TORONTO Monsef Zerka and Milton Caraglio scored either side of halftime and Benny Feilhaber assisted on both goals as the New England Revolution closed out its 2011 season with a 2-2 draw in a Saturday afternoon meeting with Toronto FC at BMO Field.
It was the final game of the season for both the Revs (5-16-13, 28 pts.) and TFC (6-13-15, 33 pts.), neither of which qualified for the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Nick Soolsma gave Toronto an early lead with the games opening goal in the 20thminute before the Revs jumped ahead courtesy of strikes from Zerka (41stminute) and Caraglio (46thminute). New England carried its advantage into the late stages, but Danny Koevermans scored his eighth goal of the season in the 83rdminute to pull the hosts level and provide the final score line.
There was just one change to the Revolution lineup which suffered a 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew last weekend at Gillette Stadium. Danish forward Rajko Lekic who missed three games with a sprained left ankle returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Sept. 16 in place of the injured Diego Fagundez (concussion).
New England started on the front foot and almost made an early breakthrough in the 10thminute. Feilhabers in-swinging cross from the left wing was missed by the cutting Zerka, but the attempt ended up on frame and forced a lunging save out of TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic.
It was Toronto which opened the scoring, however, as Soolsma notched his third goal of the season to put the hosts up 1-0 in the 20thminute. Koevermans was played into the left side of the box, where he delivered a low cross to the near post for Soolsma, who arrived ahead of his marker and finished with a first-time shot.
Soolsma almost had a second just four minutes later when he burst into the right side of the box, but New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth came up with a big save to deny the rising effort.
Zerka ultimately pulled the Revs level before halftime, recording his second goal of the season in the 41stminute to knot the score at 1-1. Feilhaber was the provider from a set piece as his corner kick was whipped to the near post, where Zerka sent a flashing header off the hands of Kocic and just under the crossbar.
Feilhaber was the setup man again just moments after the second half began as the Revs took a 2-1 lead in the 46thminute. The U.S. National Team midfielder capitalized on a turnover and worked his way down the right wing before playing a low cross to the back post, where Caraglio slid in to finish into the empty net.
The Revs almost found a third in the 67thminute when Zerka unleashed a volley from 25 yards out, but Kocic was at full stretch to push the shot away from danger. Kocic then repeated the feat in the 76thminute, kicking away Zerkas low effort.
TFCs goalkeepers heroics proved vital in the 83rdminute, when Koevermans popped up to score the equalizer. Torsten Frings sprayed the ball wide to substitute Eric Avila, who whipped an in-swinging cross into the box from the left wing. The service found its way through the box to Koevermans, who tapped home from close range at the back post.