Jared Wickerham

Revolution 1, Fire 0: New England finishes home schedule with a win over Chicago

The New England Revolution were hoping for something to be proud of as they closed out the home portion of their 2012 schedule against the Chicago Fire on Saturday night, and they got it in spades. A flawless defensive performance and a moment of individual brilliance from Diego Fagundez brought them a 1-0 win over their playoff-bound conference rivals.

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Revolution show improvement in final MLS standings

The New England Revolution wrapped up the 2012 MLS season at the same spot they finished 2011: ninth in the Eastern Conference standings. However, this season ninth didn't mean last and the Revolution put together a better performance overall.

New England finished with 35 points, seven better than its 2011 total. The Revolution also showed vast improvement in goal differential, going from negative-20 to negative-5. The differential, thought by many to be a better indicator of strength than overall record or points, was seventh-best among East teams.

To take another step forward in 2013, the Revolution will need to do better on the road. They actually had a positive-8 differential at home, compared with negative--13 away from Gillette Stadium.

As for the rest of the league, Sporting Kansas City takes the top East seed into the playoffs and will face the winner of a knockout round match between Chicago and Houston. D.C. United and New York will face off in the East semifinals.

San Jose is the top team overall in the MLS, with Real Salt Lake and Seattle finishing second and third in the West. Los Angeles and Vancouver will play in the knockout round for the opportunity to face San Jose.

For full standings, visit MLS's official site.

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Revolution in 9th, every playoff spot clinched

The MLS season is coming to a close shortly, and the New England Revolution won't mind putting it behind them.

New England has struggled throughout the entire campaign, only earning 32 points. The only squad behind them in the Eastern Conference is Toronto FC, which has a dismal 23 points to its name.

All five of the postseason berths have been clinched in the East, with Sporting Kansas City, D.C. United, Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls and Houston Dynamo all qualifying in that order.

In the Western Conference, all the playoff spots are locked up as well. The San Jose Earthquakes have the best record in the MLS with 65 points, showing dominance throughout the year. Incredibly, the Earthquakes have scored 71 goals, while no other team has cracked 60.

Behind them, Seattle Sounders FC, Real Salt Lake, LA Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps will all be playing some extra soccer as well.

For a full look at the standings, please click here.

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Revolution vs. Fire: defense key in 1-0 victory

The New England Revolution were undermanned and outgunned against a Chicago Fire side bound for the playoffs and contending for the MLS Cup. On Saturday night, before an enormous home crowd, the Revolution ignored all of that and stuck to the game plan, edging out the Fire 1-0 in their final home match of the 2012 season.

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Revolution vs. Fire: New England wins 1-0

The New England Revolution battled injuries, suspensions, and the malaise that goes with a lost season, while simultaneously taking on their scheduled opponents, the Chicago Fire, on Saturday night. Despite being at home, they went in to the match as underdogs. And against all odds, the Revolution pulled off a victory in front of the 4th-largest crowd ever for a stand-alone regular season match at Gillette Stadium.

The evening's hero was Diego Fagundez, who took a slow, sloppy match by the scruff of the neck in the 18th minute and buried a sublime 30-yard shot to give the home side a first-half lead. The goal didn't exactly bring chances with it, but New England was able to close out the half while maintaining the lead.

The second half was more of the same, with the Revs' defense limiting Chicago to nearly zero real chances. In fact, Bobby Shuttleworth made his first save of the match - the first for either goalkeeper - off a dribbling volley from Patrick Nyarko in the 86th minute. Jerry Bengtson missed a golden chance to seal it in the 90th minute when he missed a wide-open net high after Fagundez put it on a platter for him.

The Revolution will be back in action next Saturday at midday against Montreal in their 2012 season finale.

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Revs vs. Fire Score Update: Fagundez Makes It 1-0

After a slow, sloppy first quarter-hour of soccer, the New England Revolution jumped ahead of the favored Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night, and did so in spectacular fashion. Diego Fagundez unleashed a rocket that belied his slight frame to put the home side ahead in front of a pretty packed house.

The Revs won the ball back in midfield after the Fire created a minor chance that Bobby Shuttleworth handled easily. Blair Gavin played a great lateral ball out to Kelyn Rowe, who cut inside and found Fagundez drifting inside from his left wing position. Fagundez strode forward, but saw space open up in front of him and decided to use it with a wicked shot from about thirty yards out. Johnson had no chance, laying out full stretch but still unable to reach the ball as it nestled inside the far post.

For more Revolution coverage, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket.

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Revolution vs. Fire lineups: Gavin earns start

New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps had a dilemma ahead of him when trying to pick Saturday night's lineup for the New England Revolution match against the Chicago Fire. Injuries and a suspension left him with barely enough available players to fill the bench, let alone put out a strong starting eleven.

Blair Gavin, the midfielder who arrived in Foxboro as the make-weight in the Shalrie Joseph trade in August, earned his first start for the Revolution, pairing up with Clyde Simms in central midfield. Gavin was a highly-touted talent out of college just a few seasons ago, and will be looking to end 2012 on a high note after injuries largely derailed his year.

Diego Fagundez was moved back into midfield to plug some depth issues on the wing. He was replaced up top by Dimitry Imbongo, who will pair with Honduran hot-hand Jerry Bengtson.

The defense again features an out-of-position Ryan Guy at right-back, and remains unchanged from the unit that faced Philadelphia two weeks ago.

Lineups

Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth; Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Guy; Fagundez, Simms, Gavin, Kelyn Rowe; Imbongo, Bengtson

Bench: Reis, Brettschneider, Cardenas, Nyassi, Purdie, Tierney, Toja

Fire: Johnson; Anibaba, Gargan, Berry, Segares; Fernandez, Rolfe, Pause, Paladini; Nyarko, MacDonald

Bench: Tornaghi, Bone, Alex, Friedrich, Oduro, Pineda, Videira

For more Revolution coverage, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket.

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Revolution vs. Fire: New England faces Chicago

The New England Revolution look to close out their 2012 home campaign on a high note as they face the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium for the final match of the season in Foxboro. Ravaged by injuries and suspensions, it will be all the Revs can do to field a competent lineup with pride on the line against the Eastern Conference's second-placed team.

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