswells free header in the 22nd minute.

After weathering the early storm Houston fired 13 shots in the opening 45 minutes the Revs slowly worked themselves into the action as the game progressed, eventually reaching the halftime break scoreless.

But just as the hosts pressed early in the first half, they did so again in the early stages of the second half. Boswell threatened twice in the 57th and 58th minutes, first seeing his rolling effort cleared off the line by Schilawski although Dynamo players claimed the ball crossed the line before hitting the right post just one minute later.

Bruin continued his quest for a goal when he was put through in the 73rd minute, but Reis charged off his line to make a leg save.

Coria almost caught Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall napping in the 76th minute, but his audacious effort from well inside his own half drifted harmlessly over the bar.

Houston finally made the breakthrough with less than five minutes remaining. Davis corner kick was met well by Weaver, whose header ricocheted off the crossbar and high into the air. As the ball came down, Freeman jostled with Reis and eventually pushed the ball over the line to hand the Dynamo all three points.

The Revs will host Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, April 23 at Gillette Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

Revolution acquire defender Benjamin Angoua

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Revolution acquire defender Benjamin Angoua

The New England Revolution have acquired defender Benjamin Angoua on loan from EA Guingamp for the 2017 MLS season with the option to transfer permanently following the season. Angoua will be added to the Revolution roster upon the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
 
“With Benjamin’s experience, adding him to the Revolution was an important step for our club this offseason,” Revolution GM Michael Burns said. “We began this offseason with the goal of bringing in veteran players who are ready to contribute right away, so we are very pleased to have Benjamin with us as we head to preseason training in Arizona.”
 
Angoua, 30, has made a combined 309 appearances across all competitions in France, Hungary, and the Ivory Coast, recording five goals and two assists from the backline. He joins the Revolution after more than two seasons with EA Guingamp (2014-17) and previously played for FC Valenciennes (2010-14), both in France’s top-flight Ligue 1. An experienced defender, Angoua has registered 152 appearances, including 138 starts, in Ligue 1 competition since 2010.
 
The 6-foot, 160-pound Ivorian international also played with Budapest Honvéd (2006-10) in Hungary’s OTP Bank Liga, and Africa Sports (2004-06) in the Ivory Coast Ligue 1. Angoua has additional experience competing in the UEFA Europa League with both Guingamp and Budapest Honvéd.
 
At the international level, the Anyama native has recorded 17 caps and registered one goal for the Ivory Coast national team.